Are altar calls a form of worship

1. Four dimensions of God's speech


"God's speech 1-4"


God's speech - especially in a secularized world1 - is mostly taken for granted as speeches above God understood. But this is based on speaking to God (Prayer), which in turn is based on a speaking of God to us (Revelation) answers. God's speech in the first and proper sense is God's self-communication, which is concretized in the biblical word of God. “For the Scriptures are God's speechinsofar as it was recorded in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit. "2 On this word of God in the genitivus subjectivus (hereinafter referred to as “God's speech 1”) answers the person not only addressed by God, but also capable of the Ant word from creation on, appropriately with his prayer word to God (hereinafter referred to as “God's speech 2”). The one that comes about through God's word and human response, revelation and faith Dialog between God and man, God and people of God, is the expression and execution of a covenant which, however, is not self-sufficient. Those who have been chosen to be children of God or people of God through the completed covenant experience themselves as being taken into service and sent to others. Thus a testifying speech grows out of the first two basic forms of God's speech of God (“God's speech 3”) and only in a last derivation a reflective speech above God (“God's speech 4”).3


The trap of talking about God in isolation in a secularized world


This literally “theo-logical ”context suggests that our talk about God (“ God's speech 4 ”) becomes unfounded and inevitably gets into crisis when it is detached from the context of God's speech 1-3. This problem would be exacerbated for a talk of God within a secularized world4 impact. Since speaking of God as divine self-revelation, as a prayer to God and as a witness to God appear to be direct, the dialogue with non-believers is limited to reflexive speech above God (God's speech 4), in order to be able to prove their justification in the only accepted discursive fields. A dilemma would be that such a justification of God's speech, isolated from God experience and religious practice, cannot really convince because it is baseless for theological reasons - in the sense of “without support”.


This problem context can lead to a Cases which slowly but surely snaps not only in fundamental theology and apologetics, but also in the practical endeavors to evangelize and re-evangelize: Due to the lack of opportunities to connect with non-believers, existential, experience-related and dialogical moments of the exercise of faith are increasingly faded out. Christians and theologians thus contribute to a further neglect of these moments (corresponding to God's speech 1-3) in the common forms of discourse, whereby the related possibilities of connection (or the competences to perceive such possibilities of connection) decrease even more, which further reinforces the impression that God and belief can no longer be communicated in a secularized world.


The Kairos for a dialogically unabridged speech from God


In order to escape this trap, the apparently self-evident - and, according to the dynamics described, increasingly self-evident - prerequisite would have to be questioned: Are divine speech 1-3 actually more difficult to convey in today's world, or can there be opportunities or chances of grace for this conversation - with the Biblical Greek Word: Kairoi - be found in which, even for apparently non-believers, divine speech in the sense of 1-3 becomes an experienced event?5 The dialogical philosophy of religion draws attention to such connections. Martin Buber not only reflected on this in an impressive way, but also told of how buried possibilities of God's speech can break out again in a kairos of conversation:

“... We cannot cleanse the word 'God', and we cannot make it whole; but we can, tainted and torn as it is, raise it from the ground and raise it up for over an hour of great sorrow. "
It had become very light in the room. The light no longer flowed, it was there. The old man got up, came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder and said: 'Let us tell you something.' The conversation was over. Because where two are truly together, they are so in the name of God. "6]

However, not only unavailable Kairoi are necessary for such beginnings in an unabridged divine speech, but also the attention of those involved to perceive this language of a divine speech 1 and (implicitly) 2, as well as the ability to link it with discourses of a divine speech 3 and 4. This requires corresponding theological skills, for which the question arises as to whether they are sufficiently developed in today's theological research for current problem contexts and adequately conveyed in theological teaching.7 And even if all these conditions were met, Buber's insight seems hardly feasible because the objective conditions are less and less: that two people take a whole night to get to the bottom of a real question in an interpersonal exchange. Where are there still discourses in personal conversations - and if: where do such conversations take place in such a way that without the pressure of success, evaluation or rankings they leave enough leeway that a conversation not only ends, but - as Buber says - fullwill end?


Signs of the times as the impetus for an unabridged speech from God


We also find attention for the connection between God's speech 1 - 4 in the theologumenon of “signs of the times”, which has become increasingly important since the Second Vatican Council. Signs of the times are theologically relevant contexts of events that are inscribed in societies and epochs. What they have in common with Kairoi is that they have their time. They cannot be “made”, but are found, even if human action is crucially involved in them.8 They occur, and in theological analysis they can be ascribed an action in the history of salvation or in God's language. So God speaks through the desire for unity of Christians, through a growing international solidarity and the demand for religious freedom or equality between women and men to the people - especially to the Christians, to the church. This is God's speech 1 - with the effect that the professional “God speakers”, i.e. the theologians, are here Addressed are. They are called to be heard before they speak themselves, in a speech that is initially an answer to the call heard and only then is a testimony to what has been learned in such a dialogue. Thus, with regard to signs of the times, God's speech 1 - 3 are in an inner context, whereby God's speech 4 has to support this process of listening / speaking in serving reflection. Compared to the kairos of a single event - such as the "completed" conversation developed by Buber as an example - the kairos of a sign of the times has the advantage that it can also be developed into more complex forms of discourse.


The arc of God's speech 1-4 is so wide that a theological analysis must concentrate on arc sections. For the context of Divine Speech 3-4 - that reflective divine speech from its biblical origins to contemporary analytics grows from testifying divine speech and cannot be separated from it - reference can be made to more recent works.9 In the following I would like to concentrate on the connection between God's speech 1-3. It is of central importance in the subject of evangelization and the new evangelization, which has been increasingly inscribed as urgent in the Catholic Church by the Popes since the Second Vatican Council.


Evangelization in Church Doctrinal Documents


Since the Second Vatican Council there has been evangelization or evangelism, i.e. "the proclamation of the message of Christ through the testimony of life and the word"10, an increasingly central issue for the Catholic Church. In contrast to mission, evangelization also aims at the renewal of baptized Christians and of former Christian core countries. "New Evangelization"11 was recognized as urgent, not just because of a "break between gospel and culture"12which affects an increasing number of unbaptized and mere 'baptismal Christians', but also because of the insight that all Christians are called to evangelize,13 what is only possible with a burning heart, kindled by intensive contact with the gospel of Jesus Christ. So evangelization must be preceded by “self evangelization”, including by Christians who know and practice the Christian faith, “even in a certain sense ... [by] deacons, priests and bishops themselves”.14. As Pope Francis put it in his first Apostolic Letter:

“'At the beginning of being a Christian there is not an ethical decision or a big idea, but the encounter with an event, with a person who gives our life a new horizon and thus its decisive direction.' (Benedict XVI., Deus caritas est, Number 1). Thanks to this encounter - or re-encounter - with God's love, which becomes a happy friendship, we are redeemed from our isolated mindset and from our self-centeredness. We achieve our full humanity when we are more than just human, when we allow God to lead us beyond ourselves so that we can reach our more real being. That is where the source of evangelization lies. For if someone has accepted this love that gives him back the meaning of life, how can he withhold the desire to share it with others? ”(Evangelii Gaudium, nos. 7-8)]

Such a 'burning heart evangelism'15 is not 'feasible' even with the best pastoral strategies. It only becomes possible when God himself - in Jesus Christ - is the real evangelist. The younger Catholic doctrinal documents consistently see it this way,16 lastly with Pope Francis: “In any form of evangelization, priority always lies with God, who called us to cooperate with him and spurred us on with the power of his Spirit” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 12).


The fact that God is the real subject of evangelization means a relief for Christians. Evangelizing takes place through an evangelizingbecome, and this leads people from a comfortable or fearful self-isolation into an openness to others, which retrospectively means real life for the evangelizers and as such - despite all challenges - joy: "Evangelii gaudium". Furthermore, through the insight into Christ as the real evangelizer, the temptation to a one-sided, doctrinally instructive evangelization is initially warded off. The Holy Spirit can also make himself poor17To serve new converts and non-Christians as subjects of evangelization, so that Christians in their evangelistic commitment always have to reckon with the fact that these groups of people confront them not only as potential recipients of evangelization, but also always as subjects through which the evangelizers receive evangelization from God.18 In analogy to our fourfold differentiation of the speech of God, it can be said: The connection of evangelization 3 (as testifying speech of God) to evangelization 1 (with God as the subject of evangelization) does not automatically lead to evangelization being pious, but rather, conversely, to a dialogical one Understanding evangelization19, with which Christians on those who speak to them, you evangelizing hear God by listening to their fellow man and being ready to embrace God's presence of them to be given as a gift.


An understanding of evangelization that is based on God's actions also protects against narrowing with regard to the topic and addressees of evangelization: Although its addressees are primarily individual people who ultimately have to get involved in the gospel in an irreplaceable decision - but no human, social, social or worldly dimension are left out. Not only are individual people to be evangelized, but cultures too.20


Just as in the case of missions, there is much controversy in evangelization. After the Second Vatican Council, the term gained wide acceptance over the term mission, which had become questionable due to its colonialist history.21 The fact that this did not happen earlier has to do with a problematic history of the concept of evangelism. It had long been widespread in Protestant churches, with a central focus on the proclamation of the Gospel (cf. the principle "sola scriptura"),22 and often with an anti-Catholic thrust. While this reservation has been dispelled by ecumenism and a new Catholic appreciation of the biblical word of God, the historical mortgage remains a tendency towards individualistic narrowing in Protestant theory and practice of evangelism.23


These and other tendencies towards shortening - which will be explained in more detail below - can be identified as "traps of evangelization" insofar as such aberrations cloud the perception and create the false impression that the difficulties found can be eliminated by further advancing in the problematic direction. An understanding of evangelization as a process that is based on a sovereign, unavailable action of God (with God as actually evangelizing) and is dependent on responsive action from people, can overcome these traps from the roots. In the following I would like to address three pitfalls:


a) The feasibility trap: evangelization as a program


The experience of a widespread erosion of Christian beliefs and practices, combined with a gradual decline in church membership for large churches, increases the pressure for new evangelization, as something urgently needed by the church and Christians. A Christianity conveyed under pressure to perform, however, inevitably appears tense and unattractive in this way. “His disciples should look redeemed to me,” one could object with Nietzsche.


The way out is in the opposite direction: Deceleration instead of acceleration; back to the encounter with Jesus Christ - like Mary, Marta's sister24 - and in the encounter with those with whom Jesus identified himself: above all with the “poor”, the marginalized. It is not about mass evangelization, but about a “Stop for the one!”. Because: "Revival has a face".25 In the name of God, the respective person is the focus, as well as the love that flows between people. The evangelizers are thus drawn into a stream of grace received. Love is not spent in the process of evangelization, but is strengthened in it.


b) The fixation trap: evangelization of a favored part of the human faculty of faith


Evangelization is a process that challenges people in all their relationships - with God and fellow human beings, with the things of creation and with oneself - to faith and repentance. The God, who communicates himself completely, corresponds to the man who is completely claimed by him.


The Fixation trap consists in the fact that among the human faculties about which God's self-revelation inscribes itself in people, only partial areas are taken up and - evangelizing - passed on or one-sidedly overemphasized in such dissemination:


O informationabove God and commandments from Him according to an instruction-oriented understanding of faith and a corresponding doctrinal conception of mission and evangelization;


O Emotions as an individual or collective precipitation of God experience, in enthusiastic movements (often in a charismatic and pentecostal environment), with a one-sided overemphasis on the affective;


O decision for church-social-community engagement or also for the handing over of life (for example in evangelical "altar calls"26), with a propensity for activism and overestimating the average ability of people to change their whole life;


O leading into a contemplative serenitywhereby the moments of rational knowledge, active responsibility and integrated affectivity remain quietistically neglected.


Each of these moments is central to a living process of evangelism.The one-sided emphasis on an aspect can become a trap in a polarized Christianity, where competing groups and currents fix one another with increasing vehemence in mutual criticism and rejection of what they have one-sidedly emphasized.27 It becomes impossible to perceive and integrate what is too short in one's own, because one does not want to be like the devalued others. So intellectually oriented courses of faith, emotionalized enthusiastic movements, contemplative groups spun into each other and religious-social action groups stand against each other without wanting to complement each other and learn from each other.


What all these one-sidednesses have in common is that the focus is no longer on the encounter with the living God, but something isolated from God and made the subject of evangelization. These "objects" of evangelization are devalued and perverted when the living and unavailable God is no longer the center. You then threaten to "Dia-boles", i.e. no longer mediating, but adjusting, to their goal of meaning Symbols to cement the demarcation from rejected others (groups, spiritualities, forms of evangelization ...). Unifying worship becomes divisive idolatry without anyone directly wanting it.


The way out: pause and seek anew the presence of the living God - in an attitude that is open to conversion (cf. Mk 1:15), as well as for a new orientation that is received in listening together. An evangelization that wants to escape the reductionist impasse in the beginning depends on a prior self evangelization, as a readiness to seek out Him in order to be evangelized by Him.28


c) The mediation trap: loss of eye level in evangelization


If evangelization is understood as the unauthorized transmission of faith, it inevitably creates a gap between giver and recipient. This conceals the fact that God, as the one supposedly to be passed on, is not at the disposal of the one passed on. In a variation of an Augustinian word, one could say: "If you have imparted it, then it is not God". One cannot pass on to God, only the testimony of Him. And because God is greater than any testimony of Him, the one who gives the testimony is not above the one who receives it. The recipient can receive God in a size and intensity that by far exceeds the capabilities of the giver. And yet it remains the giver.


Wherever Jesus Christ, as the real evangelizer, gets out of sight, the balance between giver and recipient, evangelizer and evangelized, is lost. For mediationcases it comes here through a polarization29 between those who emphasize giving - and thus an apparently automatically associated superiority of evangelizers over evangelized people - and those who relativize the claim to have something to give as Christians in order not to put themselves above their dialogue partners.30 This dilemma, aggravated by polarization, was already effective in the controversies about the necessity or impossibility of mission in view of the more clearly recognized possibility of salvation for all people and the expansion of interreligious dialogue.31 By speaking of evangelization instead of mission, this problem is only postponed. It can be overcome in the approach, as described in the previous paragraph: If God is not the object but the subject of all evangelization32 and in this way cannot be conveyed, but only witnessed, - with the not only tolerated, but even prayed possibility that God shines even brighter in the addressee of evangelization than in the giver himself, so that knowing about this possibility one is modest, but firm can stand what one has to testify: the saving power of God, which surpasses all understanding, in Jesus Christsu.


If the actual evangelist is the free, personal God in the living Jesus Christ, then evangelization stands or falls with the perception of the respective kairos or “divine timing”. It is about “doing the good works that God has prepared for us in advance” at the right time and in the right place (Eph 2:10):33

"Wherever God opens a door for the word to proclaim the mystery of Christ, the living God must be proclaimed to all people with boldness and firmness, and he whom he has sent for the salvation of all, Jesus Christ."34]

The Council's insight that evangelization has its kairos is based on Jesus' proclamation: “The kairos is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel ”(Mk 1:15). Kairos here means not only qualitative time in the sense of chance of grace, but the event of the meeting with that given in Christcome and angetaken God.35 Jesus not only evangelizes in word and deed; he is evangelistic (even before he opens his mouth or lifts a finger), because and in so far as he doescome All right to Godtook Has. The same applies to Christians as people for whom God has arrived and accepted in the encounter with the living risen One: you are evangelistic because the gospel burns in their hearts. Filled with the Holy Spirit, who instructs them what to say and when (Lk 12: 11f), they develop a sense of the kairos of evangelization: that is, for situations “where God opens a door for the Word, the mystery of Christ to announce "36. They are "wise in dealing with outsiders" and "buy out the kairos" (Col 4,5). By the Doing works of God rather than just works For To accomplish God, they are effective without being dependent on visible successes. Like Jesus, they can come to rest in the middle of a storm to get up at the right moment, everything to give. This is the vision of our current Pope of a "gaudium evangelii": a "new stage of evangelization ... marked by ... joy"37.


But isn't that too idealizing? It may be an adequate description of situations of grace in which evangelism flows as if by itself and theological orientation therefore seems largely superfluous. And outside of this “flow of the Holy Spirit”, where theological guidance would be needed, does it only make long teeth? How can the ideal described be translated into a theology of evangelization?


For me it follows from what has been described that we need a theology of evangelization based on salvation history, which reflects on Kairoi of evangelization in Christian history.


An example: two years after the end of the Second Vatican Council, the charismatic renewal within the Catholic Church has emerged and has spread almost explosively.38 Countless Catholics - just like before and at the same time Christians of other denominations - have meanwhile had life-changing experiences of God, which have ignited their love for God, the Church, the gospel, prayer, discipleship and evangelization. Such experiences called "Spirit baptism"39 correspond to what is called self evangelization in church documents - as a prerequisite for Christians to become evangelistic themselves out of a burning heart.40 While the Christians in the charismatic renewal have to remind themselves again and again that they are the divine spiritualGift not for enjoyment or self-privilege, but as - evangelistic - OnChurch initiatives for evangelization require places of experience where the unavailable self-gift of God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit can break out. Corresponds to the Gift the charismatic renewal of task to the new evangelization? Are the relevant movements and their documents to be read together in order to be able to understand them better? These would be questions for theological research that should by no means only be legitimistically, but also be pursued critically. To establish that the outpouring of the spirit in the context of the charismatic renewal represents a kairos or a sign of the times, only raises the question to what extent this kairos was perceived or missed. This question needs to be answered in a differentiated manner with a view to countless individual phenomena. Where was offered grace accepted, rejected, or abused?


Similar questions should be asked about the whole history of evangelization, for example about the founding of orders since the Middle Ages or about the great revival movements in the Protestant area, in the context of which the term “evangelism” has been used since the 18th century.41 What we can find in such studies are not only explosive evangelistic conflagrations, but also an unexpected breakdown of such movements or even their overturning into problematic forms. The evangelization traps mentioned above appear almost regularly in later stages of evangelization movements and contributed to their ebb.


So a theology of evangelization would be salvation-historical and - with a view to Kairoi - perceived and missed42 - to unfold dramatically in salvation. For practical questions about evangelism, instruments could be obtained for the kairological perception and differentiation of those “open doors” that can set evangelization free.


Baker, Heidi (2012): Primacy of Love. In: Clark, Randy (eds.), Supernatural Missions. Mechanicsburg: Apostolic Network of Global Awakening, 249-262; on the Internet: (last accessed: April 18, 2014).


Baker, Heidi / Baker, Rolland (2003) There is always enough! Rolland and Heidi Baker's service among the poor. Lüdenscheid: Asaph, 2003.


Bausenhart, Guido (2010): Introduction to Theology. Genesis and validity of theological statements. Freiburg: Herder.


Benedict XVI., Pope (2007): Address to the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparecida. On the Internet: (last accessed: April 19, 2014).


Beyerhaus, Peter J. (2009): Why Christian Mission Today? Lecture to Pope Benedict XVI. in Castel Gandolfo. On the Internet: (last accessed: April 19, 2014).


Buber, Martin (1962): God's eclipse. Reflections on the relationship between religion and philosophy. In: Ders., Works, Bd. I .: Writings on Philosophy. Munich: Kösel, 503-603.


Francis, Pope: Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. On proclaiming the gospel in today's world. Vatican.


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Hirsch, Georg (2009): New evangelization as a program of the Emmanuel Community, Hamburg: Kovac.


Hollenweger, Walter J. (1982): Art. Evangelism. In: TRE 10 (1982), 636-641.


Kasper, Walter Cardinal (2011): Catholic Church. Essence - Reality - Mission. Freiburg i. Br .: Herder.


Koch, Kurt Kardinal (2011): Mission or De-Mission of the Church? In: Augustin, George / Krämer, Klaus (ed.): Mission as a challenge. Impulses for the new evangelization. Freiburg i.Br. 2011: Herder, 41-79.


Martin, Ralph (2012): Will Many be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization. Michigan: Eerdmans.


Paul VI, Pope (1975): Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntinandi. Evangelization in today's world. Vatican.


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Sandler, Willibald (2011): The shackles of death. How we are redeemed through the cross. Kevelaer: Topos. On the Internet: (last accessed: April 18, 2014)


- (2012): Experience of the Holy Spirit in charismatic currents. History - phenomena - theological distinction. In: Sandler, Willibald (ed.), A touch of God. The presence of the Holy Spirit in church and world [= theological trends, no. 21]. Innsbruck: iup 2012, 113-163. Extended version on the Internet: (last accessed: April 18, 2014).


- (2013): “Use the Kairos!” Biblical foundations for a Christian life from the strength and guidance of God. In: J. Panhofer / N. Wandinger (eds.), Church between reform stagnation and revolution. Lectures at the 13th Innsbruck Theological Summer Days 2012 (theological trends 22). Innsbruck: innsbruck university press, 53-87. A more detailed documented version can be found on the Internet: (last accessed: April 18, 2014).


- (2014): Kairos and Parousia. Kairos as an event of God arrived and accepted in Christ. In: ZkTh 136 (2014), 10-31. More detailed version on the Internet: (last accessed: April 18, 2014).


Schaeffler, Richard (1989): The prayer and the argument. Two ways of speaking about God. An introduction to the theory of religious language. Düsseldorf: Patmos.


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Schwerdtfeger, Nikolaus (1982): Grace and World. On the basic structure of Karl Rahner's theory of the “anonymous Christian” (FThSt 123). Freiburg i.Br.-Basel-Vienna: Herder.


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It is assumed that there are four inseparable meanings of God's speech: 1. God speaks to us; 2. People speak (answer) to God; 3. People follow a call and speak testifying about God), 4. Theologically reflective speech about God. If this connection (and in particular the priority of “God's speech 1”) is neglected, various “traps of evangelization” arise: the Feasibility trap in view of the limited ability to plan evangelism and the resulting danger of the church being overwhelmed by itself; the Fixation trap with a view to different accentuations in the exercise of faith stimulated by evangelism (intellectualism, emotionalism, fideism, quietism), which may be played off against each other in a polarizing way the Mediation trap with a reductionist transmission of fixed beliefs (whereby God, who surpasses all understanding, gets out of sight) from a claim of own superiority, as well as the counter-movement of a "dialogue on equal terms" with the risk of surrendering legitimate beliefs.


One can escape these traps through an appropriate theological consideration of the Kairoi of evangelization, in which the connection of the four forms of the speech of God is expressed with a priority of "Divine speech 1" (i.e. "God speaks for us").


There are four inextricably interrelated meanings of God's speech: 1. God speaks to us; 2. people speak to God by answering to his call; 3. people follow a call and speak about God by giving testimony; 4. theological discourse about God. If this fourfold connection is neglected, traps of evangelization may result:


the feasibility trap in view of the limited predictability of evangelization and the consequent threat of excessive demands to the church; the fixation trap in view of different accentuations of faith stimulated by evangelization (intellectualism, emotionalism, fideism, quietism), which may be pitted against each other under polarizing circumstances; the mediation trap with a reductionist disclosure of fixed beliefs (where the true God who exceeds all understanding gets out of view) stemming from a claim of own superiority, and the counter-movement of a "dialogue at eye level" with the threat of abandoning legitimate faith claims .


One can escape these traps by the help of an adequate theological consideration of "kairoi of evangelization", where the relationship between the four meanings of God's speech (with a priority of "God's speech to us") will be expressed.


1 In the following, I am speaking vaguely of the “secularized world” as a world in which the word God - as well as religious language as a whole - is explicitly no longer used, in the Christian-ecclesiastical sense of a reality that determines everything as creator, redeemer and finisher not according to the matter. With this finding, which is at least pronounced in Central Europe, various concepts of secularization according to J.Connected to Casanova: a social differentiation that no longer allows God as the all-determining reality to become plausible; an erosion of religious beliefs and practices combined with a "post-secular" secularization that has not declined, as well as a tendency towards the privatization of religion, which religion increasingly wants to keep out of public discourse. See Gabriel, K. (2007).


2 Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum 9.


3 From this point of view, theology can be traced back to “God's speech 1”. With Karl Rahner's “Hörer des Wort”: “Theology in the first and original sense is not a system of valid sentences constituted by human thought, but the totality of the divine speech addressed by God himself to man, although in human language” (Rahner [1997], 17). Rahner calls this “positive theology” in contrast to scholastic theology (ibid.).


5 It is on purpose that I no longer speak of the “secularized world” as I did before, but of “today's world”. This leaves open not only the possibility that we are today in a "post-secular world" shaped by new religiosity, but also the fact that secularized linguistic world and a still given openness for life orientation to religious experience and transcendent thinking in an unbalanced way can occur simultaneously.


7 It is about spirituality not as one subject alongside others, but as a “formal object” of theology that pervades all subjects. At the theological faculty of the University of Innsbruck, in consideration of such a necessity, a separate branch of study spirituality was dispensed with. The alternative of an interdisciplinary perception of the topic of spirituality threatens to go under in the face of existing shortages (a learning material that is difficult to reduce with fewer and fewer weekly hours or ECTS points in teaching).


8 Even the public naming of such signs in their theological relevance is a - prophetic - linguistic act that not only establishes reality, but also changes it.


9 Fundamental theological is enlightening here: Bausenhart, G. (2010). In terms of the philosophy of religion, see Schaeffler, R. (1989).


10 Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium 35.


11 The term goes back to John Paul II. For an analysis of the terms “evangelization”, “new evangelization”, “self evangelization” etc. see Hirsch, G. (2009) 89-152.


12 “The break between the gospel and culture is undoubtedly the drama of our time, just as it has been in other epochs” (Paul VI., Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 20).


13 Cf. Evangelii Gaudium, no. 119: "In all the baptized, from the first to the last, the sanctifying power of the Spirit works, which urges evangelization."


14 “Evangelization is not just about mission in the simple sense; H. in the sense of pagan mission. For the evangelization of non-believers sets the Self evangelization ahead of the baptized, even in a certain sense that of the deacons, priests and bishops themselves. Evangelization occurs through witnesses; a witness does not give his testimony by words alone, but by his life. We must also remember that the word testimony in Greek means 'martyrdom'. In this respect the old churches can learn a lot from the young churches, from their dynamism, their life and witness to martyrdom, blood witness ”(Final Document of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops 1985, 11; italics W.S.).


15 “How I wish I could find the right words to encourage a stage of evangelization that is more zealous, joyful, generous, daring, full of love and a life that is contagious! But I know that there will be no motivation unless the fire of the Holy Spirit burns in the heart ”(Evangelii Gaudium, no. 261).


16 The Second Vatican Council already sees Jesus Christ as the primary subject of current evangelization: “Christ the great prophet [...] until the full revelation of glory, fulfills his prophetic office not only through the hierarchy teaching in his name and authority, but also through the laity. He therefore called them to witness and equips them with the sense of faith and the grace of the word (cf. Acts 2: 17-18; Rev 19: 10) so that the power of the gospel may shine in everyday family and social life. [...] This evangelism, that is, the proclamation of the message of Christ through the testimony of life and the word, gets a peculiar character and special effectiveness from the fact that it is fulfilled in the ordinary circumstances of the world ... "(Lumen Gentium 35; emphasis added WS) .


17 That the poor can evangelize is, at least from the gospel point of view, more obvious than that it is true of the rich. However, it is easily overlooked where the poor are primarily perceived as addressees of welfare.


18 “For this reason I want a poor church for the poor. They have much to teach us. Not only do they participate in the sensus fidei, but also know the suffering Christ thanks to their own sufferings. It is necessary, that we all allow ourselves to be evangelized by them“(Evangelii Gaudium, no. 198; emphasis added). - Yes, even non-Christians come into question as subjects of evangelization according to Pope Francis: “They do not have the meaning and the effectiveness of the sacraments instituted by Christ, but can be channels that the Spirit itself creates in order to free non-Christians from atheistic immanentism or from pure liberating individual religious experiences ”(Evangelii Gaudium, no. 254).


19 On the dialogical dimension of evangelization see Hollenweger, W. (1982), 640.


20 "It applies - and not only decoratively, as with a superficial coating, but with vital power in the depths and down to its roots - the culture and the cultures of man in the full and comprehensive sense that these terms have in Gaudium et spes, to evangelizealways starting from the person and then always progressing towards the relationships between persons and with God ”(Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. 20, italics W.S.).


21 In church documents and theology of the last few years a counter-movement can be recorded here. This is also noticeable with Pope Francis, who moves the view beyond the church more into the middle. See Evangelii Gaudium, passim.


22 Such an understanding of evangelism corresponds to the verb "euanggelizomai" (55 times), which is common in the New Testament. For example: “For when I preach the gospel [ean gar euanggelízomai], I cannot boast about it; because a compulsion is on me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel [ean me euanggelísomai] ”(1 Cor 9:16).


23 Cf. on this very critical and at the same time differentiating: Hollenweger (1982).


24 As will become even clearer in the following, it is not a question of a one-sided preference for a “contemplative Mary” over an “active Martha”, but rather a matter of listening in front doing so that the mission in the "Missio Dei" (see note 32).


25 These are the two leading mottos of the Pentecostal missionary Heidi Baker. See Baker, H. (2012), and on their person and work: Baker, H. u. R. (2003). This focus on people on the margins of society, not on the masses, but on the individual they meet (cf. the parable of the Good Samaritan) corresponds to a central concern of Pope Francis: “In a civilization that suffers from anonymity and, paradoxically, shamelessly at the same time sick of an unhealthy curiosity, eager to learn details from the lives of others, the Church needs a close eye to look at the other, to be moved and to stop in front of him as often as necessary ”(Evangelii Gaudium, No. 169). Amazingly, the focus on the individual seems to set in motion evangelistic movements that reach a great number of people. This is also clear from the evangelistic work of Heidi Baker in Mozambique.


26 This does not mean anything against a cautious use of an altar call, for example at the end of faith seminars, where after experienced grace and the knowledge received, the possibility of a corresponding faith decision, e.g. in the way of a baptism renewal, is now opened up. What I am problematizing here is a one-sided fixation on the moment of the decision that is sometimes given in the evangelical environment, whereby it is ignored that there is one for it Kairos according to Jesus' request to repent, which according to Mk 1:15 is spoken into a kairos of experienced grace and insight. To the evangelistic method of calling the altar or altar call see Schröder, A.-K. (2012).


27 Such polarization can be related to the sinful situation of a “sidelong mentality”, in which people and groups of people ensure their individual or collective identity through demarcation from certain others, in contrast to a “positively related identity oriented towards God” “, Which has a unifying and reconciling effect. See: Sandler, W. (2011), 40-47.


28 That is why Pope Francis' call at the beginning of Evangelii Gaudium is not sentimentality, but highly functional as a prerequisite for the call to evangelization: “I invite every Christian, no matter where and in what situation he is, his personal encounter today to renew with Jesus Christ or at least to make the decision to be found by him, to seek him every day without ceasing. There is no reason anyone should think that this invitation is not for them because 'no one is excluded from the joy that the Lord brings us'. The Lord does not disappoint those who dare to do something, and when someone takes a small step towards Jesus, he discovers that Jesus is already waiting with open arms for his coming. This is the moment to say to Jesus Christ, 'Lord, I have been deceived, I have fled your love in a thousand ways, but here I am again to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Buy me free again, take me up again in your redeeming arms. ‘"


29 For a theological criticism of polarization see above, note 27.


30 This corresponds to a widespread, humble attitude that Christians only consider themselves to be Godviewfinder want to denote and fearfully avoid any testimony to have found - or to have been found by Him. In contrast to this, a middle should be striven for between “already found” and “still on the way”, which corresponds to the tension between “already now” and “not yet” of the arrival of the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ. On this tension see Sandler, W. (2014), 16-24.


31 On the question of the extent to which the assumption of the possibility of salvation for non-Christians, which was widely established by Vatican II, even bypassing formal church membership, has led the mission into a crisis, cf. - partially affirmative - Martin, R. (2013), as well as - in Confrontation with Karl Rahner's Theologumenon about the anonymous Christian with good reason denying: Schwerdtfeger, N. (1982).
The statement of a "crisis of mission" goes back to before the Second Vatican Council and Rahner's theology of the anonymous Christian. Already in 1945 Alfred Delp spoke of Germany as a mission country (cf. Koch, K. [2011] 41-42). And already in 1958 the Protestant theologian Walter Freytag stated at the world missions conference in Ghana: "At that time the mission had problems, today it has become a problem in itself." (Quoted from Beyerhaus, P. [2009], 3).


32 On this perspective at the Second Vatican Council see above, note 16. Walter Cardinal Kasper sees the Trinitarian God as the actual subject of mission (Kasper, W. [2011] 413.). Similar to Kurt Cardinal Koch: According to him, the church is a missionary subject in a derived way, on the basis of a trinitarian mission theology (cf. Koch, K. [2011], 153-154). In evangelical mission theology, the insight that the triune God is the actual subject of mission was already formulated in 1952 (at the world missions conference in Willingen) and goes back to Karl Barth. See with differentiated agreement: Kasper W. (2011), 561.


34 Second Vatican Council, Ad gentes 13. Cf. Col 4,3-5.


35 See Sandler, W. (2014).


36 Second Vatican Council, Ad gentes 13.


37 Evangelii Gaudium, No. 1.


38 See Sandler, W. (2012).


39 See: the booklet "Baptism in the Holy Spirit": Theological Committee ... (2013). There it is also documented that the talk of "being baptized in the Holy Spirit" on a biblical basis by Pope Benedict XVI, among others. is used affirmatively (ibid. 9-10. The same applies to Pope Francis, for example in his address to the 37th National Assembly of the Charismatic Movement “Rinnovamento nello Spirito Santo” from June 2014: “I expect you to be with everyone in the Church has the grace of “Spirit baptism”, who shares baptism with the Holy Spirit - an expression found in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. 1.5; 11.16). ”Quoted from: http: //www.zenit. org / de / articles / you-have-received-a-great-gift-from-the-gentleman).


40 See e.g. Benedict XVI. in his address to the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparecida (2007): “The disciple who stands firmly on the rock of God's Word in this way feels inspired to bring his brothers the good news of salvation. Discipleship and mission are, as it were, the two sides of the same coin: When the disciple in love with Christ he cannot stop proclaiming to the world that Christ alone saves us (cf. Acts 4:12). The disciple knows that without Christ there is no light, no hope, no love and no future ”(ibid. No. 3; emphasis mine). - If this is a key to evangelization, which is understandable, then the question arises: How can the Church make it that Christians fall in love with Christ? With all the required and justified “sowing”, such a harvest cannot madebut only to be found as a gift of grace. The activity of the church is therefore not superfluous. It consists of active perception and encouragement, as well as careful guidance.


41 See Hirsch, G. (2009), 113.


42 On the drama of a failed Cairo see Sandler W. (2014), 10-15.