**How to Solve a Mystery** Enhancing our Evangelization Techniques

How to Solve a Mystery Enhancing our Evangelization Techniques

One of the most important things (besides spiritual grace and holiness )

to solving a mystery is to be asking the right questions.

If you are asking the wrong questions, even if you have all the answers, those questions are not going to take you where you want to go. In that case, You will not arrive at the solution.

So, what are the right questions ?

Determining the best questions does require some work, and usually some trial and error. What I would call “bad lines of reasoning” could more correctly be described as lines of reasoning and questions that do not lead us to a solution. But for brevity I will just use the former description.

It is actually easier to recognize the signs of bad or unproductive lines of thought because they stand out more. And by recognizing them we can be more productive in finding the better lines of thought.

The following statement is the specific topic for this thread :

What are the characteristics of good and bad lines of reasoning ?

I will use two examples to illustrate one good and one bad ( or more correctly questionable) method of solving a mystery.

If you wish to debate the final answer to the two mysteries below, please open a separate thread as that is a tangent subject. I only use these examples below to present a framework to present the characteristics I wish to consider.

First example,
What was the early (from the time of the Apostles)

Church’s position on priestly celibacy and how do certain Scripture passages relate to this, such as

I Tim. 3:2
"Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife , temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher …”

The second example I will use is the mystery or question of which Gospel was written first ?

Sorry it is getting late.

More later.


Where does it say the Bishop must be married? I don’t see that in the text. I also want to point out that clerical celibacy is not a dogma, but a discipline. Around half of all Eastern Catholic priests are married, but the bishops NEVER are. The same is true for the Orthodox, many of the priests are married, the bishops are not. I don’t see being married as a requirement for being a bishop in the text.

In extension,

As I understand, the Orthodox priests who are married, have to abstain from sex with their wife before celebrating Divine Liturgy. That must be why they don’t have daily liturgy like we have daily mass. :thinking:

As Catholics Explaining celibacy for religious life

Paul explains celibacy well.

Further explained:
. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_01011993_theol_en.html

For religious life then, the Church chose celibacy for the clergy. THAT is a discipline, not a dogma or doctrine. It could change as an over all discipline some day, though I don’t think it will. The Church has made a few exceptions for convert priests who were already married. However, should their wife die, they can’t remarry. This is the discipline chosen by the Church.

Thank you for the post above. They’re very good.

So I think we’re in agreement that the scripture verse I quoted above its vague.

Most people will take 1 of 2 approaches on this issue. Many will began with a series of early church statements that are somewhat vague and then speculate what they mean. A second approach is to go several hundred years forward into the Church’s life And begin there with definitive and clear statements.

Father Conchini makes a very good point that when trying to solve the mystery That it is much better to Begin what’s a piece of information that is reasonably certain to be true rather than to begin with some information that is Somewhat speculative.

I want to play more when I get time why I think the 2nd approach is so much better

When it comes to evangelization it’s often a mystery of how to best approach a person because each person and their needs and wants are unique.

The following analogy helps me to understand The process Of helping others.

Because of the insecurities and sufferings that affects of all human life I am magin each person standing on a foundation which represents what he worships And how he views the world.

The faithful Catholic can embrace suffering and unite it for a good cause and purpose to Jesus Christ on the cross.

Protestants and all others have to find a wa to protect themselves From suffering so they build a wall around themselves.

For example both Luther and Mohammad rejected reason and so they put a wall between themselves and reason. This restricts them and prevents them from seeing and being free.

No one can tear down another person’s wall all we can do is help that person to tear down his own wall.

As evangelists our goal is to help each individual place himself more solidly on the One and only True foundation of Jesus Christ and all that he has revealed.

As we help others see that their own foundation is shaky and as we help them tear down their wall this can be a scary moment for them because they Have mistakenly placed a false sense of security in them.

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Is this yet another thread on the “discipline” - which seminarians fully accept - of priestly celibacy?

  1. Christ (Who is reason)
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 (Saint Paul is reasonable)

No, it is not:

This distinction is not Catholic/Protestant. There are Catholics who “try to find a way to protect themselves” and Protestants who embrace suffering.

This also makes a point about your language. “solving a mystery” is more like trying to protect yourself than it is like embracing. “Living the mystery” is a better way to work toward “embracing the suffering.”

Oh. Time to bail.

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