Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online

12/3/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We need good catechetical materials that are up to date in both style and method of communication

We have a problem in the developed world that we have never experienced before. You might call it a "post-Christian mentality". Many of the atheists, agnostics and nonbelievers are former Christians. They say the second largest religious affiliation in America is "lapsed Catholics!"

Highlights

By Catholic Online

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/3/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Standing on My Head, Fr Dwight Longenecker, Catholicism Pure and Simple, catechetics, new evangelization, conversion, testimony,


GREENVILLE, SC (Catholic Online) - In addition to running a parish, Fr Dwight Longenecker is an author, blogger and broadcaster. Catholic Online caught up with him for a quick interview about his latest book and his thoughts on the New Evangelization. CO: Fr Dwight, you were brought up as an Evangelical Christian. What eventually brought you into the Catholic faith? DL: I first moved to the Anglican Church and served as a priest in the Church of England for ten years. It was the question of authority which brought me into the Catholic Church. When faced with the difficult questions of the modern age, the Catholic Church spoke with an authority that was both ancient and modern--an authority that was rooted in the ages, but relevant for today. CO: Evangelicals are known for being zealous to spread the gospel. How well do you think the Catholic Church does in evangelizing? DL: It's easy for Catholics to be somewhat intimidated by the Evangelical Protestants when it comes to Evangelization. But I think we underestimate the powerful witness of Catholics in the world today. We hear so much about bad priests and hypocritical Catholics, but there are wonderful, radiant examples of saints active in the world today, and it is these shining Catholic examples who are the best evangelists. CO: What do you think are the greatest difficulties in sharing the gospel today? DL: We have a problem in the developed world that we have never experienced before. You might call it a "post-Christian mentality". Many of the atheists, agnostics and nonbelievers are former Christians. They say the second largest religious affiliation in America is "lapsed Catholics!" This means that we are trying to reach people who already know something about the Christian faith but, for a whole range of complicated reasons, have rejected it. They are harder to reach because they believe they know it all already. CO: So how do we reach them? DL: Good question! Most often those who have rejected the Catholic faith or God are rejecting a false understanding of God or the Catholic faith. They have been taught badly, or they have only ever known a bad example from those who professed the faith, or they have been taught a form of the Christian faith which is faulty, stupid or incomplete. In a way, if they have rejected a false version of the Christian faith we can't blame them. In fact, they are right to reject it. CO: But how do they find an authentic expression of the faith? DL: I think there are several good ways of getting through. First of all, we need good catechetical materials that are up to date in both style and method of communication. Fr Barron's Word on Fire video work is fantastic, and there are an increasing number of Catholics working hard in the new media to get the message across. I'm thinking of Tom Peterson's video work with Catholics Come Home, Grassroots Films and a whole range of blogs, websites, e-newsletters, podcasts and more. CO: You've been pretty busy in this area haven't you? DL: I guess so. My blog, Standing on My Head was recently voted one of the top religious blogs in the country, and I'm busy on Twitter and Facebook trying to spread the gospel. I've also started a new weekly e-newsletter on practical Catholicism called FaithWorks. CO: Do you think all these media messages really get through? Are people converted by them? DL: You have to remember that people are on a continuum of beliefs from committed Catholics right through to ardent atheists. Conversion is rarely the sudden dramatic moment when a great sinner turns to God. Instead it is more often a gradual drawing closer to the truth. Every time we declare the truth a little bit more light is shed in our darkened world, and someone somewhere is helped. CO: Have you had people say that they were converted by your writings? DL: Of course! Yes! People have written from all over the world thanking me for my writings and a good number of them have said that my work has helped to bring them back to the church or to convert to Catholicism or to consider God again. CO: What is your latest project? DL: Some years ago, when I lived in England, the Catholic Truth Society asked me to write a series of booklets for primary evangelization. These brief was to write in simple, straightforward language for people who were considering Christianity for the first time. This project was called Christianity Pure and Simple. CO: Did it work? DL: I think so. The books sold out, so I suppose that's good going! Now I've put the books together into a single volume and re-written parts of the text for an American readership. The result is Catholicism Pure and Simple. CO: Who is this book for? DL: I would love this book to become a basic textbook for confirmation and RCIA classes. The book begins with arguments for God and goes on to explain his plan of redemption for the world. It explains the basic Catholic doctrines then goes on to discuss the church, sacraments and the life of prayer and service. CO: You said confirmation classes. Is this really simple enough for eighth graders? If so, isn't it too simple for adults? DL: I've had both groups try the book and say that it works just fine. This is assuming that the confirmation candidates are using the book as part of classroom discussions. But the book is not just an RCIA textbook. It also serves as a good refresher course in the Catholic faith for all those lapsed Catholics I spoke about who need to return to the faith. CO: Do you think people are converted just through books and videos and blogs and all these words you produce? DL: The words are only part of the picture, and probably only a minor part. People are really convinced about the Catholic faith when they see it in action. In other words, if you want people to be converted look like you're converted yourself! Live the faith with joy and trust and open hearted service to others. That's what draws people to Christ--by them seeing Christ alive in us. CO: You're clearly very busy! What do you do for relaxation? DL: I have a motorcycle, and I live in near the mountains of North Carolina, so on a beautiful day in the Fall you'll find me tooling along the mountain roads soaking up the beauty of God's creation. I also just like to find time to spend with my family and friends.-----Visit Fr Longenecker's website at www.dwightlongenecker.com. There you can learn more about Catholicism Pure and Simple, link to his blog and sign up for his newsletter.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More U.S.

What is 'vape?' The Oxford Dictionary proclaims it the new word for 2014 Watch

Image of Even while media outlets, health organizations and scientific studies continue to debate the benefits and pitfalls of e-cigarettes,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What does the word "vape" mean? Before anyone jumps to negative conclusions and think that it means something untoward - rest assured: vape is both a noun and verb, according to the Oxford Dictionary. They've gone as far as to proclaim vape as their new word of ... continue reading


Meet the doll that's flipping the world upside down! Watch

Image of Lammily, is a new doll that is proportioned just like the average American 19-year old woman.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A simple art project by a graphic designer has become the most coveted toy for the 2014 Christmas season following its November 19 release. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nickolay Lamm made a doll he named Lammily, who is what Barbie would look like if she was ... continue reading


The Bloody Battle of Tarawa in 20 extraordinary photos Watch

Image of U.S. Marines advance while under fire from Japanese defensive positions.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Battle of Tarawa was one of the bloodiest and costliest battles to the U.S. in WWII in terms of men lost per time spent in combat. During the 76 hour battle from November 20-23, 1943, on that small Pacific Island, about 1,700 U.S. personnel were killed, and ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger to America? It's not nukes and it isn't terrorism Watch

Image of China is well known to have an extensive cyberwarfare program, and often utilizes civilian hackers as well as its own military personnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the National Security Agency revealed to a Congressional panel that China and "probably one or two other" countries have the ability to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructures through cyberwarfare. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Massive collection of Catholic artifacts leave Italy for the first time in 700 years: Their destination? The Big Apple! Watch

Image of For the first time in 700 years, artifacts of St. Francis of Assisi will be removed from Italy. They will be put on display in New York during November, December and January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An exhibit of medieval manuscripts and papal documents that have close ties with St. Francis of Assisi will be held at the United Nations in New York from November 17 to the 28. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The exhibition is titled "Friar Francis: Traces, ... continue reading


Obama gives amnesty while bracing for next 'surge' of illegals in 2015 Watch

Image of Children in holding facilities during 2014, a year where the surge of illegal children occurred.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Obama has revealed his plans to shield about five million illegal immigrants from deportation, he has federal agencies getting ready for another mass surge of illegal immigrants during the spring of 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Obama declares all out war on Republicans over immigration reform Watch

Image of President Obama is expected to give a speech on November 20, outlining his plans to execute immigration reform via executive action.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even after warnings from sitting and incoming House and Senate Republicans that unilateral action on immigration reform from President Barack Obama would not be tolerated, the president has gone ahead and outlined a plan to relax the rules and regulations of U.S. ... continue reading


The Marriage Meme of Francis: What Did the Pope Just Say about Marriage and Family? Watch

Image of Pope Francis presiding at a marriage Liturgy at St Peters.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme - using the word properly.  That is why you will not read much about the crystal ... continue reading


Another black eye for Democrats: Obamacare architect makes off with $6 million in taxpayer money Watch

Image of New videos released in November show that the architect behind the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, holds nothing but contempt for the American people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the fiasco that has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jonathan Gruber, was paid about $6 million in taxpayer money between 2009 and 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is about 24 times what an average, full-time American worker would ... continue reading


See the list of MOST FREE countries in the world, the results will surprise you! Watch

Image of Land of the Free no more, Americans report a significant decline in personal freedom under the Obama administration.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

America is supposed to be the land of the free, so Americans themselves might be surprised to see that the United States actually ranks fairly low on the index of personal freedom when compared to other nations. Instead of occupying the number 1 spot, the USA has ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 11:4-12
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 20:27-40
27 Some Sadducees -- those who argue that there is no ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Cecilia
November 22: In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter