Category Archives: Defensiveness

A Shift In My Focus

The largest percentage of my blog has been apologetic in nature.  Partly I’ve been motivated by a desire to grow in knowledge of my own faith by explaining some of it to others.  I also hoped others might take an interest in the Faith and discover Christ for the first time or rediscover Him in new ways.  All I can really measure is my own growth.  Maybe others have been influenced, maybe not.

I’ve come to a point where apologetics interests me less.  Certainly, if someone asks me a question about Catholicism I will do my best to answer or suggest further resources.  However, I’m finding that too much focus on apologetics is stunting my spiritual growth.

Apologetics is, after all, a discipline of defending a certain position.  It has its place.  Nevertheless, as a marriage and family therapist, I am keenly aware that defensiveness can be quite toxic to relationships.  In fact, high levels of defensiveness between spouses has been deemed a “marriage killer.”  I see it play out often in my therapy office.  Considering the fact that marriage models the relationship between Christ and His Church, it seems fitting for Christians to avoid a defensive stance as much as possible and choose the opposite approach of vulnerability.  Vulnerability is the birthplace of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).  Vulnerability is the cross.

Vulnerability leads to openness, dialog, discourse, empathy, understanding and unity. Defensiveness leads more often to division, blame, accusations, lack of personal accountability and closed hearts.  Would one rather embrace a knight in armor or a vulnerable child in swaddling clothes?

Again, apologetics has its place and I do not disregard it as important.  But even apologetics must contain a degree of vulnerability to be effective.  No human can be 100% right all of the time.  The best armor is never completely impervious to attack or injury.  Christian apologists must be humble, vulnerable and willing to admit error.

Personally, I’m becoming less interested in explaining Catholicism and more driven to live it.  Let’s face it, most people really don’t care how something works as long as they know they can depend on it to work.  There’s only so much I can explain anyway.  I just want to be an example of the transforming power of Christ and His Church.  Hopefully I can shift my writing to reflect that goal.

The following is a song written and performed by a skeptic who also happens to arguably be the most popular and talented rock drummer in the world, Neil Peart.  (If you don’t like rock music, humor me.  The lyrics are pertinent.  I’m a drummer, so, there you have it).