Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Savvy and the preaching of the Gospel, by Desmond Fennell [Follow-up to article posted below]

...Beyond this basic role which savvy plays in all effective evangelisation, there is a further role it can play if, rather than being merely instinctive and approximate, it is intellectually profound and exact. When the savvy of the evangelisers has this quality, their cannily chosen language not only reflects the secular situation; it also clarifies it – and does so to a much greater degree than the politically conditioned explanatory discourse that the situation exudes. Their profound and exact savvy performs this function even when, because of limited time or the limited cognitive interest of an audience, they revealonly, so to speak, the foreground of what they know. Always, from the profound and precise background of their knowledge, flows an informed understanding of the immediate and particular. And this, regardless of time available or of audience, enables them to supply coherence to the disjointed perceptions of most people, of whatever educational background, regarding the way things are.

As occurs with the mere reflection of the shared situation in the evangeliser’s discourse, so, too, with this clarification of it: it furthers acceptance of the Gospel in either of two ways. When the recipients are well-disposed, it evokes gratitude towards the evangeliser as for a gift received, and consequently a greater trustful openness to his message’s Gospel core. When the recipients are ill-disposed, it disconcerts them by its perceptible but unwelcome truth, reduces their public standing (if they have such) as definers of the situation, and consequently lessens their ability to offer confident opposition to the Church’s teaching and to build support for this. (Even a superficial perusal of the Gospels shows that this is a very Christ-like manner of dealing with opponents of the Good News.)...CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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