The energetic Brandon Vogt announces a new site:
It’s called StrangeNotions.com and it’s designed to be the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. The implicit goal is to bring non-Catholics to faith, especially followers of the so-called New Atheism. As a ‘digital Areopagus’, the site includes intelligent articles, compelling video, and rich discussion throughout its comment boxes.
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 by 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. Open-minded atheists will encounter reasonable arguments for God and his Church, maybe for the first time in their lives, and like St. Paul’s listeners they’ll leave intrigued by these strange notions.
I’ve gathered several top Catholic minds to contribute to the site. Right now we have over 30 on board, including Dr. Peter Kreeft, Dr. Edward Feser, Fr. Robert Barron, Fr. Robert Spitzer, Dr. Benjamin Wiker, Dr. Christopher Kaczor, Dr. Janet Smith, Dr. Kevin Vost, Christopher West, Jimmy Akin, Jennifer Fulwiler, Marc Barnes, Leah Libresco, Stacy Trascanos, Mark Shea, Tim Staples, Carl Olson, and many more. The project has also received several great endorsements including these:
- “Brandon Vogt is at the cutting edge of using the Internet and social media as a tool for evangelization…I believe that his latest endeavor, StrangeNotions.com, is an excellent example.” – Bishop Christopher Coyne, Archdiocese of Indianapolis
- “Brandon Vogt brings his energy, enthusiasm, and prodigious intellectual gifts to the Catholic conversation and demonstrates how social media can be used effectively to advance the mission of the Gospel.” – Fr. Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
This site is timely for several reasons:
On May 12 the Catholic Church around the world will celebrate 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.