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Mel’s Passion, the New Evangelization and You
Catholic Exchange ^ | 02-20-04 | Tom Allen

Posted on 02/20/2004 9:15:53 AM PST by Salvation

Mel’s Passion, the New Evangelization and You

On Monday night, America watched as Mel Gibson defended his movie, his motives and his faith to Diane Sawyer on PrimeTime Live, unabashedly giving the reason for his hope and ours. In an extraordinarily rare moment, a major Hollywood star gave viewers a Catechism lesson on the Catholic faith and shared the gospel in clear and unequivocal terms with millions watching.

In This Article...
A God-Given Opportunity for Evangelization
Arm Yourself with the Truth
Now is the Time to Act

A God-Given Opportunity for Evangelization

Through his words, we witnessed Gibson’s personal descent into the abyss, his conversion of heart, and his resulting call to share the story of salvation by Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

Gibson’s interview may very well succeed in delivering hundreds of thousands of fence-sitters to theaters over the next few weeks to experience his heart-changing, painful, and beautiful epic film The Passion of The Christ. This interview has very likely opened the movie up to a whole new audience — the very people Catholic evangelists are trying to reach.

The Passion of The Christ and the teaching moment it presents is a God-given opportunity for evangelization, and we Catholics must rise to that challenge. At Catholic Exchange, we take this responsibility seriously and are always looking for ways to reach out to our brothers and sisters, Catholic and non-Catholic.

Most of us don’t have the talent or personal fortune to make a full-length film, much less the ability to give eloquent, theologically sound answers when our family, friends and neighbors ask us tough questions about Jesus Christ and the gospel. But still, we are all called to share the good news of what Christ has done for us. That’s why we have written a new book, A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions About The Passion of The Christ. We want to give you a tool so that you can fortify your own faith and knowledge, and provide answers and guidance to those who are wrestling with important theological questions after they view Gibson’s film.

Arm Yourself with the Truth

You need to prepare yourself to answer questions they’ll ask, such as:

• Are the Gospels historically accurate?
• How do we know that Jesus even existed?
• In the Garden of Gethsemane, did Jesus know He was going to die?
• Why didn’t Jesus use His power to save Himself?
• Why did God require such a bloody sacrifice?

The conversations about the movie are going to increase dramatically the day it opens (on Ash Wednesday, February 25). Think about how beneficial and opportune it would be if you had an excellent resource to pass on to others. Give A Guide to the Passion to family members, co-workers, and parishioners — in fact, get a book for all of your parishioners. Consider your donation of books as part of your tithe to the Church. Two of the seven spiritual works of mercy involve sharing the teachings of Christ with those who do not know the Faith or have doubts.

Unlike a Christian “tract” that someone may hand out at work or outside a theater, this 96-page book is intellectually satisfying. It honors the intellect by offering deep, compelling answers to some of life’s most challenging questions.

A Guide to the Passion answers the questions people will have about the film — and about the events that inspired it. It features a scene-by-scene commentary on some of the movie’s key elements. It is rich in catechesis yet also a quick and enjoyable read — its provocative questions and brief, thorough answers keep readers turning the pages.

The book is laid out in four parts: 100 questions and answers about the content and scenes of the movie; the case for Christ; the case for the Church; and an invitation for the reader to take some practical steps toward a deeper life with God.

Everyone who has read the new book has raved about it; they attest to its value in evangelizing those viewers whose first exposure to the Catholic faith may be their encounter with this powerful film. A Guide to the Passion makes for great personal spiritual reading as well. It not only unpacks the artistic and theological aspects of the movie, but it helps you relive your experience of watching The Passion of The Christ.

Now is the Time to Act

I know that you’re committed to your faith. But are you pro-active in sharing it? Do you evangelize? Do you take the initiative to engage people? Do you use your knowledge to pass on the Faith? This is your duty as a Catholic. It’s part of the commitment you made when you were confirmed. So, be a soldier for Christ and take a step toward heroically witnessing for Him at this crucial moment in history.

Now is the time to act. This film is a gift from God. Others have done the hard work of making it. It is up to us to promote the truth of the Catholic faith to those who will be touched by it.

We hope to distribute millions of copies of this book, but we can accomplish this goal only with your help — we need you to get the word out. We want you and everyone you know to have one of the most practical evangelization tools ever, and we’ve made that easier with prices that cover only our basic costs: the lowest bulk quantity is only 90 cents per copy!

We just got word that many of the books will now ship Monday, February 23. This means that you can have them in time for the release of the movie if you need them (express shipping is available for an extra charge). Simply review our
generous bulk discounts and order by calling 800-376-0520 or visiting (gotta love that web address!). Please place your order now so that we can rush these books out to you.

Thanks for helping maximize this historic Catholic cultural moment!


Tom Allen
Editor & President
Catholic Exchange

TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Current Events; Eastern Religions; Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; History; Humor; Islam; Judaism; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Orthodox Christian; Other Christian; Other non-Christian; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Religion & Science; Skeptics/Seekers; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholicism; catholiclist; christ; evangelization; passion
Catholic Evangelization is Alive and Well!
1 posted on 02/20/2004 9:15:53 AM PST by Salvation
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To: All
Catholics plan 'Passion' evangelism
2 posted on 02/20/2004 9:17:39 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via Freepmail if you would like to be added to or removed from the Catholic Discussion Ping list.

3 posted on 02/20/2004 9:19:27 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions About The Passion of The Christ.
4 posted on 02/20/2004 9:20:36 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Some questions to ask someone you might take to see the passion (or -- questions you might be asked:

The 100 thought-provoking questions and answers help you penetrate the heart of the Gospel. The questions include:

  • Why did Jesus ask the Father to "let this cup pass from Me" in the Garden of Gethsemane?
  • In the Garden, why did Jesus crush the head of the snake?
  • Is the devil a real being or just an artistic representation of evil?
  • Why did Judas betray Jesus?
  • What did Jesus mean when He called Himself "the Bread of Life"?
  • Is the scourging scene of Jesus at the pillar an accurate portrayal?
  • Why do Mary and the devil exchange looks during Jesus’ road to Calvary?
  • What did Jesus mean when he said, from the cross, "My God, my God. What have you forsaken me?"
  • What is the significance of Jesus’ last words to His mother and the apostle John?
  • The movie ends with the resurrection. Do Christians actually believe Jesus rose from the dead?

5 posted on 02/20/2004 9:22:11 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
"Catholic Evangelization is Alive and Well!

Amen! Thanks for the ping Salvation!

6 posted on 02/20/2004 9:56:42 AM PST by sneakers
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To: Salvation; claritas; pseudo-ignatius; NYer; Aquinasfan
Are the Gospels historically accurate?

This question will dominate alot of discussions. I think the article I link to below, written by an a Christian academic, helps to summarize quite well the state of scholarly consensus, the case for why the texts ought to be considered trustworthy, and why the burden is on the skeptic to show their unreliability. This article is jargon free and can be given to anyone of bachelor's-degree intelligence. Later I will post several more articles on the topic.

The Evidence for Jesus

7 posted on 02/20/2004 10:31:25 AM PST by pseudo-justin
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To: Salvation; NYer; Aquinasfan; claritas; pseudo-ignatius; cebadams
Here is a chapter excerpt from one of my favorite books entitled "The Third Day" (available at EWTN's library). The book is by Catholic historian/apologist Arnold Lunn. Lunn was part of the English Catholic revival of the early twentieth century. He came into the Church from Anglicanism under the influence of Ronald Knox. The excerpt is lengthy, but a very good read. It details the studies of archaeologist Sir William Ramsay -- the man Craig refers to it in the article I just posted called "The Evidence for Jesus". My favorite part of this chapter is where Ramsay attributes all of his great discoveries in ancient history to the fact the he became accustomed to using Acts of the Apostles as a research guide.

Chapter V The Vindication Of St. Luke

In 1879 a studentship of $300 a year for three years was instituted in the University of Oxford for Travel and Research in Greece and Asia Minor. There were two candidates, a brilliant young man who had graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, and had dazzled Oxford with his brilliance. He had taken first-class Honors with less work than any undergraduate within the memory of man. The other candidate was a Scot who had graduated at Aberdeen and then taken a scholarship at Oxford. His name was Ramsay, later Sir William Ramsay, to whose vindication of St. Luke reference has already been made in the introduction. The Electors could not come to a decision between the Irishman and the Scot. "Sir Charles Newton," writes Ramsay, "remarked that it would be necessary to hold an examination to decide. 'In that case,' I replied, 'I am not a candidate.' He asked the reason. I said I had long resolved that I would not compete against men junior to myself, and also that I did not like the examination system 'But,' he replied, 'what is to be done when two candidates are nearly equal? How are we to decide?' 'If you have any doubt, prefer the junior man'." In spite of, or perhaps because of this cavalier attitude to those in whose hands his fate lay, William Ramsay was elected to the studentship. Never was an award more triumphantly vindicated. Ramsay went to Asia Minor, and in the course of the next thirty-four years made his reputation as one of the world's greatest authorities on the regions which he explored. The defeated candidate, after I brilliant social and literary career in London went to Reading gaol and died in exile. His name was Oscar Wilde.

Ramsay in his famous book "The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament" tells us that he began to prepare for his life work by reading every available book describing journeys in Asia Minor, among others, the Acts of the Apostles. "I began to do so without expecting any information of value regarding the condition of Asia Minor at the time when Paul was living. I had read a good deal of modern criticism about the book, and dutifully accepted the current opinion that it was written during the second half of the second century by an author who wished to influence the minds of people in his own time by a highly wrought and imaginative description of the early Church. His object was not to present a trustworthy picture of facts in the period about A.D. 50, but to produce a certain effect on his own time by setting forth a carefully colored account of events and persons of that older period. He wrote for his contemporaries, not for truth." The first change of judgment was provoked by a point of geography. Critics were unanimous in stating that St. Luke had blundered badly by writing as if Iconium was not in Lycaonia. Ramsay's discoveries in Asia Minor confirmed in every detail the accuracy of the Lukan geography. Moreover he proved that where St. Luke differed from his modern critics in intricate details of local government in the Roman Empire, St. Luke was invariably right and his critics invariably wrong.

At Thessalonica, for instance, the magistrates are called politarchs. Now there is no ancient author who uses this name in connection with Thessalonica, and consequently St. Luke's use of the word was cited by hostile critics as an example of his inaccuracy. His critics were unaware that an old arch at the modern Salonika bore an inscription that it had been raised by seven politarchs. Once again modern discovery had vindicated the ancient author against modern critics. Again, St. Luke's description of the ruler at Cyprus as proconsul was once denounced as a mistake and is now admitted to be accurate. Herod Agrippa I, shortly before his death is described as king; we now know that he held this title for the last three years of his government, though there had been no king in Judaea for the previous thirty years, nor for many centuries afterwards. Equally correct is the title of governor or procurator applied to both Felix and Festus.

"That the Acts contained and described a series of improbable incidents was a view that has not been tenable or possible since 1890 except through total disregard of recent advance in knowledge. It had by that time become evident that every incident described in the Acts is just what might be expected in ancient surroundings. The officials with whom Paul and his companions were brought in contact are those who would be there. Every person is found just where he ought to be: proconsuls in senatorial provinces, asiarchs in Ephesus, strategoi in Philippi, politarchs in Thessalonica, magicians and soothsayers everywhere. The difficulties which the Apostles encountered were such as they must inevitably meet in ancient society. The magistrates take action against them in a strictly managed Roman colony like Pisidian Antioch or Philippi, where legality and order reigned; riotous crowds try to take the law into their own hands in the less strictly governed Hellenistic or Hellenic cities like Iconium and Ephesus and Thessalonica. Lystra is an exceptional case; but in Lystra the Roman element was weak from the beginning and quickly melted into the older population. Yet how differently does the catastrophe proceed in Antioch and in Philippi, or in Iconium and Thessalonica and Ephesus. The variety is endless, as real life is infinitely varied. A work composed in late time for hortatory purposes would have no such variety, and no such local truth."

"Legal proceedings are taken against Paul and his friends in many places, and accusations have to be made in each case according to the forms of the Roman law. The accusation varies in each case; it is nowhere the same as in any other city; yet it is everywhere in accordance with Roman forms."

"There is one delicacy of terminology—so delicate that it has never been sufficiently noted—which characterizes the language of Acts. We are too apt to think and speak of the population in all those Anatolian cities as Hellenes, when we desire to speak accurately; but that is really inaccurate. There was a certain generic character in the population of those cities, if we set aside the Italians, i.e., Roman citizens; but in a Roman colony this native population was the plebs,while in a Hellenistic city like Iconium it was called the Hellenes. Luke is right in this: he uses the term 'multitude' at Antioch and Lystra, but Hellenes at Iconium."

"Further study of Acts, xiii-xxi, showed that the book could bear the most minute scrutiny as an authority for the facts of the Aegean world, and that it was written with such judgment, skill, art, and perception of truth as to be a model of historical statement. It is marvelously concise and yet marvelously lucid...."

"The more I have studied the narrative of the Acts, and the more I have learned year after year about Greco-Roman society and thoughts and fashions, and organization in those provinces, the more I admire and the better I understand. I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it here. You may press the words of Luke in a degree far beyond any other historian's, and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment."

Ramsay, as we have seen, began his work strongly prejudiced against the Acts. As he remarks in his book "St. Paul, The Traveler and the Roman Citizen:" "The ingenuity and apparent completeness of the Tubingen theory had at one time completely convinced me" but long before he had completed his researches he came to the conclusion that the Acts is one of the most reliable of authorities for the state of the Roman Empire in the first century and that he was fully justified in "placing the author of Acts among the historians of the first rank."

Long before Ramsay began his researches, critics of all schools had recognized that the so-called "we" sections, that is the section in which St. Luke writes in the first person plural, were almost certainly the works of eye-witnesses. Thus Dr. S. Davidson, the author of a well-known "Introduction to the New Testament," in which the anti-miraculist position is adopted, writes of these "we" sections that they are "characterized by a circumstantiality of detail, a vividness of description, an exact knowledge of localities, an acquaintance with the phrases and habits of seamen, which betray one who was personally present."

A scientific critic would begin by comparing the "we" sections with the rest of the Acts. If he could find no stylistic differences between the "we" sections and the rest he would accept, if only as a working hypothesis, the fact that the Acts was the work of a single author. The anti-miraculist is more concerned to prove his basic dogma than to discover the truth. He starts from the assumption that as much as possible of the New Testament has to be proved to be spurious and that as little as possible must be conceded to be the work of eye-witnesses. If forced to concede the genuineness of eye-witness authorship of any part of the New Testament he abandons just so much of his theory as he can no longer defend and clings with even greater tenacity to the rest.

The anti-miraculist seems to assume that he is dispensed from the obligations binding on all other historians, the obligation to support his arguments with proof. If he is asked to choose between two hypotheses of which the first is in accord with Christian tradition and also supported by evidence, and the second is in accord with the anti-miraculist hypothesis and unsupported by any evidence, he instinctively chooses the latter. Thus the critics of the Tubingen school assumed that a second-century compiler happened to secure the memoranda really made by a traveling companion of St. Paul's, that this compiler, whose name we did not know and for whose existence no evidence is produced, worked these memoranda into a narrative, mainly fictitious, and intended to popularize the writer's tendentious views about the early Church. No attempt is made, as Salmon points out, to explain how "an unknown person in the second century got exclusive possession of some of the most precious relics of the Apostolic age—relics the authenticity of which is proved by internal evidence, and yet of which no one but this compiler seems ever to have heard—while the compiler himself vanished out of knowledge. The rationalist critics would scarcely make their story more miraculous if they presented their legend in the form, that the 'we' sections were brought to Rome by an angel from heaven, who immediately after disappeared. But new difficulties arise when they try to tear the 'we' sections away from the rest of the Acts; for this book is not one of those low organizations which do not resent being pulled asunder. It is on the contrary a highly organized structure, showing evident marks that the whole proceeded from a single author. Thus references, direct or implied, are repeatedly made from one part of the book to another."

In his book "The Medical Language of St. Luke," Dr. Hobart has proved the perfect unity of authorship throughout the whole of the Third Gospel and the Acts. Such slight differences between one part of the Lukan writings and another are, as Ramsay remarks, "a mere trifle in comparison with the complete identity in language, vocabulary, intentions, interests and method of narration" ("Luke the Physician," p. 7).

The anti-miraculist Davidson concedes that these linguistic resemblances are very striking and, with the tenacity of the anti-miraculist, falls back on a new hypothesis. "It is clear that the writer of the book was not a mere compiler but an author", an author who worked up his material into a homogeneous whole. But this theory raises new difficulties, for if we are expected to accept the hypothesis of a second-century compiler who worked his heterogeneous materials into an artistic unity with consummate skill we may ask why the join-ups between the "we" sections and the rest of the "Acts" are so inartistic. These sudden transitions which are natural enough on the assumption that St. Luke wrote the whole book are curiously clumsy on the assumption that the book is the work of more than one author. But it is difficult to credit this hypothetical second-century compiler with the contempt for artistry which these clumsy join-ups seem to exhibit (on the assumption and only on the assumption that the different sections so clumsily woven together are by different authors) for it is not easy to convict him of literary ineptitude. "Take the letter of Claudius Lysias in the Acts. If we are not to believe that this was the real letter the chief captain sent, what dramatic skill it required to have invented it, making the chief captain, by a gentle distortion of the facts, give them the coloring which sets his own conduct in the most favorable light. There is the same dramatic propriety in the exordium of Tertullus, the hearing before Agrippa, the proceedings before Gallio; or, to go back still earlier, in the story of Peter knocking at the door, and Rhoda so delighted that she runs off with the news without waiting to open to him. A critic must be destitute of the most elementary qualifications for his art who does not perceive that the writer of the Acts is no uneducated clumsy patcher together of documents, but a literary artist who thoroughly understands how to tell a story.

The determination of anti-miraculists to assign as late a date as possible to the Acts is mainly inspired by the anxiety to discredit the Third Gospel, for the great majority of anti-miraculists concede that the author of St. Luke and the author (or compiler) of the Acts are one and the same person. "One need not", wrote Renan, "waste time proving a proposition which has never been seriously contested."

If then we can show that the Acts was written by a close traveling companion of St. Paul's, it follows that the Third Gospel must also be the work of somebody in close contact with eye-witnesses of the events described, and if this be admitted it is very difficult, or even as Strauss maintained, "impossible to eliminate the miraculous from the life of Jesus".

It was, therefore, vital to the position of the anti-miraculists to refute Ramsay's vindication of Luke as a historian.

A distinguished reviewer of Ramsay's "St. Paul the Traveler," ended his review with the words, "If Luke is a great historian, what would the author of this book make of Luke 3?" Nothing more was needed, for this brief question was deemed sufficient.

Monsignor Knox's translation of these verses is as follows: "It happened that a decree went out at this time from the Emperor Augustus, enjoining that the whole world should be registered.[1] This register was the one first made during the time when Cyrinus[2] was governor of Syria. All must go and give in their names each in their own city."

St. Luke in this chapter makes five statements, all of which were rejected by the anti-miraculist critics as demonstrably false, all of which have been since proved to be true. These statements are:

1. That Cyrinus was Governor when Joseph was alleged to have gone to Bethlehem, for the date of this journey must have been, according to St. Luke, before Herod died and Cyrinus, according to the critics, was never Governor of Syria during Herod's lifetime.

2. That Augustus issued a decree ordering a census.

3. That there was a regular system of census under the Empire.

4. That the head of the household had to return to his original home to be registered.

5. That the head of the household had to be accompanied by his wife.

On all these points Luke has been proved to be right and his critics wrong. His vindication is partly the result of recent discoveries in Egypt of census papers which had been preserved in the dry soil, and partly the result of Ramsay's explorations in Asia Minor. "In every case", writes Ramsay, "that has been sufficiently tested, Luke has been proved to state, not merely correctly in a superficial and external fashion, but correctly with insight and fine historic sense, the facts of history and of Roman organization in municipal and provincial and imperial government. Such progress as the present writer has been enabled to make in discovery is largely due to the early appreciation of the fact that Luke is a safe guide... . Nowhere in the whole range of historical study has there ever been such a complete revolution of opinion."

And what, you may ask, was the effect on the antimiraculist? Wilcken who collaborated with Mitteis in a study of the papyri found in Egypt ("Papyruskunde") is a stubborn anti-miraculist and therefore constrained to reconcile the now-admitted accuracy of Luke on these contested points, with his determination to believe that the story of the Nativity was unadulterated legend. He argues that Luke, who was thoroughly familiar with the census regulations, gave verisimilitude to his legend by providing it with a historic framework. He correctly infers from a passage in the London papyri that the entire population had to present themselves personally for inspection. "Accordingly", he writes, "Joseph and Mary in the legend of Luke must both go to Bethlehem." It is, however, as Ramsay dryly remarks, "contrary to every canon of historical criticism that the story should be set aside as a legend because all the details in it are true.... Luke's narrative used to be called a legend, because it was historically false. Now it is called by Wilcken a legend because every detail has been demonstrated to be exactly correct. There is no way of satisfying those people who have made up their minds. Whatever proof they advance for their opinion is shattered; but they pluck victory out of the jaws of defeat, and in the disproof of their former argument they find a new one. One thing alone they reckon certain and necessary: Luke was an incapable and untrustworthy historian, and this must be demonstrated at all hazards and in any way that serves."


1. "Registered." The Douai has "enrolled." Both Knox and the "Douai" are more accurate than the "taxed" of the A.V.

2. Cyrenius (A.V.).

8 posted on 02/20/2004 10:57:10 AM PST by pseudo-justin
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To: sneakers
Catholic evangelization will not be alive in New York City if our Cardinal in hiding,Cardinal Egan has anything to do with it.In the N.Y.Daily News the press secretary for Cardinal Egan says it is unclear whether Egan will see The Passion.What a leader?
9 posted on 02/20/2004 10:58:46 AM PST by ardara
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To: Salvation
It was a great interview. Don't forget the hour long special "The Making of the Passion" on Pax this Sunday and Tuesday.
10 posted on 02/20/2004 12:22:34 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah ("We already have a beacon of moral clarity; the Living Magisterium."--Catholicguy 2/19/04)
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To: Salvation
"""""Catholic Evangelization is Alive and Well!""""

The Church better start within. The majority of Catholics know little or nothing of the dogma. You might have a handfull in each Church capable of evangelizing.

11 posted on 02/20/2004 5:40:54 PM PST by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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To: franky
**The Church better start within. The majority of Catholics know little or nothing of the dogma. You might have a handfull in each Church capable of evangelizing.**

You are entirely right.

We have been working with a program for evangelization called Disciples in Mission. (Paulist Press) excellent, btw.

The three steps of evangelization are
1. Learn about your faith yourself so you feel comfortable talking about it. (Reading, apologetics, study of the Mass, Bible Study, adult formation, etc.)
2. Next a person reaches out to their families and close friends, sharing their faith story and inviting them to attend, for example, Holy Thursday services with them.
3. The third step involves spreading the Word of the Lord out to those who work with you, those you meet while out and about -- step by step changing the world. Always contacting and inviting.

I have gone through these steps, and I would say that most of the people here on FR have also. If not, I would encourage you to speak with your pastor for a three year program of evangelization at your church using Disciples in Mission.

12 posted on 02/20/2004 7:22:18 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

While reading your Gospel posting for today (Feb 20) this passage struck me as being so appropriate both for the "Passion" but also the state of the world today.

Satan must be working overtime, trying to steal souls away from God!

13 posted on 02/21/2004 12:16:17 AM PST by AnimalLover
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To: pseudo-justin
Excellent piece. But, he left off the final sentence of that C.S. Lewis quote, one that I think is critically important:

" . . . But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

The intentionality of everything that Jesus did, in accordance with and obediance to God's will, shines through the Gospels and for me, is one of the most important aspects of them. Jesus' life was not a series of accidents, not a tragedy. It was intended to happen exactly as it did, to reconcile sinners to God. If you put the entire story in the context of how we know the human heart works-- both from our own experience of ourselves, and from observing others down through history-- that alone proves the existence of God. No man could have devised such a thing-- no one before or since has ever done so. God is real, and he loves us.

14 posted on 02/21/2004 7:51:09 AM PST by walden
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To: walden; pseudo-ignatius; claritas
Thanks. William Lane Craig has entire virtual office online complete with transcripts of formal debates. Just google in his name.

Also, he has several of these debates in book form. The best published debate is "Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?" in which he debates John Dominic Crossan, and, in my view, crushes him. The book will be persuasive to anyone who is not yet a committed liberal.

What do you think of post #8.

15 posted on 02/21/2004 9:30:11 AM PST by pseudo-justin
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To: pseudo-justin
16 posted on 02/21/2004 9:38:29 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: AnimalLover
**Gospel posting for today (Feb 20) this passage struck me as being so appropriate both for the "Passion" but also the state of the world today.**

17 posted on 02/21/2004 9:39:41 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation; cebadams; pseudo-ignatius; NYer; Aquinasfan; american colleen; sandyeggo; Siobhan; ...
Mark Shea's blog --Catholic and Enjoying It-- notes that Ascension Press has already sold 130,000 copies of the book prepared by Catholic Exchange for folks seeing the Passion:

Catholic Passion Outreach

Rod Dreher notes, in the comments boxes on the blog, that 75,000 copies sold suffices for a book to earn the title of "bestseller". Shea notes that this book is now considered the fastest selling book in the history of Catholic publishing.

18 posted on 02/21/2004 7:38:50 PM PST by pseudo-justin
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To: walden
New Catholic "Passion" Outreach website..

New Catholic Evangelization Website on the Passion

Mel’s Passion, the New Evangelization and You

Catholics plan 'Passion' evangelism

The Prospects for Evangelization

A National Catholic Register Symposium: Should Catholic Evangelization Target Jews?

Evangelism or Bust: Jew, Pagan, or Protestant - All Must Convert (uh oh...flame suit on)

(Catholic) Cardinal (Keeler) Issues Clarification On Evangelization of Jews

19 posted on 02/24/2004 5:10:25 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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