I was talking to a buddy on the phone yesterday and I confessed, “I am more Catholic cheerleader than apologist.”
When I watch apologists debate the Catholic and Protestant sides, I feel like I am watching an unbearably long Ping-Pong match without any record of score. Each observer has to imagine the score in his own head.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe apologetics is a very important discipline, and I have great respect for those who engage in this essential ministry professionally. Many a seeker has made a definitive choice for the Catholic Church because the case for Catholicism was well argued and systematically presented. I have learned a great deal from the likes of Patrick Madrid, Jimmy Akin, and Michelle Arnold, brilliant apologists all.
Also, I believe that every Catholic should be able to articulate his faith well enough to present a logical and reasonable defense of Catholic doctrine, especially in these relativistic times when truth seems up for grabs and logic and reason are a rare commodity, obscured as they are by rampant emotionalism and banal sentimentality.
But when it comes down to me, my primary drive is to evangelize the disengaged, or the lightly engaged, of the fold. Perhaps this is because I found myself astounded upon my entry into the Church at twenty-nine years old, and following a life of impoverished agnosticism, by the many Catholics who seemed bored by the Faith. I was like a starving man that looks on in wonder as other hungry people sit before piles of the most exquisite food without partaking.