Dave “The Dandy” VanVickle and I are talking about a philosophical approach to evangelization: natural happiness. A lot of people respond to the kerygma alone, but some really need a rational argument to understand the reason for belief in God.
To be brief, natural happiness is the idea that nothing in the world can completely satisfy us or make us happy forever, because we were made for something eternal, which is God.
We also talk a bit about parish bureaucracy and the hierarchy of the Church. Let’s just say you should pray for your parish.
What do you think about philosophical approaches to evangelization? Do they work? Are they helpful? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story, question, or comment—or if you’ve got a new nickname for Dave.
Snippet from the Show
“Your spouse is not sufficient to make you happy. They are a human person and your heart has an infinite longing that only an infinite God can fulfill. So if you demand your husband or wife to complete you, you are asking them to be God for you. That’s unrealistic.”
The reason I’m writing this is to ask a question. I do not understand how to talk about the kerygma. But I like to talk to people about natural ends.
For example someone will say, “I want more” or “I feel so incomplete,” when talking about their state in life. I say “Well what makes you happy?” And they’ll say something like their truck or their wife or something material. I of course then say, “But don’t those all fail you in some way?”
For example, having the coolest truck in the county is awesome for about 2 weeks, then you see it breaking down and causing you grief. I then bring up our desire for happiness and how it must be in something eternal. And I have seen several people say “Then what is that?” I then say that it’s God and share my story. Is this a way you would recommend or do you have ideas to improve my approach?
Five Practical Takeaways
- Read the Catechism on Beatitude and the Beatitudes
- Watch/listen to Word on Fire videos on Happiness
- Watch Aquinas 101 videos from Thomistic Institute
- Read Dr. Peter Kreeft
- Read Fr. Servais Pinckaers’ books: Sources of Christian Ethics and Morality the Catholic View
- Dave’s Calendar of Upcoming Events
- Evangelii Gaudium of Pope Francis
- The Better Pastor by Patrick Lencioni
- Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell
- Nehemiah 3: Rebuilding the Wall of Jerusalem
- Podcast by Father James Mallon
- The Confessions of St. Augustine translated by Frank Sheed
- Matt Fradd’s interview with Fr. Ryan Mann
- Rejoice! Advent Meditations with Joseph
- Classical Theism Podcast