Last week, Fr Robert Barron laid out his 7 keys to the New Evangelisation. You should seriously watch it but before I link to it, we need to do a little Apophatic Theology.
Apophatic means “to deny” in Greek and is also known as Negative Theology (or via negativa). In the face of God who we cannot understand, we describe Him in terms of what He is not, recognising that He is ineffable — or indescribable. (And immutable, impassible, impeccable, incorporeal, and infinite.) It can be a very useful tool to really understand something.
So before Fr. Robert Barron tells you how to evangelise like Fr. Robert Barron, I’m going to show you how not to.
Seriously, if you haven’t clicked the link — you really need to do that right now. Believe me, you won’t regret it… Or you will, but it will be totally worth it.
Okay, now we’re all been traumatised for life, what does Father Barron say?
If a whole video is too much, the Word on Fire blog has a neat summary of the 7 keys with an longer explanation for each. They are:
1. Lead with the beautiful.
2. Don’t dumb down the message.
3. Preach with ardour.
4. Tell the great story.
5. God doesn’t need us… but He loves us anyway.
6. We are made for God.
7. Use the new media.
Or you could just use my summary: don’t make Christianity ugly, stupid or insipid. Don’t cut it off from its origins, don’t be desperate to prove it, and don’t keep the light to yourself.
And for God’s sake, keep the sparkly angels and baby rock Christs to a minimum.