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  #1  
Old Apr 29, '12, 9:29 am
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Elijah Baley Elijah Baley is offline
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Default Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

My Confirmation Sponsor and I just did a training for Justice for All and several of the principles underlying that admirable pro-life campaign are reflected here in these suggestions for Catholic evangelization. As iron sharpens iron, please pick apart these proposals.

First proposal:
To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.
+John Henry Cardinal Newman
Justice For All has an exhibit which puts people on the spot, asking them, "So when does human life begin?" Similarly, we should have an exhibit which puts other Christians on the spot, asking, "So when did the Church end?" (Or something along those lines.) It could take the form of a big display or it could be a poster or it could be a flyer.

Second proposal:
There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.
+Fulton J. Sheen
Important, I think, in the New Evangelization is an emphasis on the clarity and continuity of the Catechism. Here I would propose funding, via an aggressive Kickstarter campaign, a new line of tracts which emphasize what the Church actually teaches. I imagine here a simple three-fold flyer.

Cover: Title and brief synopsis, hitting a few points.
Interior text: Quotes from the new Catechism --- also Trent, as appropriate --- and then scriptural citations and then patristic support.
Bottomside: Statement explaining how best to use each sort of evidence; imprimatur if appropriate.

Third proposal:

JFA insists on the necessity of having a 10-second pro-life case which simultaneously leaves the listener with a "pregnant" question.
If it grows, it is alive.
If it has human parents, it is human.
Human life, like yours and mine, has value, doesn't it?
Just so, Catholics need to have a quick case and a quick rebuttal.
Catholic teachings are historical, rational, scriptural, and stable. How could Christ's Church have anything different?
I would formalize such text rebuttals, perhaps by means of some wiki page. When we have enough, this text would have a number of uses: on the back of holy cards, in active evangelization, etc. Each should be phrased as a question so as to draw the recipient to think about the idea himself. Getting someone to think on their own is a lot more effective, if a lot harder, than lecturing at someone.

Fourth proposal:

Combine the above with a distinct focus: Eucharistic theology. Pamphlets including the whole translation of John 6 from some "neutral" translation, other scripture passages, some patristic writings, and even what a pagan contemporary said about early Christians.

Fifth proposal, and this one is lighthearted. But it would be so cool:

Comic book --- I mean, graphic novel! --- introduction to the Five Ways. I imagine something similar to the manner and style of, say, Scott MacCloud.


It would, I think, go a long way --- longer than Chick tracts do --- to explaining what Thomas does and does not mean by "necessary being," and why "What caused God?" is not a serious objection. Each Way could probably be printed in something the size of a Chick tract.
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  #2  
Old Apr 29, '12, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

I have nothing to add, really. I just wanted to say that I really like your ideas, and I think you may have found a calling!
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  #3  
Old Apr 29, '12, 11:33 am
Equites Christi Equites Christi is offline
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Default Re: Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

I think you have some excellent ideas, but reading them has made me realize something:

We have to evangelize the whole world. Your ideas sound like they would be great for someone who comes from a rather well-informed, Protestant background. But many, many people - especially young people - do not know nearly that much, and they are the ones most in need of salvation.

But what I have found to be the fatal dilemma in ministries that have to "dumb things down" is speaking on a level and about topics that its audience can understand and relate to while still maintaining solid catechesis. Often I see Catholicism be rather white-washed in a (well-meaning) attempt to draw young people. Sure, we can get people to come to Mass, but if they have little to no idea of what we're really about, can we really be said to have succeeded?

We need to stop leaving it at "Jesus loves and accepts you" and "God will always forgive you." We need the fullness of truth.

[/rant]
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Old Apr 29, '12, 12:03 pm
Bartolome Casas Bartolome Casas is offline
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Default Re: Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

9 questions for your 5 proposals:

1. Do human beings naturally care about Social Justice, for justice for anyone other than themselves and their immediate family member loved ones?

2. Did the Romans leaders of the ancient Roman Empire care about the Social Injustices suffered by the peoples of the nations the Romans conquered and ruled?

3. Did the American slave holders care about the Social Injustices suffered by the human beings they enslaved, whipped, and sold away to other states at a whim?

4. Did American citizens in general care about the Social Injustices suffered by Native Americans at the hands Euro-American settlers and the U.S. Army?

5. Did the Spanish Conquistadors care about the Social Injustices suffered by the Native Peoples of the Americas as a result of the conquests, robbery and enslavement carried out by the Conquistadors?

6. Do the Americans who have good health insurance really lose any sleep over the Americans who work full time or more than full time yet do not get or cannot afford health insurance?

7. Did Jesus command his disciples to "Therefore go, and teach and urge the people of the world to live and vote in accordance with the principles of Social Justice and Pro-Life teachings"?

8. What equips or disposes a person to want Justice for neighbors, strangers, and enemies? What renders a person willing to make personal sacrifices for others? What does the New Testament say about that? What do Pope Benedict's XVI's first and third papal encyclicals, Deus Caritas Est (2005) and Caritas in Veritate (2009) say about the relationship between Justice and Charity (Agape Love)?

9. What was Jesus' method for winning and converting hearts to God, repentance and faith? Did he use logic and reason, as per the model of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and others in the Greek tradition? If not, what was His model, His pattern, His means, His example?

P.S. I watched that YouTube video you provided a link for.
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  #5  
Old Apr 29, '12, 1:40 pm
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Elijah Baley Elijah Baley is offline
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Default Re: Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolome Casas View Post
What was Jesus' method for winning and converting hearts to God, repentance and faith? Did he use logic and reason, as per the model of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and others in the Greek tradition? If not, what was His model, His pattern, His means, His example?
Not being a miracle worker, we'll have to rely on compelling parables, love, and forgiveness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolome Casas View Post
P.S. I watched that YouTube video you provided a link for.
Regarding social justice --- I'm confused. Please remember that in linking that video I only meant to speak to the underlying principles of Justice for All, which are, basically, agreeing where you can and correcting where you can't, but by means of provoking thought within the recipient. Rather than lecture, listen and engage and lead, and let the individual draw the conclusions you lead him to.

Which is partially how Jesus spread the Gospel:
And it came to pass, that on one of the days, as he was teaching the people in the temple, and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes, with the ancients, met together, and spoke to him, saying: Tell us, by what authority dost thou these things? or, Who is he that hath given thee this authority?

And Jesus answering, said to them: I will also ask you one thing. Answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

But they thought within themselves, saying: If we shall say, From heaven: he will say: Why then did you not believe him? But if we say, Of men, the whole people will stone us: for they are persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they knew not whence it was.

And Jesus said to them: Neither do I tell thee by what authority I do these things.
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  #6  
Old Apr 29, '12, 2:02 pm
Bartolome Casas Bartolome Casas is offline
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Default Re: Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

I believe our Catholic Faith teaches us that, as a result of Original Sin, most people, even most Catholics and other Christians, care very much about Justice or Injustice for themselves and their immediate loved ones, but do NOT care very much about Justice or Injustice for strangers and enemies.

Due to Original Sin, "hate thy neighbor" (not "love thy neighbor") is the "default setting" in all or most human beings on the planet earth.

Therefore, it seems that stand-alone campaigns for Justice or against Injustice are bound to have little or no effect. Neither Jesus nor Paul promoted or ran stand-alone campaigns for Justice or against Injustice.

Therefore, it seems that the only thing that will produce more JUSTICE is campaigns to produce more LOVE for neighbors, strangers and enemies.

What produces more love for neighbors, strangers and enemies? Whatever produces more love for God. What produces more love for God? Whatever produces repentance and faith in God. What produces repentance and faith in God?

Protestants and Evangelicals use terms like "winning souls for Christ" and "revival." We Catholics don't use those terms, but we have always done the same things. We call it missionary work or evangelization or the New Evangelization, and these are about incorporating or re-incorporating souls into the Church and the regular sacramental life of the Church.

Logic, reason, philosophy, arguing, scientific facts, etc., per the model of Greek Philosophy or a courtroom attorney does not seem to move souls to repentance or faith in God. Yes, I know some people see apologetics and justice education campaigns are being part of the New Evangelization. Who am I to judge? Perhaps these things have some efficacy.

Still, I think this: If we want to end abortion, we should do what it takes to fill up the Catholics pews every Sunday, and then after that, build more and more Catholic churches to handle the overflow from those pews.

Otherwise, just informing people about Injustice makes no difference, because, in general, people don't mind one bit the Injustice that strangers are suffering.

That's what I think Our Faith teaches us, for what is it worth.
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  #7  
Old Apr 29, '12, 2:05 pm
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Elijah Baley Elijah Baley is offline
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Default Re: Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equites Christi View Post
I think you have some excellent ideas, but reading them has made me realize something:

We have to evangelize the whole world. Your ideas sound like they would be great for someone who comes from a rather well-informed, Protestant background. But many, many people - especially young people - do not know nearly that much, and they are the ones most in need of salvation.
Certainly. For the first few proposals especially, I was thinking about setting up a stand in the Free Speech area at the local universities, especially the local Christian university. The later ones are more populist.

That said, America is a post-Protestant nation, so we don't quite need to start from square one. We can expect a plethora of existing misunderstandings to work with. We have many twisted branches to straighten.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equites Christi View Post
But what I have found to be the fatal dilemma in ministries that have to "dumb things down" is speaking on a level and about topics that its audience can understand and relate to while still maintaining solid catechesis. Often I see Catholicism be rather white-washed in a (well-meaning) attempt to draw young people. Sure, we can get people to come to Mass, but if they have little to no idea of what we're really about, can we really be said to have succeeded?

We need to stop leaving it at "Jesus loves and accepts you" and "God will always forgive you." We need the fullness of truth.
Absolutely! I hope in part to solve for that harm with Proposal the Fourth.
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  #8  
Old Apr 29, '12, 11:15 pm
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Elijah Baley Elijah Baley is offline
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Default Re: Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolome Casas View Post
Logic, reason, philosophy, arguing, scientific facts, etc., per the model of Greek Philosophy or a courtroom attorney does not seem to move souls to repentance or faith in God. Yes, I know some people see apologetics and justice education campaigns are being part of the New Evangelization. Who am I to judge? Perhaps these things have some efficacy.
Any honest man must agree that few are convinced with mere argument and yet few honest men are convinced without it. Behavior does not the true Church make. Otherwise everyone here would be Mormon.

It's another example of the both-and, another example of faith and reason. You asked: How did Jesus preach the Gospel, and what lessons can we learn from Him? Surely the answer: As He did, we must preach the Gospel with our whole selves.
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  #9  
Old May 4, '12, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

Great ideas. Go forth with them. Let us know how it turns out.
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  #10  
Old May 6, '12, 6:25 pm
kenl314 kenl314 is offline
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Default Re: Five Proposals for the New Evangelization

Good ideas, and points. Good quotes.
I do think that much of this new evangelization should be geared towards Protestants, in addition to the "fallen-away" Catholics.
There is much heresy and misinformation regarding Catholics within Protestant circles, some more than others.
They have to done a good job of bringing Catholics into their congregations; we need to reach out and reverse this, or at least try to stop it.

Best,

Ken L.
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