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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Christopher West on Nightline - The FULL Story

I have compiled here the full story of Christopher West's Nightline Appearance. In the links below you will find everything you need to get a complete picture of West's appearance - and what others are saying. Then you can feel free to comment - but take the time to get the full story before making assumptions as some people have already done.

My Humble Opinion -
It seems there are differing opinions regarding Christopher West's appearance on ABC's Nightline - sharing about Theology of the Body. I wrote about it on Friday "ToB on Nightline" and shared my thoughts. As I stated some will complain that West is doing an injustice to ToB and somehow causing harm. Well the war of words has begun as a few "theologians" have come out to share their issues with West and his interpretation of JPII's ToB.

In the ABC interview West shares an overview of what this Theology of the Body is and shares a few insights. Apparently the interview that West did lasted two hours and ABC was given four hours of tape of his talks - all to make a seven-minute interview. Obviously something will get lost in that time frame.

Some have said West should not have done the interview - because he should have known that the material would be distorted and for that reason should have declined. I beg to differ greatly. How can you decline an opportunity to share this profound message with the world? Did Jesus not call us to teach and to preach to reach out? Has not the Church called us to reach out through the media to offer truth to this hurting world? Are we to recoil into our "hermitage" because of fear that our message will be misinterpreted or sensationalized? Absolutely not! Jesus did not recoil from speaking the truth even to those who would disagree with him or even who were seeking to trap him in.

I applaud West for first taking the time to discern how to break open ToB for the everyday man and woman to be able to enter in. If you've ever been to any of his presentations or watched/listened to his talks you would know that he does not stay in modern culture but merely uses the fallen nature that is expressed through modern culture to help us see the truth's presented in Theology of the Body. He may use the song "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" as an intro point into expressing man's desire for communion - but his teaching is not based in the song. I want to see one other theologian who is getting people intrigued by Theology of the Body as West is doing. His work is heroic. His appearance on ABC was heroic as well. He knew he would be misunderstood but he also knew that if even a few people decided to go deeper in the message it would be worth it. Sad that he is now being attacked by folks on the same team.

Todd Lemieux has a great post regarding West's work which you can find by clicking here.

I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts in the comments section - whether you agree or disagree with me. But please be sure you check out the links below to get the full story and understand the context.

If you have not watched the ABC Interview you can view it here

- Because West knew that things would be misconstrued he also published some clarifications on his website which you can find here: West Clarifies Misconceptions in ABC Interview

- In order to understand West's references to Hugh Hefner you have to watch this video - it is quite profound and makes much more sense if you hear the context.

- West was interviewed by Catholic News Agency and answers some of the misconceptions from the article. You should read "ABC Interview 'Sensationalized' Theology of the Body"

- Catholic News Agency also printed a story with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand - Theologian - who says "Christopher West’s ideas on sexuality ignore ‘tremendous dangers'"

For more information and understanding of the Theology of the Body you can find great resources here: