I'll approach this a little differently. Most of the answers here address the "what" of teaching catch-up to a dormant programmer. Most of that "what" is a specific programming language or programming paradigm. But Skarab asked "how", which is a different question altogether.
This is how:
-- If he's done a lot with C++, Linux, and mySQL, but moved away from it, find out why. It could be that he became tired of the way those technologies constrain problem-solving techniques. Perhaps he doesn't want to do precisely that any longer.
-- Find out what the learner means when he says he needs to re-learn programming. What you're looking for his his "happy thought": the thing that motivates him to action.
Clearly from the question, approaching it with a new but similar language like C# or Java isn't it. Find out what he wants to do with his programming, then you'll have a hook for the next thing.
-- Upon learning the "happy thought", identify the best computer languages or technologies for the kind of thing he wants to do. F#, Ruby, Python, C#, VB, and Java, and all the other languages mentioned here are means to that end, not ends in themselves.
-- Share precisely one of these technologies with him. Don't complicate things by introducing them all. The last thing a dormant programmer needs is a laundry list of all the things that have been released in the last 24 months followed by a question about which one he wants.
-- locate a very small project or task which introduces one or two new concepts which directly inform his "happy thought", and then demonstrate those concepts for him. Tie it in with what he wants to ultimately do. Note that this is harder for you than just throwing out a new language, because you'll probably have to write these demos. The signal-to-noise ratio on blogs and other online resources is so high that google searches are slowly becoming useless, and no technology vendor (aside from maybe Apple and maybe some departments at Google) has written a cogent demo in something like 13 years.
So in that sense your second option is more appropriate. The language of choice and the platform of choice will follow behind what he wants to do. Eventually, he'll be able to follow along with the rest of us at places like Stack Overflow and not feel for a moment that he's lost something except that happy thought.