“The Church exists to evangelize.” These words from Evangelii Nuntiandi express the very nature of our mission. But what is evangelization? And how ought we to express Christ in the culture around us? In this episode, Bishop Robert Barron answers these questions and offers advice on exactly how an evangelist can move into the culture and plant the seeds of Christ. Evangelizing the Culture is the second of the eight principles of the Word on Fire ethos. Finally, a listener calls in to ask how he might evangelize his lukewarm parents. 

Topics Discussed

  • 0:17 – Intro and Bishop Barron’s new award
  • 2:15 – What does it mean to “evangelize the culture”?
  • 6:40 – How can evangelizing the culture solve the problems of the Church and the culture?
  • 11:50 – How can we see Christ in our surroundings?
  • 15:24 – How do engage the culture without falling into sin?
  • 18:45 – Why was Tolkien so effective at evangelizing the culture?
  • 21:30 – How does the Church community (including the saints) serve evangelization?
  • 23:15 – What’s the proper approach for drawing the world to Christ?
  • 24:38 – Question from listener: How do we re-evangelize our parents who grew up in the faith but now lack a relationship with Jesus?

Bonus Resources

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5 comments on “WOF 074: Evangelizing the Culture

  1. Larry Laumann May 10, 2017

    WOF074 – Evangelizing the Culture is exceptional. I listen to each podcast, all of which are worthwhile and greatly appreciated. This episode, however, is for me enormously insightful, relevant, and helpful. May God bless your continued good works.

  2. Thank you for this awesome production and ministry. Bishop and Jared have a great back and forth that is compelling and inspiring.

  3. Stephen Quilley Nov 22, 2020

    As a sociologist of 30 year, the idea of individual autonomy as the great rival lord of our age rings very true. It’s partly that modernity – high energy throughput, complexity, extensive occupational division of labour, high levels of spatial/social mobility – mobilizes the potential of the Christian sacramental idea of the person, more than any previous society. But with secularization and the ‘death of God’; when we lose the transcendental ‘tractor beam’ to pull us forward; that individualism becomes involuted narcissistic and pathological; we are overshooting the station. I think that’s where we are now. Liberalism wants the 10 commandments without the commander. In the end, it can’t sustain the conditions of its own existence. My sense (it may be heretical – i guess I will find out) is that modern individuals need to learn a kind of creative cognitive dissonance to shift registers between the rational utilitarian materialism of our economic and political life and the mystery of faith in God.

  4. Stephen Quilley Nov 23, 2020

    This is really great. I love the material. As a sociologist of 30 year, the idea of individual autonomy as the great rival lord of our age rings very true. It’s partly that modernity – high energy throughput, complexity, extensive occupational division of labour, high levels of spatial/social mobility – mobilizes the potential of the Christian sacramental idea of the person, more than any previous society. But with secularization and the ‘death of God’; when we lose the transcendental ‘tractor beam’ to pull us forward; that individualism becomes involuted narcissistic and pathological. We are overshooting the station….The Old Testament and Christ made it possible for the first time to conceive of the individual person as intrinsically valuable in their own right. But those individuals need a frame, they need to participate in Christ. They need to be open/porous and participative, Unhinged individualism destroys that potential by locking the person in, as if a ‘thinking statue’ – a closed, hermetically sealed individual (Homo clausus) as opposed to a plurality of interdependent, open individuals (Homines aperti) – Norbert Elias’s words. I think that’s where we are now. Homo-clausus on steroids. Liberalism wants the 10 commandments without the commander. In the end, it can’t sustain the conditions of its own existence. My sense (it may be heretical – i guess I will find out) is that modern individuals need to learn a kind of creative cognitive dissonance to shift registers between the rational utilitarian materialism of our economic and political life and the mystery of faith in God.

  5. Blane Nasveschuk Jan 17, 2021

    Loved comment emphasizing the subtlety of reaching out through witness of ones own life, prayer and point of contact through offering a “literary” gift. Wonderful suggestion. Heartfelt expression of care and love.