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Feb 17th 2013 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: Jimmy Akin's article on the Christopher West Nightline interview is well worth reading:
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

Jimmy Akin's article on the Christopher West Nightline interview is well worth reading:

jimmyakin.com

Mr. West's approach to teaching TOB has a number of critics, including Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Alice von Hildebrand. Dr. von Hildebrand has written at least one very detailed commentary, of which I quote a small portion below, expressing the problems she sees with Mr. West's approach to TOB:

www.catholicnewsagency.com

It is a joy to praise a great book or author; it is a grief and duty to criticize a bad one. But it is especially difficult to criticize someone who has many talents, whose work has positive sides, but which also suffers from certain faults, calling for correction. Such is the case with Christopher West, with his popular presentation of John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”

As gifted as he is—and as much as I appreciate all the good he has done for the Church—West’s work continues to fall short in many respects. He has sometimes misunderstood the authentic Catholic tradition; overlooked or disregarded essential aspects of it; and promoted a new form of religious “enthusiasm” which can best be described as wayward. Monsignor Ronald Knox, who critiqued this attitude so well in his book Enthusiasm, was a prophet, recognizing such outbursts as recurring phenomena in the history of the Church, characteristic of easily misguided movements for which we should always be on the watch.

Key to my concerns is West’s hyper-sexualized approach to the Theology of the Body. The French have a wonderful word to capture the veiling of one’s intimate feelings, out of a proper sense of shame—pudeur, a “holy bashfulness,” so to speak. Seized as he is by what he regards as his calling to evangelize a new generation with this theology in “modern” ways they can supposedly better understand, West practically ignores the importance of pudeur, and, by his imprudence, winds up undermining his own message.

--hide--




well said... it is interesting to me that if you wonder if Mr. West 's TOB is over sexualized, some people here think that you must be a prude and think marital sex is a bad thing. The mere fact that it necessary to produce babies does not make it a bad thing - it is a necessary thing. But, let's not make married couples who aren't intimate all the time feel bad. That could be one unintended consequence of some of Mr. West's talks.

Feb 17th 2013 new

(Quote) Patrick-341178 said:I'm sure there was editing but why even mention Heffner in the first place? If this was one...
(Quote) Patrick-341178 said:

I'm sure there was editing but why even mention Heffner in the first place? If this was one isolated case, I dont' think West should be defined by it. However, being a national TV and now eveything living eternally online, West should have known better.

--hide--

One possibility is that the interviewer brought up Heffner in a portion that was deleted from the segment that was broadcast.

Feb 17th 2013 new

(Quote) Patrick-341178 said: (Quote) MaryBeth-278310 said: I don’t often post in the Fora, but ...
(Quote) Patrick-341178 said:

Quote:
MaryBeth-278310 said:

I don’t often post in the Fora, but this thread came to my attention, and I thought it was important to jump in and clarify some things.

First of all, Patrick from Chicago, you are of course correct that Christopher West’s ideas are not above criticism. However, to publicly question his motivation the way you did -- to “speculate” on a public forum that he may be motivated by fame and money -- is a different matter entirely, and remains a sin against the 8th commandment. It would be like me posting “Sometimes I wonder if Patrick from Chicago is only on CM to meet wealthy women and defraud of them of their money. I’m only speculating, so no need to be defensive about it.” Doesn’t really help, does it? I don’t know you. I can comment (charitably) on what you SAY, but to speculate negatively about your motivation would be wrong. And my “speculating” could damage your reputation and raise questions about you in people’s minds.

As it happens, Christopher is a friend of mine, and you could not be more wrong about his motivation. JPII’s ideas were life-changing for him, and he is driven by the desire to share them. He has suffered -- a lot -- for the sake of this ministry that he feels called to. Sure, his ideas and methods are up for debate. I have debated them myself. I personally thought the “Nightline” interview was a train wreck. But none of that speaks to the motivation behind his life’s work.

As for the Church’s teaching on sexuality -- that’s much too big a topic to take up here. But I will say that, while you know enough of the basics to keep you on the straight and narrow, what you’ve written in this thread alone indicates that you really don’t understand the deeper elements of the Church’s teaching. I don’t blame you for that -- very few people are taught about this today, which is a shame. But if you’re going to publicly criticize or question others’ ideas in this arena, you should probably educate yourself a little more deeply first. It’s really very beautiful stuff.





People keep accusing me of not understanding Theology of the Body. What don't I understand? I never said it was all about prohibitions. I understand the whole unitive and procreative element of marital sexuality. Marital sexuality can be a good thing when practiced properly. But, does that mean marriage is all about sex? I dont think West ever said that so I am not accusing him of that. But, perception is reality, and that is a perception that some people can get from his talks. Is that the worst thing in the world or necessarily a bad interpretation of TOB? No, but it is worthy of discussion.

--hide--

Pat,


Here is a list of teachings as part of the TOB. Some u listed others you did not. You may have known them but did not mention them:

- There is a male and female perspective and both need to be respected.

- A marriage is supposed to be a mutual self-giving.

- Avoid "objectifying" people by degrading them as purely sexual objects.

- Avoid extra-marital sexual sins.

- The human person is both BODY and SPIRIT. That is why there is a "resurrection of the body." Because our bodies are just as important to God as our spirit.

- Thinking that the spirit is more important to God than the body or that the body is more important than the spirit is incorrect. Both are equal.

- Eros is transformed by ethos (passion and purity) to create a more passionate love. "It is necessary to rediscover continually in what is erotic, the nuptial meaning of the body and the true dignity of the gift." Healy, Mary (2011-06-30). Men And Women Are From Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II's Theology of the Body (p. 46).

- Avoid all forms of pornography (it is objectification of people and a false form of eroticism).

- Dress moderately.

- Be pro-life


God bless,


Mick

Feb 17th 2013 new

(Quote) Patrick-341178 said: (Quote) MaryBeth-278310 said: I don’t often post in the Fora, but ...
(Quote) Patrick-341178 said:

Quote:
MaryBeth-278310 said:

I don’t often post in the Fora, but this thread came to my attention, and I thought it was important to jump in and clarify some things.

First of all, Patrick from Chicago, you are of course correct that Christopher West’s ideas are not above criticism. However, to publicly question his motivation the way you did -- to “speculate” on a public forum that he may be motivated by fame and money -- is a different matter entirely, and remains a sin against the 8th commandment. It would be like me posting “Sometimes I wonder if Patrick from Chicago is only on CM to meet wealthy women and defraud of them of their money. I’m only speculating, so no need to be defensive about it.” Doesn’t really help, does it? I don’t know you. I can comment (charitably) on what you SAY, but to speculate negatively about your motivation would be wrong. And my “speculating” could damage your reputation and raise questions about you in people’s minds.

As it happens, Christopher is a friend of mine, and you could not be more wrong about his motivation. JPII’s ideas were life-changing for him, and he is driven by the desire to share them. He has suffered -- a lot -- for the sake of this ministry that he feels called to. Sure, his ideas and methods are up for debate. I have debated them myself. I personally thought the “Nightline” interview was a train wreck. But none of that speaks to the motivation behind his life’s work.

As for the Church’s teaching on sexuality -- that’s much too big a topic to take up here. But I will say that, while you know enough of the basics to keep you on the straight and narrow, what you’ve written in this thread alone indicates that you really don’t understand the deeper elements of the Church’s teaching. I don’t blame you for that -- very few people are taught about this today, which is a shame. But if you’re going to publicly criticize or question others’ ideas in this arena, you should probably educate yourself a little more deeply first. It’s really very beautiful stuff.





People keep accusing me of not understanding Theology of the Body. What don't I understand? I never said it was all about prohibitions. I understand the whole unitive and procreative element of marital sexuality. Marital sexuality can be a good thing when practiced properly. But, does that mean marriage is all about sex? I dont think West ever said that so I am not accusing him of that. But, perception is reality, and that is a perception that some people can get from his talks. Is that the worst thing in the world or necessarily a bad interpretation of TOB? No, but it is worthy of discussion.

--hide--


Pat,

I think what people are saying is that you are too cavalier about the subject. It hasn’t "moved you" to be more Spiritual yet. It is like someone who sees a work of art and really appreciates its beauty and the next person comes by and says "it’s just another painting" or someone who doesn't really appreciate a beautiful sunset. As you read more on TOB and other parts of our faith your Spirituality will increase and a greater apparition for this and Catholic devotions will increase.

Have you ever been confirmed? After spending 9 months going through the RCIA process and teaching RCIA the next year I can tell you my faith increased noticeably; as one puts time into their faith the depth of it increases.

Take care,

Mick

Feb 17th 2013 new

(Quote) Mick-929473 said: Pat, Here is a list of teachings as part of the TOB. Some u listed others you ...
(Quote) Mick-929473 said:

Pat,


Here is a list of teachings as part of the TOB. Some u listed others you did not. You may have known them but did not mention them:

- There is a male and female perspective and both need to be respected.

- A marriage is supposed to be a mutual self-giving.

- Avoid "objectifying" people by degrading them as purely sexual objects.

- Avoid extra-marital sexual sins.

- The human person is both BODY and SPIRIT. That is why there is a "resurrection of the body." Because our bodies are just as important to God as our spirit.

- Thinking that the spirit is more important to God than the body or that the body is more important than the spirit is incorrect. Both are equal.

- Eros is transformed by ethos (passion and purity) to create a more passionate love. "It is necessary to rediscover continually in what is erotic, the nuptial meaning of the body and the true dignity of the gift." Healy, Mary (2011-06-30). Men And Women Are From Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II's Theology of the Body (p. 46).

- Avoid all forms of pornography (it is objectification of people and a false form of eroticism).

- Dress moderately.

- Be pro-life


God bless,


Mick

--hide--




I dont mean to be cavalier - I apologize to those that have gotten that impression. I knew that by starting this forum it would create some pro and anti Chris West opinions. I think it is a worth debte. As I said before, I am somethere in the middle. I certainly give Mr. West credit on how he has brought TOB into the mainstream.


Yes, I have been confirmed.


The other aspects of TOB, I think are more secondary issues so that is why I haven't brought them up. I think all the things you mentioned in the other post are not very controversial - it is hard to disagree with them. The sexuality part of TOB creates obvious the most debate so that is why I focused my attention on it.

Feb 17th 2013 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: One possibility is that the interviewer brought up Heffner in a portion that was deleted ...
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

One possibility is that the interviewer brought up Heffner in a portion that was deleted from the segment that was broadcast.

--hide--

I looked at the jimmyakin link & you are right. I heard Christofer West's talk contrasting Hugh Heffner & JPII in person last winter. The newscaster got it all wrong leaving out key points... totally misconstruing the original message. The condensed version is that we live in a culture that promotes three gospels... what West calls the Starvation Diet, the Fast Food Diet, and what Our Lord through his Church promises... the Banquet beyond compare.

Starvation Diet... The idea that sex is always somewhat dirty, barely sanctified by marriage and for procreative purposes only. The church has condemned this many time throughout the centuries as Jansenism. In America, we know it as Puritanism or stoicism. Our desires are to be repressed at any cost & to be governed by rigidly enforced rules...sometimes not even legitimately expressed with hugs & kisses among friends & family. This is the Puritanical background Hugh Heffner was raised with, inspiring him to spin in the opposite direction. To some degree, the vast majority of us today are exposed to similar repressive attitudes labeled as Christianity...

Fast Food Diet... "The promise of immediate gratification through indulgence of desire. " (CW) We all have this deep ache inside... the urge that there is something more we desire but forever out of reach, often but not always found within our desire for sex. When various church thoughts promise nothing but starvation for that urge, it only makes sense that souls would want to gorge themselves on the junk our world mistakenly calls love... Heffner not only rejected his Puritanical upbringing but spent his life promoting & making popular the twisted sex that ultimately reduces & cheapens our God given desires. It becomes merely recreation or performance, carrying nothing of the tender exploration of another soul it is meant to be...

The Banquet... This is where John Paul II comes in with his Theology of the Body or the uplifting of the sexual desires God places inside us and calles "good". He says the marital embrace is the closest thing we can experience to union with Christ in this world. But it is not to be used as a tool of use, even if he/she be your spouse. As David said earlier, when treating sex as a mutually satisfying thing, a way to please our spouse in the deepest of ways.. it then becomes holy & rocket blasts us towards heaven. It points the way to greater & better things to come. To treat your spouse as someone to use to merely gratify one's selfish desire gravitates it towards utilitarian lust and the fast food diet... even within marriage...

There's far more to it than can be said here of course... Christofer West & many other writers & speakers are just beginning to bring this revolutionary way of thinking into modern thought. But it's not new by any means. The saints have been telling us for centuries what the mystical marriage to Christ is. Our human marriages are to immitate the trinity, especialy through the physical one flesh experience. It's like looking into the diamond of our faith to explore what another facet will reveal more deeply... IMHO rose rose rose

Feb 17th 2013 new

(Quote) Debbie-514749 said: I looked at the jimmyakin link & you are right. I heard Christofer West's talk ...
(Quote) Debbie-514749 said:

I looked at the jimmyakin link & you are right. I heard Christofer West's talk contrasting Hugh Heffner & JPII in person last winter. The newscaster got it all wrong leaving out key points... totally misconstruing the original message. The condensed version is that we live in a culture that promotes three gospels... what West calls the Starvation Diet, the Fast Food Diet, and what Our Lord through his Church promises... the Banquet beyond compare.

Starvation Diet... The idea that sex is always somewhat dirty, barely sanctified by marriage and for procreative purposes only. The church has condemned this many time throughout the centuries as Jansenism. In America, we know it as Puritanism or stoicism. Our desires are to be repressed at any cost & to be governed by rigidly enforced rules...sometimes not even legitimately expressed with hugs & kisses among friends & family. This is the Puritanical background Hugh Heffner was raised with, inspiring him to spin in the opposite direction. To some degree, the vast majority of us today are exposed to similar repressive attitudes labeled as Christianity...

Fast Food Diet... "The promise of immediate gratification through indulgence of desire. " (CW) We all have this deep ache inside... the urge that there is something more we desire but forever out of reach, often but not always found within our desire for sex. When various church thoughts promise nothing but starvation for that urge, it only makes sense that souls would want to gorge themselves on the junk our world mistakenly calls love... Heffner not only rejected his Puritanical upbringing but spent his life promoting & making popular the twisted sex that ultimately reduces & cheapens our God given desires. It becomes merely recreation or performance, carrying nothing of the tender exploration of another soul it is meant to be...

The Banquet... This is where John Paul II comes in with his Theology of the Body or the uplifting of the sexual desires God places inside us and calles "good". He says the marital embrace is the closest thing we can experience to union with Christ in this world. But it is not to be used as a tool of use, even if he/she be your spouse. As David said earlier, when treating sex as a mutually satisfying thing, a way to please our spouse in the deepest of ways.. it then becomes holy & rocket blasts us towards heaven. It points the way to greater & better things to come. To treat your spouse as someone to use to merely gratify one's selfish desire gravitates it towards utilitarian lust and the fast food diet... even within marriage...

There's far more to it than can be said here of course... Christofer West & many other writers & speakers are just beginning to bring this revolutionary way of thinking into modern thought. But it's not new by any means. The saints have been telling us for centuries what the mystical marriage to Christ is. Our human marriages are to immitate the trinity, especialy through the physical one flesh experience. It's like looking into the diamond of our faith to explore what another facet will reveal more deeply... IMHO

--hide--


Debbie,


Thank you. That is a great summary. biggrin


Mick

Feb 17th 2013 new

(Quote) Matt-61677 said: In that ABC show there was massive editing. I've heard West's riff on Hefner, and it in no ...
(Quote) Matt-61677 said:

In that ABC show there was massive editing. I've heard West's riff on Hefner, and it in no way glorifies Hefner or his work. West just points out that Hefner recognized that Puritanism was bad but then proceeded to create a "cure" that was worse than the disease. ABC cut and pasted to put words in his mouth. It was bad. Really bad...

--hide--


Good point. In this internet age especially,- 'editing' to make points one way or another has become epidemic. So its important to check what was actually said and in what context.

Lottsa people blathering about the Hefner remark without bothering to to do any actual fact/context checking.


I happen to like West.

Feb 21st 2013 new

I want to apologize to all the Chris West supporters out there. When I started this forum, I really just wanted to hear from both sides of the Chris West debate. As I wrote in my initial post, I had no strong feelings either way. Yet, after I offered what I felt was mild criticism - that he should have not mentioned Hugh Heffner at all on the nightline interview, somehow it became viewed that I was very anti chris west. That is NOT the case. I guess it just shows that passions are high on both sides. I dont know how to delete a forum I started so I ask that the adminstrator lock this forum. I appreciate all those who have posted.

Feb 21st 2013 new
Just wanted to say one more thing before the thread locks. Patrick, it wasn't the "mild criticism" that was problematic. It was the speculation regarding his motives, Even if you did "qualify it". And to everyone here, if you're interested in what John Paul II had to say in the theology of the body, read John Paul II. That talks from the Wednesday audiences really aren't that difficult, and then you'll be seeing directly what he said, instead of having it filtered by Christopher West or myself or anyone else. If that's too much at first, start with Familiaris Consortio. Reading his work directly will clear up misunderstandings, which I've seen a lot of on this thread. And one final note, everyone on this thread is clearly very supportive of the church's teaching on sexuality, which is what's really important here. So thanks to all of you for that!
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