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He does speak with a lot of enthusiasm so I do believe he is sincere. I wouldn't call him fishy like other have. Yet, when you try to (pun intended) sex up Theology of the Body to make almost cool, hip and flashy, sometimes that doesn't really work. I think there is something to be said for a layperson trying to translate Pope JP II's writings as they don't really translate all the well into English. I have been to TOB discussion groups and there are passages that are very hard to understand. Yet, I think Christopher West can take it too far, which seems to either really put people off or really excite people.
The main issue that I have is when TOB gets mistaken a some kind of license for married couples to do whatever they feel like doing minus contraception. That clearly isn't the message of Pope John Paul II and whether it is intentional or not, that is message that can come across when you hear Christopher West speak.
I had the opportunity to listen to / see Christopher West in 2004, and again in 2005. These were audiences full of mostly college students. At the time, I was under 40, and I was inspired by the message. I had been back in the church for a few years, and the Evangelical style was easy for me to connect with. His witness spoke of conversion and enlightened me to the truth of who God made me to be, and how He wants us to love and be loved. At the same time, the message is 100% Catholic. Also, while CW is not afraid to speak about sex (no heresy of puritanism), he speaks about love through all vocations with the Heaven in our sights.
I have since heard other theologians present TOB, and I do not see major differences in the message. I definitely do see a difference in the demeanor and style of the messengers. I now have a personal preference to a more subdued style, but I now listen to Gregorian chant more than Christian rock too.
I believe God uses each messenger to reach different people where they are at. Christopher West tried to reach the masses with this awesome message of TOB. I remember the disappointment when I saw him on Nightline - editing & time limits watered down the message.
As for the money / commercialization, I think that the bigger one gets, the more the devil will be after that person. I am reminded to pray for him and others like him.
Good topic, Patrick. I'd be interested in hearing more about what people see in the gift of TOB & JPII! Thank you , Lord!
There seem to be alot of holes in your line of thinking. It makes no sense to say that just because he makes money he is somehow doing it for money. That could apply to every layperson who has ever sold a book on theology. Just no basis for it. It seems you ahve alot of holes in your line of reasoning. I explained to you what West was donig in the comparison with Hefner but you chose to ignore it. Should B16 have not mentiond prostitutes, condums and tending toward the good. The procreative act is one of intent and not always the end. Every conjugal act needs to be open, not neccesarily succeed, in the procreation of children.
I think you have a problem with Christopher WEst for some reason. I wont speculate why. Also there are some basic holes in your lien of reasoning. I am not sure that you do understand the procreative and unitive act of marriage, at least not at the level of a more established, educated and well read theologian, lay or otherwise. And no I am not attackign you or getting a dig in just stating what seems to be clear. When you boil the sexual act down to prohibitions, than you dont get it, at least not completely.
I would respectfully say that take some time to read over the meaning of marriage and Theology of the Body. Perhaps you would have a better understanding of the conjugal act and its context within God's Divine Economy.
Once again I am not attacking, or getting a dig in but a lack of understanding, coupled with a conservatives zeal seems to be prevalent in the forums, at least some of the time. I am simply, out of charity, suggesting you do a little more reading and praying, as we all do.
What I think is interesting, is that people who even question West are attacked immediately. No doubt the devil and his agents hate those who stand up for true Catholicism. It's not just West; there are many other "speakers", some of which have outright paralled communist ideology in their "speeches". To those who think that because something is popular ergo it's good, I quote this: "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it"-Matthew 7:13-14. Ever notice how rarely these guys talk about the consequences of mortal sin? Rationalizing sin only leads to condemnation.
To those who question what this gang is doing, don't be afraid to do so by letting them intimidate you. They are skilled so as to make the oppressors seem like the oppressed. If someone knowingly works off of a mistranslation, then they are deceivers plain and simple.