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Preface to A Comprehensive Apologetic

Preface

1. Purpose: The purpose of this resource is to draw people into a journey towards hopefully embracing a greater degree of objective and most probable truth as derived by applying the mathematical/philosophical Law of Non-Contradiction. We can use this intra-universal law to determine the most reasonable position on any particular matter – including those pertaining to attitudes towards human behaviour (as well as human behaviour itself). This approach provides us the opportunity to draw others into a greater awareness of a number of necessary conceptual distinctions that might not otherwise be discovered or considered. On account of this anchoring in logic (as defined by the Law of Non-Contradiction itself), these necessary conceptual distinctions (as well as their implications) may be more likely to be embraced on one’s own accord, simply as a matter of one’s own conviction to greater self-honesty about what they perceived to be true. This matters greatly because our behaviors (and our expectations of behaviour) are ultimately shaped by what we perceive to be true.

As well, where necessary conceptual distinctions become further embraced on one’s own accord, there arises a gradually-increasing interior obligation (driven by one’s own conviction to greater self-honesty) to use language that has the capacity to express those distinctions. This increased collective expression of said distinctions serves to subtly influence the language of the world around us, which can serve to further draw others into greater awareness of those distinctions as well. That is, these subtle linguistic nuances can gradually effect a world-wide transformation of thought with regards to behavioural norms and expectations, as already evidenced by a number of increasingly popular ideologies of this day. In saying that, we would do well to remember that one must first become aware of a particular distinction before they can consciously choose to evaluate the implications of that particular distinction and integrate it within their own worldview. Note that a deliberate interior evaluation of those distinctions (once they begin to be integrated into one’s own life) may lead a person to a life-changing conviction of heart in some way.

2. Church Authority: On account of this resource being anchored on the Law of Non-Contradiction and the socially-accepted value of pursuing a greater degree of understanding (out of one’s interior conviction to pursue greater truth and self-honesty), it does not rely on Church Authority to provide the foundation upon which to build. This is not to take away from Church Authority, but rather a deliberate response to the current reality in which an increasing amount of people (sadly even within the Church) reject Church Authority. For that reason, using the Law of Non-Contradiction as foundation provides an opportunity to evangelize more effectively in increasingly hostile environments because those who have a hatred for religion (especially the Catholic faith) have their disdain redirected from “Church Teaching” to truth itself.

This is important because as the people of the critical mass who have a sincere desire to pursue and embrace greater truths are brought to see via their own conviction to truth that many who attempt to deteriorate the Church actually reject objective and most probable truth (which the Church merely upholds), they will be more inclined to distance themselves (at least interiorly) from those people. This intentional distancing – which is always preceded by one’s conviction to greater self-honesty, erodes the overall societal influence of those who are attempting to deteriorate the Church. In other words, be reaching hearts in such a way that they may be more likely to be convicted of the truths upheld by the Church, the power of the critical mass (which has rejected truth) is lessened.

3. Intended Audience: Presenting concepts through the lens of an invitational narrative anchored on the human experience is an effective strategy to draw people into embrace a message for themselves on their own accord. However, this particular resource does not utilize this approach, for the purpose of maintaining focus on the pursuit of the objective and most probable truths themselves. Those who present this resource to their faith communities must trust that the Holy Spirit will reveal to them how certain experiential anecdotes may be introduced within, in order to better reach the hearts of their particular audience. On that note, be it known that this resource was intended specifically for those in a teaching capacity, whether they be clergy, religious, or invested laypersons. However, this resource was also written with the average Christian person in mind, for when obedient to their respective bishop, it is through them that the cultural climate of a faith community can be transformed for the better in a most profound way – from the bottom up (which is the most effective means of mobilizing the critical mass).

4. Approach: If presented appropriately, specifically through the lens of engaging a person within a journey as opposed to merely restating the Church’s position, people may come to experience a greater degree of empowerment (on account of their own choices to pursue the journey). It is that intentional engagement in a journey that draws people to a more profound interior conviction of truth. It is this deepening interior conviction of truth that draws about a greater confidence in one’s ability to share (and defend) their faith, in addition to inspiring them with the desire to do so. Thus, this approach draws forth the circumstance where people may desire to more profoundly serve the Church in obedience to their respective bishop, on account of first and foremost focusing on the shared journey.

One positive aftereffect of this approach is that it can lead to an improved state of faith education and pastoral care (on account of increasing the faith devotion of those serving and or on account of drawing a greater number of people into service). As well, it is known in the educational world that inspiring people to engage themselves in a journey towards a deeper understanding (reflective of the Inquiry Method) is one of the most effective educational practices. It allows for degrees of autonomy, a personalized narrative, and at certain times, experiential encounters. It is not always practical but it should be used when appropriate for it yields far better results with regards to people becoming convicted in their heart, as opposed to merely amassing “head knowledge.” This matters greatly because youth of this day are increasingly having their learning patterns shaped by this approach. Their brains are being conditioned to learn in this way – and in some cases it is now drawing them to choose to reject what they perceive is outside the narrative that they have come to embrace as a result of their prior experience. In recognizing this, we would do well to incorporate this particular educational approach for religious instruction whenever appropriate, especially under the guidance of an instructor who is capable of inspiring hearts to grow – led first and foremost by their own lived example.

5. Rationale: Approaching sensitive topics in this way can help shift the perception of the critical mass from possibly falsely believing that the Church commands obedience to correctly believing that the Church invites us to pursue a greater degree of truth (with respect to our state in life). Indeed, obedience is a sign of faith, but it is not commanded. That is, the Church has commandments, but because of the gift of the fullness of free will over our hearts, God never takes away our ability to choose the degree in which we should follow them. Nonetheless, this transformation in approach may serve to draw people into a deeper journey into the Church because the very invitation of pursuing a greater degree truth implies that there is a greater degree of truth worthy of being pursued to begin with.

This is important because those who experience interior positive reinforcement on account of the neurochemical response elicited via task completion are more likely to become engaged in a journey that is anchored on the pursuit of a greater degree of truth – which requires within it, incremental task completion. Neuroscience has brought forth the awareness that it is the male brain that is typically structured to respond in this way – and completely independent of one’s specific choice. Though male and female are equally valuable in the eyes of God and in the existence and function of humanity, we can be assured by what we now know about the neurochemical responses that teaching the faith in a way that emphasizes the journey towards greater truth¬†(solving a mystery) will appeal more so to males than females. Thus, if we shift our teaching strategy to emphasize an approach that will appeal more so to the male brain, we can draw about a circumstance whereby young males will experience greater incremental success within faith instruction in school – because it will make better sense to them. It will be more likely to be internally (and subconsciously) perceived as something that they ought to be invested in, because the success they experience within this approach will affirm within their hearts that growing in the faith is something for men – and thus something for them to grow into. That is, if they perceive this, then the stage will be set for them to begin to perceive that growing into their faith is a necessary facet of their rite of passage into manhood. This of course is only strengthened with every positive male (and masculine) role model that they come to know within the Church community.

This trajectory can be further strengthened if the rest of the Church community chooses to minimize the instances that the faith is depicted in a way that a young person may interpret to be juvenile – for they will be inclined to let this go along with the rest of their childhood once they become aware of their desire to enter a rite of passage into manhood. In saying that, if a young male pursues the rite of passage into manhood with the underlying perception that they ought to grow into the faith, then we as a guiding church community become active participants in the gradual restoration of authentic masculinity – within the Church and within the world. This is because continuing to grow in the faith (especially into adulthood) will continuously draw us to a greater degree of dying to ourselves, and that is masculinity is – modeled first and foremost by none other than Jesus Christ Himself. What cannot be ignored is that where men are more inclined to die to themselves as a form of joyful self-sacrifice to the Lord (arising from an increased trust in Him), there are a greater number of joyfully accepted vocations to marriage, priesthood, and religious life – all three being foundational to the well-being of our faith.

 

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