For the last couple years I’ve been working behind-the-scenes on a huge new project, and last Monday it finally went live. The project is called Strange Notions, and it’s designed to be the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. As a ‘digital Areopagus’, it features intelligent articles, compelling video, and rich discussion throughout its many comment boxes.
(If you can’t see the video above, click here.)
Strange Notions gets its name from St. Paul’s speech at the Areopagus in Acts 17:16-34. There he proclaimed the Resurrection to the intellectual elite of the ancient world, who responded saying, “you bring some strange notions to our ears; we should like to know what these things mean.” StrangeNotions.com helps those asking the same thing today. Readers will encounter reasonable arguments for God and the Catholic Church, maybe for the first time, and like St. Paul’s listeners leave intrigued by these “strange notions.”
Our contributors include the best-of-the-best Catholic intellects, scientists, philosophers, and artists. Right now we have over thirty on board, including Dr. Peter Kreeft, Dr. Edward Feser, Fr. Robert Barron, Fr. Robert Spitzer, Dr. Benjamin Wiker, Dr. Christopher Kaczor, Dr. Kevin Vost, Christopher West, Jimmy Akin, Jennifer Fulwiler, Marc Barnes, Leah Libresco, Stacy Trasancos, Mark Shea, Carl Olson, and many more.
This site is timely for several reasons:
- Yesterday (Sunday, May 12) the Catholic Church around the world celebrated World Communications Day. Pope Benedict XVI, shortly before he stepped down, composed this year’s official message which he titled, “Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith: New Spaces for Evangelization.” This project embodies that theme as it uses social networks as “new spaces” to evangelize.
- Over the last ten years, the number of self-identified atheists in America has increased 500%. They’re one of the country’s fastest growing religious groups yet almost no Catholics engage them. Strange Notions is a frontier project in this needed effort.
- In the midst of the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization, this is a creative example of using “new ardor, new methods, and new expressions” to evangelize.
So please visit the site, participate in the discussions, and help promote this “digital Areopagus” through a blog post, interview, or by sharing the video trailer. And if you have any questions, email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Come now, let us reason together.” – Isaiah 1:18