As is well known, at the time of the Second Vatican Council the Church adopted a less critical attitude towards the world. Dialogue appeared to be replacing apologetics. Winning the argument gave way to a sharing of hearts and minds. Although the Council documents make some tough statements about the state of the world the overall impression is that of a Church addressing the world in positive tones. “Let us reason together,” seems to be the main form of address.
But in fact the Church does not teach that the importance of dialogue does away with the fundamental duty of preaching the gospel and seeking conversion. And the recent conclusions of the Synod on New Evangelisation contained clear reaffirmations of the need for a renewed apologetcs and a clear proclamation of the Gospel.
So is it perhaps time to look again at our attitude to the world? And why should it be so important? Well, first of all, few would deny that in the western world there is massive ignorance of Christian truth. Secondly a more upbeat, less self-apologising approach to evangelisation has been emerging in the Church for some time now.