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Theological Foundations for the New Evangelization

Evangelization and the New Evangelization are theological concepts as well as pastoral initiatives.
The document Dominus Jesus from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith presents nine theological/philosophical deficiencies prevalent today in our conceptual thinking that undermine our evangelizing efforts. A decade earlier the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops conducted a survey of catechetical texts and identified ten doctrinal deficiencies that needed correction.
Since theology uses concepts to convey our faith that is rooted in the Gospel, the very tenets of our faith are threatened if people struggle with its conceptual framework. Secularism and rationalism have created an ideology that subjugates faith to reason. Religion becomes a personal matter. Doctrine in matters of faith is reduced to idiosyncratic positions without any possibility of ever claiming universal truth.
Concepts such as incarnation, resurrection, redemption, sacrament and grace-core themes of theology used to explain our belief in Jesus Christ – have little meaning for the Catholic and the fallen away Catholic in a culture where rationalism prevails. Vgl. Bisschoppensynodes, fragment, Instrumentum laboris "Nieuwe evangelisatie voor het overdragen van het christelijk geloof" (27 mei 2012), 20
The temptation for the evangelizer, and perhaps for pastors, is to not confront these conceptual obstacles and instead place our focus and energies on more sociological priorities or pastoral initiatives or even develop a vocabulary apart from our own theology.
While it is important that the New Evangelization be alert to the signs of the time and speak with a voice that reaches people today, it must do so without losing its rootedness in the great living faith tradition of the Church already expressed in theological concepts.
As we begin our deliberations and reflections on the New Evangelization, I would suggest that from the Lineamenta, the Instrumentum laboris, and so much of the material provided from Conferences of Bishops from the around the world, a number of theological foundation stones have emerged. I would like to touch on four of them.

Document

Naam: RELATIO ANTE DISCEPTATIONEM
Tijdens de opening van de 13e Bisschoppensynode "Over de nieuwe evangelisatie" - Synodeaula
Soort: Bisschoppensynodes
Auteur: Donald William Kardinaal Wuerl
Datum: 8 oktober 2012
Copyrights: © 2012, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Voorlopig Engelstalige versie; alineaverdeling en -nummering: redactie
Bewerkt: 30 augustus 2013

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