We have arrived at the place just like in that film The Wizard of OZ with its epic line; I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore. Indeed it has never been truer than in the zeitgeist that we find ourselves.
It is one where the old rules no longer apply. A time when the old premises are turned on their heads, a time of the 360 degree radical turn. There is this comic-tragic feel at play. We walking our way through some madcap experiment it seems; with eyes wide open.
So it stands to reason the defenders of the faith have their work cut out for them.
You know things have reached the realm of bizarre when the Archbishop of York argues for an established Church of England to serve people of other faiths and non-believers; and goes onto suggest the Church can best be defined in the context of a public utility.
This is what is happening right now with the Catholic Church and the synodol way. It throws open the doors to ask; tell us what you want in a Church and we will try and accommodate you.
It is this caving to secular whims that is one of the greatest threats to the faith and that of its defenders.
It is safe to say that the greatest impediment to faith now is the culture. The same culture the church is trying to woo.
There is agreement that the old style of apologetics no longer work in this culture, so a new method is called for.
Enter cultural apologetics. It will be new and unrefined at best; with more than a touch of outlandishness.
At its worst it will be likened to a kind of hippy’s approach to the whole thing. And seeing there are plenty of hippy types in the heretic ranks as is; what is there to lose?
While the old style apologist relied on philosophy, science and history; the new apologist will have to take cues from the culture in all its non-glory. Like illustrations from music, art, sports, entertainment, social relations, and politics-
To sum up, it will be about beginning with a story to get to the main story.
It does not mean the old methods will be ignored, they will still be there, but they won’t be the main focus.
In the same way that St Paul used the statue to an unknown god to launch a much bigger story. Should we then call it the Athenian method?
The trick is to tell cultural stories without compromising belief, so mindfulness is the watch word.