How to become more Catholic … by being inspired by the Evangelicals
by Pierre Jova and Henrik Lindell
Ed. by Emmanuel, 264 p., € 18
The title, a bit provocative, sets the tone. In this book, the journalists of the weekly Life Pierre Jova and Henrik Lindell dare to mix up genres. At the crossroads of intimate testimony – for having frequented it for a long time or for having come from it, the authors have a fine knowledge of the evangelical world -, of the field survey and the development of proposals or personal analyzes, their book lists ten inspiring aspects of evangelism to vivify the practices of the Catholic Church.
Need to increase the sense of community – around meals shared at the end of Masses, or by encouraging, for example, the development of fraternal cells in the dioceses -, to give more space to the ministries and spiritual gifts of the laity, to welcoming newcomers …
The “simplicity” and the “fervor” of the evangelicals
Without copying the “Good recipes” largely contributing to fueling the spectacular vitality of the Evangelical Churches in France or abroad, the authors, who have shared the writing of all the chapters, propose a real reappropriation of these practices within the Catholic matrix.
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Without yet denying their deep adherence to Roman Catholicism – for the “Richness of its tradition”, his sacraments of the Eucharist, of confession, or for “The merits of the liturgy” or his “Intelligence of faith”, its mystique… – they thus exhort the parish communities to take concrete action. “The aim of this book is above all practical. What you have in your hands is not a theology book. And we are not proposing any reform of the Church ”, warns Henrik Lindell, as a preamble to the book.
” Catholic Church (East) more and more confessing: paradoxical grace of dechristianization. But it lacks a culture, that of the minority which has nothing to lose, which not only seeks to be heard, but to be understood ”, considers Pierre Jova, “We lack the community simplicity of evangelicals, and their fervor which flows from conversion. Fewer codes, slogans, and more faces beaming with the joy of Christ ”. Link to biblical texts, healing, openness to the Holy Spirit, consistency of life, relationship to money… Many other ways of doing, or of living, evangelicals are discussed.
Gray areas of evangelism
Finally, the work does not sink into the pitfall of blind admiration. If he wants to challenge the Catholic institution on its weakest points, he does not in fact avoid the gray areas of certain evangelical temples, where, for example, the theology of prosperity can be advocated, where we still encourage outside one “Sometimes brutal, decontextualized, abstract announcement of the Gospel”. At the risk, therefore, of aggressive proselytism.
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In line with the pontificate of Francis, the authors call for a change of outlook on evangelical communities – always victims of prejudice – and finally invite Christians of both faiths to anchor their dialogue in a receptive ecumenism, nourished by deep mutual esteem. despite theological disagreements.