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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, Aug 14, 2019
The purpose of evangelization is to make Christ and the Church known to others so that they might receive the gift of faith and choose to convert to Christianity. It is a work accomplished in close collaboration with the Holy Spirit. The purpose of apologetics, on the other hand, is to clear away obstacles to faith by demonstrating that the claims about Christ, the Church and Catholic teaching are not contrary to reason. Broadly speaking, in other words, the focus of evangelization is on proclaiming the Gospel and the focus of apologetics is on arguing a position.
It is possible to over-emphasize this fundamental difference, of course, for apologetics is designed precisely to increase the chances of successful evangelization, and insofar as apologetics is divorced from this further action of the Holy Spirit—insofar as apologetics degenerates somewhat coldly into mere argument—it will generally fail to command assent. That is why, when I wrote a pamphlet entitled “Apologetics: Forgotten Science, Lost Art” back in 1983, I introduced the Greek concepts of logos, pathos, and ethos into the discussion: