Experience, Reason, and Authority in the Apologetics of
Ronald Knox | Milton Walsh | From Ronald Knox As Apologist: Wit,
Laughter, and the Popish Creed
Editor's Note: Throughout the first half of the past century, both as an Anglican and then as a Catholic priest, Ronald Knox was a well-known part of the English literary landscape. He was a favored preacher for occasions great and small; his articles on a host of topics found a place in the newspapers and monthly literary magazines; his voice was heard often on the BBC. Most significant was the tide of books that flowed from his pen and found a wide readership in Great Britain and the USA.
In this book, Father Milton Walsh, an expert on Knox's writing, has analyzed and provided ample quotations from the most significant writings of Knox that fall under the genre of apologetics. Knox was a superb apologist because as a priest he was a man of deep faith, and as a writer he had a wonderful way of expressing the Christian truths in an elegant and clear language. Knox was also a man with a grand sense of humor and a keen wit, as well as empathy and kindness, and both his humor and charity are captured well in these writings. Ronald Knox stands alongside G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and Evelyn Waugh as a great spiritual and literary British writer whose works are once again receiving wide readership and appreciation.
This excerpt is from pages 103-107 of Ronald Knox As Apologist.
Knox holds in theory that reason is the common ground for believer and unbeliever, and so his formal approach to apologetics is strongly intellectual. As a matter of practice, he finds his meeting place to be the world of ordinary human experience. Of course, this does not exclude either the intellectual or formally religious aspects of human life: following the logic of a clear argument can be very satisfying, and most (if not all) people have had "numinous" experiences of some kind. The advantage of drawing on ordinary experience is twofold.