View all Study Circle Guides | January 23, 2016
The word “apologetics” has a technical meaning. It refers to explaining the Catholic faith to those who disagree with it or don’t understand it. The term comes from the Greek word “apologia”, which means explanation. In this use of the term, we are not talking about making an apology for some kind of offense or mistake, but rather explaining why the Catholic faith is true, reasonable, and redemptive. All mature Catholics needs to be able to do this in order to fulfill their mission as witnesses of Christ and missionaries in the world.
This Study Circle Guide simply enables you to utilize for small group study a series of books containing testimonies of a wide variety of people who converted to the Catholic faith. These people come from different backgrounds: Protestant, Jewish, Orthodox, Mormon, fallen-away Catholic, etc. Each chapter of these books contains a personal narration of how the person made his or her way into (or back into) the Catholic Church. The series of books is called Surprised by Truth and is edited by one of our generation’s great apologists, Patrick Madrid.
There are two ways to study apologetics, either argument by argument or through real-life case studies. The Surprised by Truth series offers a powerful opportunity for the second way, which we highly recommend because of its existential weight. Understanding the path taken by real converts to Catholicism equips you to help others take that path much more effectively than simply understanding abstract arguments divorced from real personal journeys.