Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
First rule of apologetics (well, one of the first rules): Never answer a vague question. Ask clarifying questions in return: What documents does your friend mean? What sort of tampering does she think might have happened? Who did the alleged tampering? What was the tamperer's motive?
Good advice, I would say the second rule is 'only allow discussion of one topic at a time', in general it is much easier to attack Catholicism than to defend it, because a critic can easily make a 2-3 sentence attack that contains half a dozen attacks, each of which would take at least a couple hundred pages to effectively answer....and one thing critics love doing is distracting you, when you are barely beginning your response to the first question they pummel you with a dozen more....
Actually, the second rule would be to ask them why they think so and so would be the case.
Actually, there are no RULES.
Actually, I'm really just referring to Koukl's Tactics
--fabulous book. I highly, highly, highly recommend it. He starts by teaching the Columbo Method, which is essentially the same as Obi's suggestion. Ask what do they mean. "So you say that you're an atheist. Can you tell me what you mean by the term?" Or in this case, "You ask how I know our documents haven't been tampered with. Forgive me for being slow, but can you tell me which documents you are talking about? What do you mean by tampered?" If she were to say, "Well, you know, like how do you know various council's findings haven't been altered over the years?" You could reply with, "That's a fine question, but so I can make sure we're talking about the same thing, tell me . . . what makes you think that they might have been altered?" If she has something in mind, she'll tell you, and then you can have a specific conversation. If not, well then you're probably just dealing with a type of selective skepticism, which you could point out in follow up questions.
Such a good book.
But what you said is true, too, Doom!