The Modern world is defined by the reality of Revolution. One opinion puts forward the idea that the Protestant revolt was the first major revolution that has brought about a radical shift in how humanity views itself as well as all of reality. This was the shift away from medieval man giving himself over to God and the Church, which defined man and the world around him. With Luther and Protestantism, man now becomes the center of the world because with personal interpretation of the Scripture, humanity decides what exactly truth is.
Put another way—The Catholic concept is: be baptized and believe in what the Church teaches—objective doctrines that are true—independent of any individual person. We have the teaching of popes, the magisterium, the fathers and doctors of the Church as well as Sacred Scripture. The Protestant concept is: take Jesus as your personal savior and the Holy Ghost will guide you in your subjective take on the Bible. Never mind that in even major issues the Holy Ghost contradicts Himself, depending on who you talk to. So much for the Holy Ghost who is Truth.
With this shift and Revolution, humanity was let loose to fend for itself. Without the parameters and anchors of God and the Catholic Faith that produced Christendom—and without at least the theoretical prominence of Christ the King operating in society—we see the inevitable decline in religion, politics and culture, manifested all around us today.
The fallout from the Protestant Revolution is the Kantian Revolution. The classical definition of truth is “conformity of the mind to reality.” With Kant, reality conforms to the mind. One cannot emphasize this enough. This means that anything outside of myself cannot be trusted because my mind “filters” or “distorts” it leaving a question as to what can be known, if anything at all. “If there is anything outside of myself to know, can I know it at all.” That is the question of Immanuel Kant, it is the question of Modern man. Technically, this is known as the great “epistemological question.”
You can see how this is a great disadvantage with regard to evangelization and catechesis. Everything now is an opinion, because we can only know subjectivity. This is especially the case when it comes to religion.
It’s all deception of the Devil and renders the idea of Truth difficult, if not impossible to attain. And if Truth cannot be attained, Our Lord Jesus cannot be attained, because He is the Truth. This is a real problem.
In relation to believers who may very well acknowledge the availability of Truth, this remains the challenge not only to ourselves, but especially regarding those whom we meet. “Preaching Jesus” will not avail you if Jesus is only a figure without any real historical identity, and God is simply a manufactured myth rendered so that the weak of mind can get through life. God is real, Jesus is real — but before we get there, we have to establish that reality is real, and that may be the most difficult thing to do