Introducing Strange Notions – Reason, Faith, and Dialogue

I have some extremely exciting news that I’ve been keeping under wraps for some time, and this morning it finally came out. At 9:00am ET, I launched StrangeNotions.com, a major evangelistic project which was two years in the making.
 
StrangeNotions
 
Strange Notions is designed to be the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. One 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.
 

(If you can’t see the video above, click here.)
 
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. Kevin Vost, Christopher West, Jimmy Akin, Jennifer Fulwiler, Marc Barnes, Leah Libresco, Stacy Trascanos, Mark Shea, 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.

Any way that you could cover the site, either with a blog post, an interview, or by sharing the video trailer would be a huge help.

If you have any questions, email me at contact@strangenotions.com. And please tell me what you think in the comment boxes!

7 thoughts on “Introducing Strange Notions – Reason, Faith, and Dialogue

  1. WOW! GOD bless you!

    I’ve just watched the video: “Today [the discussion] is heated with anger and bad logic” *shows man by computer*.

    That is a great way of describing the reality of the “secular” world.

    People live their lives as if they’ll never die; they are so consumed by the sloth of the world; they refuse to hear the Church (because they think religion is “trivial and cultural”), they’re like toy dogs at the back of cars nodding “yes, yes, yes” to any immoral ideaology… just because of the rampant belief “we have to keep up with the times”. That is the wrong attitude to have.

    Atheists together with the “secular” media use Twitter to torment the Church.

    We need patience… and careful dialogue.

    I hope and pray that atheists will feel the emptiness of the world.

    I hope that your site thrives.

  2. Will share this on Facebook, the eighth day, a site for my CCD teens. They need good answers to tough questions. Am very grateful.

  3. You will need to go deeper than a few neo-cath convert bloggers and charismatic priests. The superfriends will get you a good yes man type audience from the already converted and spike your stats early but how will you draw athiests into forum? Just because you post videos and articles about conversion or how athiests are wrong does not mean they will engage. Militant athiests who wear there non religion religion on thier sleeves may troll, but if you keep getting traffic from the all faiths are equal sites like Patheos and the catholic lite super friends you are not going to engage anyone, you will just bore them.

    • In light of your overwhelmingly cynicism you’d likely be surprised to learn that in the first week, Strange Notions garnered over 60,000 views and 1,100 comments, the large majority of which came from serious-minded atheists. If you read even a sampling you’d find a crowd that was far from bored.

  4. Recommended in my blog (Thyself, O Lord) which is written to Portuguese readers.

    Fantastic idea. Congratulations.

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