Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Evangelization Equation: The Who, What, and How

In The + Evangelization + Equation= The Who, What, and How, Fr. James A. Wehner, S.T.D. (Sacrae Theologiae Doctor) states that the Church exists to evangelize, and man exists to be evangelized. This book provides a new way of looking at evangelization, the Church, the world, and the individual vocations of priests, religious, and laypeople.  
According to the author, the eight essentials of the new evangelization are: “Love the people you evangelize. Be a witness. Make the parish the curriculum. Embrace the new media. Build Catholic Identity. Respect time. Engage the whole family. And preach the whole Gospel.” (The Evangelization Equation, pg. 103)
Fr. Wehner, who earned licentiate and doctorate degrees from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, discusses the emphasis that Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have made on evangelization and making God’s love known. The author explains that God’s children have been created to long for Truth and respond to it.  The teachings upheld by the Magisterium are not arbitrary or formed by the present culture. These eternal Truths are everlasting and must be communicated clearly without leaving out details that may ruffle some feathers.    
The author, who is the Rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio, the only pontifical seminary outside of Italy, stresses that the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church must not be watered down during the process of catechesis. Making the teachings seem optional or multiple choice so as to make them more palatable is not what we’re called to do. To be effective in the new evangelization, priests, religious, and laypeople are called to learn the Catechism of the Catholic Church, live it out, and thereby inspire others to seek the One Truth and Source of all Love, the Lord.
When I read a brief description of The Evangelization Equation and the author, I assumed this book would be primarily academic in content and style. I was very pleased to find Fr. Wehner as knowledgeable about the pitfalls of modern culture as he is an expert at how best to convey Church teaching to the masses in the 21st Century.
I got my highlighter out and marked a number of passages that really struck me. I mention this because I rarely highlight in regular books, only workbooks and textbooks, so my bright yellow marks on these pages are in this case a significant sign of how impressed I was.
I highly recommend The Evangelization Equation to anyone and everyone who considers him or herself a seeker of God, Truth, and our ultimate purpose in this life.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Evangelization Equation. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.
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