Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Certainly Waited (To Do Apologetics After My Conversion to Catholicism)



Received into the Church: 8 February 1991, with "revert" wife Judy (7 months pregnant with our first child) and Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., the eminent catechist who wrote the Foreword to my first book and said my writing was "very Catholic" way back in 1991 (in my opinion, the highest compliment about my work I have ever received).

Good ole Josh Strodtbeck, the ranting Lutheran, who has a curious obsession with apologists of other Christian traditions (and the president of my fan club), wrote recently on his blog:

One thing that just slays me about both Catholicism and Orthodoxy is how if you've got a high enough profile in some Protestant church body when you convert, you're suddenly an expert on your new religion. . . . I'm not saying a convert can't ever publicly defend his new religion. I'm just saying you really should make them go through an initial cooling off period or something before proclaiming them to be professional apologists, sending them on the lecture circuit, or ordaining them (seriously, ordination?).

Since Josh has often (always irrationally and without grounds and scarcely any charity) blasted me as a prime example of a supposedly unsavory, illegitimate, embarrassing apologist and Catholic convert, I thought the fair-minded folks on his blog (and non-Catholics reading this on mine) might possibly be curious about how long I waited after I converted, to do public apologetics:
Conversion: October 1990

Received into the Church: 8 February 1991

First published article (and first time any Catholic apologetics I wrote was public): Jan/Feb 1993 (in The Catholic Answer)

[2 years + 4 mos. after my conversion]

First time having my writing included in a book: Sep. 1994 (Surprised by Truth)

[3 yrs + 11 mos. after conversion]

First time communicating Catholic apologetics on the Internet: March 1996

[5 yrs + 5 mos. after conversion]

First time having my own website: February 1997

[6 yrs + 4 mos. after conversion]

First time talking on the radio about my conversion / apologetics: 8 September 1997 [audio file / transcript]

[just under seven years after conversion]

First time having my book (A Biblical Defense of Catholicism) published (self-published): October 2001

[11 yrs after conversion]

First time doing full-time "professional" Catholic apologetics: December 2001

[11 yrs + 2 mos. after conversion]

First time having my book published by a "real" Catholic publisher: June 2003

[12 yrs + 8 mos. after conversion]

First time on the lecture circuit: never.

[I have given a few talks to small audiences here and there, though]


[almost 17 years after conversion and counting]

First time on EWTN television: never (have turned down offers to be on The Journey Home about five or six times now)

[almost 17 years after conversion and counting]

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