Christian Apologetics Society

Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."
- Matthew 22:29

Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it
Gen 1:3
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light
Matthew 26:26
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body."
Malachi 1:11
My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
John 20:23
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Luke 20:38
For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.
Rev 21:27
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
1 Cor 3:15
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
1 Timothy 3:15
but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Acts 22:16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Evangelism Explosion Among Catholics

One of the better Baptist blogs is Timmy Brister's Provocations & Pantings. Timmy describes himself as "a Christian who finds his passion around the gospel of Jesus Christ and communicating Christ in our culture."

In one of Timmy's recent posts, Timmy discussed "the work of exegeting culture, especially in regards to church planting." Timmy briefly described how he uses demographic research to determine where to plant churches. We critiqued Timmy's math and proposed an equation that might provide more accurate numbers on which to base church planting decisions. In response, Timmy asked me to summarize Catholic efforts "evangelize the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ". Our response to Timmy was as follows:

>Timmy Brister: "I would be interested in hearing what Catholics are doing to evangelize the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you mind sharing?"

Sure, But I don't know if I can do the topic justice as U.S. Catholics only make up about 4-5% of the worldwide Catholic Church. I only know a little about what's going on in our 5% of the Catholic Church.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops coordinates evangelization through their Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.

The primary Catholic agency conducting most of Catholic evangelization in the U.S. is Glenmary and their Glenmary Research Center. Glenmary compiles most of the maps and data used not only by Catholics, but by other denominations as well.

Catholic Church: Adherents as a Percentage of Total Population

U.S. Counties With High Percentages of Unclaimed/Unchurched

U.S. Counties With Low Percentages of Catholics

U.S. Counties With Mission Need

Based on the mapping, Glenmary missionaries have been working largely in the Southern and Midwestern U.S. on church plants and other missionary activities. You can find reports on their missionary activities on the Commission on Evangelization site. Its chock full of resource on evangelization, discussion starters, reaching out to seekers, etc. They also have an article on "Why Catholics and Baptists Should Evangelize Together",.

Another Catholic evangeliztion group, to which I belong, is the Pope John Paul II Society of Evangelists and School of Evangelization. The immediate goal of the Pope John Paul II Society of Evangelists is to recruit 69,000 members, who are committed to winning at least one soul for Christ and His Church each year. All baptized Catholics who are fourteen years of age or older, who are in complete harmony with all the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Magisterium, are eligible to become members. There are no fees or dues of any kind. The Society has an online library of reprintable apologetics pamphlets and tracts that we download and pass out during our day to day activities. There are also free Catholic apologetic and prayer CDs, which you are most welcome to order.

In addition to these two major Catholic evangelization ministries, Catholics now have their own cable channel Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), thanks to Mother Angelica in Birmingham, AL. EWTN offers 24-hour Catholic programming to most major markets. A lot of unchurched, unclaimed, and non-Catholic Christians are watching EWTN and realizing that most of what they have been taught regarding Catholicism is wrong and they are converting.

Catholic radio has been growing every year with more and more Catholic stations standing up. Catholic Answers LIVE, a 2-hour apologetic program is very popular. They feature special days for only non-Catholics to call in with their questions. The Catholic Answers program is available as a free podcast, which I listen to at the office, often 2-3 times each.

In new media, Catholic Answers is THE outreach website. Catholic Answers Forums is where you find the greatest number of discussions on all aspects of Catholicism by Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, atheists, agnostics and others. Catholic Answers also pubishes a great Apologetics magazine, This Rock. Furthermore, there are about 1,624 Catholic blogs as of today. Each one written by a Catholic seeking to share his/her faith with others.

Catholic institutions also play a large part in Catholic evangelization. Catholics run the largest system of schools in the nation with 6,266 elementary schools educating 1,576,301 students and 1,352 high schools educating 680,689 students. 557 Catholic hospitals treated 83,795,186 patients. More than 1,735 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions provided services to 7,854,104 unduplicated individuals in need of help in 2004. (Catholics invented the hospital and the university)

But the best and most effective Catholic evangelists are the many Catholics who quietly go about living their Catholic faith with humility and charity. As Saint Francis of Assissi said: "Preach the gospel at all times -- If necessary, use words."

In total, Catholic evangelism is fairly effective. About 1.1 million children and adults enter the Catholic Church every year in the U.S.. Worldwide, the Catholic Church grows by about 17-18 million. That growth is about the size of the entire SBC, every year, sustained. The number of Catholic priests is increasing as is the number of nuns. Several religious orders, such as the Dominicans in Nashville, TN, are overflowing with novices.

I hope that gives you a better perspective on Catholic evangelization. With 25% of the U.S. population Catholic, we only need every Catholic to help bring just 3 people into the Church to make the U.S. 100% Catholic. Want to be one of my three? ;)

God bless...

+Timothy

BTW, while writing this comment, I received a call from a friend of mine. He was raised Baptist but converted to Judaism. He told me that as a result of our long talks that he now considers himself a Christian. Please pray for him.

UPDATE

Jim West, pastor of Petros Baptist Church in Petros, Tenn., has penned a similar, but much shorter article on Baptist presence on the web entitled, Oh What a Baptist Web We Weave. The Facebook group mentioned and linked to seems a good idea worth replicating by others.

Related Posts:
New Catholic Evangelism Video

Source: Cultural Exegesis and Contextual Research

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2 Comments:

Blogger Sr. Susan said...

The Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association (PNCEA) has been equipping U.S. Catholics to evangelize since 1977 with a particular focus on outreach to inactive Catholics and people without a church family. PNCEA just hosted its first totally online multi-day conference. Six hundred Catholic ministry leaders from 106 dioceses participated. Learn about other PNCEA offerings including online courses at www.pncea.org.

9:53 PM  
Blogger The Atheist Missionary said...

Check out a thought experiment at www.atheistmissionary.com

10:35 PM  

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