066: Crushing Modernism & Regaining a Catholic Worldview

by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard

Ever wonder how we got into the mess we’re in?

Why is the modern world so opposed to the Christian faith?

What went wrong and how do we get back on track?

These are pretty tough questions, which is fine because I’ve got a pretty smart guest.

Today on the Art of Catholic I brought in Dr. Andrew Jones. He’s got a PhD in Medieval History and is an expert on the Church in the High Middle Ages. He’s also the Executive Director at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

Some of you will remember him from Episode 51 when he spoke about the Crusades.

But as big a topic as that was, this is even bigger.

Dr. Jones is going to use his deep knowledge of Catholic history to drop a bomb on the modern world. Namely, he’ll expose some of the underlying reasons things are the way they are (a fat mess), and give some direction as to the solution.

He spells it all out in his new, fat book titled “Before Church & State” that took 10 years to write. (Yes, 10 years.)

Here’s the thing I love about Andrew. He’s a contrarian. Not just because he likes to argue, but because he loves the truth. Andrew lives to totally destroy the anti-Catholic paradigms and false narratives with which we were all taught to believe…stuff we didn’t realize was anti-Catholic!

Among other things, we’ll discuss:

  • Why the modern categories of Church and State are totally anti-Catholic
  • The lie of “public” and “private” in the realm of faith
  • How the modern world has re-defined religion and boxed us in
  • Why modernism wants everyone to be the same (even while preaching “individualism”)
  • Why the term “religion” is code for “things that don’t really matter” to the modern world
  • How 13th century France points to a better structure founded on charity
  • Why Catholics must forcefully reject modernity’s definition of Christianity
  • Why the term “religious liberty” is a hoax
  • Why all Catholics should understand the notion of “Sovereignty”

I’m sure you’ve noticed this is a big list. Well this is a big episode…a very important episode. I’m guessing you’re going to walk away from this one thinking, “Whoa…I might need to re-think some things.”

God bless!


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8 Responses

  1. I listened to this yesterday but when I began to talk to my husband about it I couldn’t articulate the idea:) The pushback against modernism though is brilliant and if I can say it, “liberating” to my mind.I always felt that I had to acquiesce to the categories of church and state because I thought they were the only way to keep the social structure in a world that rejects God. But I can see that it is a modern supposition that religion has to be relegated to the private for the public good. The opposite makes sense though and accords with the Lordship of Jesus.

    I really loved the analogy of the peasant and the knight because they represented layers of society that we moderns see as church and state. I do have questions: So, in the social realm of man things turn political when we need an adjudicator, but if both parties try to handle things in a way where we don’t seek our “rights”, but rather think more in terms of the good of the other the less the need of a positive law to govern our affairs? If that is what he’s saying this seems to also be in agreement with 1 Cor 6:1-9. I’ve been taught to see a big distinction when settling matters inside and outside “the church” when I was a Reformed Christian. It seemed they saw that there were matters that respectively belonged to the church and matters that belonged to the state( pedophilia for one). All of this raises more questions for me, like does thinking like this collapse the distinction between sacred and profane? It’s my opinion that this distinction is solely church and state in a Reformed person’s view, and is the basis for their Two Kingdom Theology, for I was once told that there are “no sacred spaces” in the special way Catholics see places like The Holy Sepulchre. etc… I will have to buy the book to see if my questions are addressed. Anyways, I would have asked my husband to listen to the podcast, but he’s Reformed and the Protestant joke wouldn’t go over well:)

    1. Hi Susan! Thanks for the comment and question. Andrew left on vacation the day after we recorded the podcast, but I sent him a note and I’m sure he’ll get to it once he’s back (if not sooner). In the meantime, I gotta tell you that the book is really pretty awesome. It’s not a quick read, but it’s powerful. http://www.emmausroad.org/Before-Church-and-State-A-Study-of-Social-Order-in-the-Sacramental-Kingdom-of-St-Louis-IX–P12390.aspx?afid=26

      1. Thank you, Matthew. I see that some of what I said is unclear, so if Andrew needs me to clarify what I meant, I will try again:) But while I have your attention let me thank you for your video series, The Bible and the Sacraments. They are beautifully done and clearly presented. I am recharged and comforted when I watch them. I love the music and the visuals. Highlighting the life of a person from the past as an introduction to each sacrament was a moving and lovely touch.
        Thank you for taking the work out of explaining the Sacraments to our family and friends who aren’t Catholic.

        1. You are very welcome, Susan. I (and everyone at the Center who was involved) appreciate your kind words. God bless you!

  2. This is such an illuminating interview. And the book is really great too. I’ve been thinking about the relation between spiritual authority and temporal power for a long time, but Jones really clarified some things for me.

  3. Once we put Christ first, then all else will fall into place. Christ before church and family and everything. Otherwise, man will not learn The Truth and deception prevails.

    PRAY! Pray like you’ve never prayed before, with groaning and painstaking tears; pleading your case before the LORD. Not for just 5 minutes. Try an hour. What? Your life doesn’t allow to free an hour for the LORD? If you tithed 10% of your time, the LORD would LOVE LOVE LOVE to share 2 hours and 40 minutes a day with you… LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS (See the Book of John, who spent hours daily with the LORD). Also, the LORD causes your time to shift so that you can accomplish what you need to throughout the day. TRY THE LORD – HIS WAY and find that He is Good. So Good!! Jesus ANSWERS. There is NONE like unto Him. No, not any!

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