What is the definition of Evangelist?

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What is the definition of Evangelist?

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1eschator83
Feb 15, 2017, 10:33pm

According to New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, the term Evangelist has been "gradually confined to the writers of the four Gospels...it is exclusively in this sense that common modern parlance employs it."
How can they claim this?
John Hardon's Pocket Catholic Dictionary essentially agrees, not quite as emphatically. Aren't there some people out there working on the New Evangelism?

2eschator83
Feb 15, 2017, 10:40pm

Patrick Coffin of Catholic Answers was quoted by Catholic World Report as using a sports metaphor: comparing apologetics to playing defense (defending the Church against critics), and evangelism to offense, bringing the Faith to the people.

3John5918
Feb 16, 2017, 12:32am

>1 eschator83:

In Africa, outside Catholic circles, evangelist often refers to a lay minister whom we Catholics would usually refer to as a catechist, someone who takes care of an outstation or chapel where there is no priest, carries out catechesis and pastoral care, leads prayer services, does baptisms, funerals and marriages, etc.

In some of the protestant evangelical churches, it's also used more or less synonymusly with pastor; church leaders may use the title evangelist in place of or alongside terms such as reverend.

Back to Catholicism, regarding "New Evangelism", I don't think I've ever heard anyone specifically describing themselves as an evangelist. And as for "old" evangelism, I've been a missionary for much of my life and again I don't think I've heard Catholic missionaries use the term evangelist. We would speak of evangelisation rather than evangelism (eg primary evangelisation, bringing the gospel to those who have not yet been exposed to it), and I think the term missonary would be used rather than evangelist.

>2 eschator83:

I can't say I really like that sporting metaphor. I don't think either defence or offence are particularly relevant in the context of church.

4eschator83
Feb 18, 2017, 9:56pm

Through-out my years with our RCIA team, I was troubled first by the basic concept and rules/methods of evangelisation (if I try putting in that 's' I may wind up on a diet of pudding, porridge, and crumpets). And then by the changes related to ecumenism.
Could you point out a good guideline?
In Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Exhortation, everyone is called to be an evangelizer, although he doesn't seem very clear about methods. St Paul seemed to be trying distinguish separate tasks and skills/gifts.
Do you prefer a different metaphor or explanation? I presume we should try to defend the Church if we can. Is the concept offense bothersome to you? Why?

5John5918
Editado: Feb 19, 2017, 12:39am

>4 eschator83:

Not sure I can receommend a good guideline. It's forty-odd years since I studied missiology. 'Mission as dialogue' was a strong theme, a method which of course goes back to Paul. 'Mission through lived example' was also favoured, with practical examples including St Francis, who reputedly said something like "Preach the Gospel always, and use words (only) if necessary", and the brothers of Charles de Foucauld living amongst Muslims in north Africa. One book I later found very helpful in terms of primary evangelisation was Vincent Donovan's Christianity Rediscovered.

On defence and offence, I'm opposed to further militarisation of church language, when in fact we should be moving in the opposite direction. We should never be on the offensive, although we should be proactive in taking forward God's Kingdom of love, peace and justice. I suppose defence is OK in the sense of correcting misunderstanding, but it sounds so reactive, and I'm not sure it's worth putting much effort into it. As Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them". Let our positive and proactive fruits and actions be our defence.

6justmum
Mar 8, 2017, 7:30am

>5 John5918: By their fruits you shall know them". Let our positive and proactive fruits and actions be our defence. Is this how you think we should evangelise - I have a lib. thing friend who does not believe in the Christian God yet we have a lot in common? You can answer on my home page if you don't think it's correct to answer here.

7John5918
Mar 8, 2017, 8:07am

>6 justmum:

Definitely. I don't think there is much point pushing religion in people's faces. There is plenty of room for dialogue with those with whom we feel something in common, and probably both parties can learn a lot from each other.

8justmum
Mar 8, 2017, 9:03am

Well, I shared a prayer I came upon in the Christian Aid Lent Study for today - International Women's Day - I don't feel that was wrong. The prayer is about God making us in his image and it pertains to all people. I put it on Facebook twice as well. Sorry, but I can't see what's wrong with that. I DON'T THINK WE SHARE OUR FAITH AND BELIEFS ENOUGH SOMETIMES!

9John5918
Mar 8, 2017, 9:39am

>7 John5918: I don't feel that was wrong... can't see what's wrong with that

I was not in any way suggesting you are wrong. You asked me in >6 justmum: if I thought "our positive and proactive fruits and actions be our defence. Is this how you think we should evangelise" and I simply replied in the affirmative.

10MarthaJeanne
Editado: Mar 8, 2017, 9:50am

>8 justmum: If you want to post a prayer, fine, but say so in the subject line so that people know what to expect and don't feel tricked. Posting the same thing at least twice without being honest about what you are posting gives Christians a bad name.

11justmum
Editado: Mar 8, 2017, 10:33am

>ok won't do it again - wrist slapped and all that. Just thought I could link all four things together - you know women, women/lady authors, womens' international day and the up-coming book release which I came across somewhere - not sure where on-line and is the prayer really that offensive - it was written in a very cross-cultural context. The prayer went out on facebook as well and can be found on Christian Aid Lent Study guides. I've met many women of other religions and have NEVER repeat NEVER found the opposed to prayer with a Christian content.