Should you find yourself becoming a regular reader of my posts here, you will no doubt notice the frequency in which I will include my friend Jacob in my posts. This is due to our conversations often becoming discussions on Christianity and its history. I find that it’s far too uncommon in today’s society that one finds themselves able to hold a good conversation on topics such as Church history and theology with their friends, family, and acquaintances. As such, I find myself only able to hold such conversations with Jacob (though I’m actively attempting to influence a Lutheran cousin of mine to convert).
Christian conversation, specifically Catholic conversation, remains a largely untapped gold mine of enriching subjects for discussion. I find that you can learn much more about the faith and its history through discussions between two or more well educated Catholics, than through simple research alone. It allows for the comparing and contrasting of how people understand and explain a single belief or facet of the faith and opens the possibility of modifying and improving upon the understanding with live feedback. Conversation regarding these topics will inevitably lead to some form of peer teaching every time one of the people in the conversation is more learned in a specific aspect of the faith or its history than the other.
In recent years, however, the explosion of social media such as Instagram and Facebook has granted us the ability to discuss these topics without the limitation of physical location. It’s apparent that social media is more often used for debates rather than chatting on these subjects, but debate itself is also a valuable asset to the learning mind as it exposes one to opposing viewpoints and forces one to thoroughly think through the positions of both their opponent’s as well as their own viewpoints. It’s not uncommon that upon reading through the comments under posts by Instagram accounts similar to RomanCatholicKnights or CatholicLegion that one finds debate among educated Catholics and Protestants (or, sadly more commonly, well educated Catholics and hateful protestants).
So, try to hold a Catholic conversation this week. Whether it be with those in your immediate location or those on social media, I’m certain you will find it enriching.
Sorry for the short post. There isn’t much for me to say on this subject, but I feel it’s important.
3 thoughts on “The Value of Catholic Conversation”
Dear Rational Catholicism,
I find it difficult to engage educated Catholics in conversation. I consider myself to be an educated Catholic, but even in social media I find that I cannot engage other educated Catholics. The conversations begin well but in short order I have to end the conversation. The usual reason for having to end the conversations is related to lack of openness on their part. Most educated Catholics are not willing to break from their ideology. This was an interesting post. I wish you all the best. God bless,
Yep. Sadly, an unwillingness to consider other views does indeed still plague the educated. I’m considering writing a post on its danger to rational thought. I hope you find better luck in the future. 🙂
Even among life-long Catholics, it doesn’t take much reading or listening to apologists to gain a basic understanding of our faith which creates an image of “expert” which I’m not. We need to elevate our level of understanding so that others are encouraged to do the same.
To the question of “don’t you have your own beliefs?” Of course, I do. But unless it’s a personal commentary on something insignificant which the Church doesn’t have a stated position, “my” position is the Church’s 2000-year much more learned position. It would be silly to spend a lot of time delving into the intricacies of the Ten Commandments and related moral issues and practices when I have the benefit of two millennia of Holy Spirit-guided explanations.
Good job and best wishes on your mission! — Tony