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October 22, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: We are starting a new series on Apologetics that is based on the book Catholicism & Reason. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. You can send them either to the postal mailing address or to the email address below, and we will interrupt this series to answer them.

Special Course On Catholicism And Reason (Chapters 3 and 4)

When we talk about religion, we are talking about three things: God, myself, and the relation between God and myself. We have seen that God exists and that He is the cause of every other existing thing, including ourselves. Since He brought us into existence, we are dependent upon Him and owe Him our love and obedience. Ways of showing love and respect for God include prayer, worship, and thanks. All peoples and nations down through history have expressed a relationship with God through religious ceremonies and certain beliefs and moral standards. The ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch said that “no one will ever see a city without temples, gods, prayers.”
Religion is part of our nature as humans. Otherwise, people would long ago have abolished it as unnecessary. It helps us to answer such fundamental questions as “Who am I?” and “Where am I going?” and “What does God expect of me?” Has God revealed to us what He wants of us? Millions of persons, including Christians, Jews, and Muslims, believe that God has told us how He wants us to live and what we must do to be happy. He has made His revelation known through various religions. The problem is to find out which one is telling us the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Some people say that it doesn’t matter what religion you follow; they’re all the same. But are all religions the same or as good as each other? Some religions believe in child sacrifice, while others oppose it. Are they equally true? Some religions believe that Jesus is God; others disagree. Can both be right? Some religions say there is a Hell; some say there is no Hell. Who’s correct? Some say that abortion, divorce, and homosexual behavior are permissible; other religions disagree. Who are we to follow?
This idea of one religion being as good or true as another doesn’t make any more sense than saying that one sports team is as good as another, or one politician is as good as another, or one prom date is as good as another.
So where do we look for a religion that has all the truth? Let’s start with Christianity, which has had more good influence on the world than any other religion over the past 20 centuries. If that’s not the right one, we’ll look somewhere else.
The best source of information about the origins of Christianity, and its Founder, Jesus Christ, is the New Testament section of the Bible and particularly the four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. How do we know that what they told us is true?
We can find out by answering a few questions. For example, when were the Gospels written? The best scholarship says between 50 and 100 AD, during the lifetime of many who knew Jesus. Were these four authors well informed? Two of them — Matthew and John — were among the twelve apostles specifically chosen by Jesus and they were with Him every day for three years. The other two — Mark and Luke — were either close to the apostles or interviewed persons who knew Jesus.
Were these men honest? They were willing to die for the truth of what they wrote (three of them were executed for what they said), which no dishonest person would have been willing to do. They could not have lied about Jesus because what they said was witnessed by thousands of people, who would have contradicted them, but no one did.
Furthermore, contemporary historians at the time, such as the Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus, confirmed the existence of Jesus and His death at the hands of the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. Lastly, archaeological findings up to the twentieth century corroborate many of the details in the Gospels.
All of these factors establish that the Gospels are reliable history books, and we can depend on them for the truth about Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity.

List Of Answers

APOSTLES
ARCHAEOLOGICAL
CHRISTIANITY
DIE
FIRST
GOOD
GOSPELS
HISTORIANS
NEW TESTAMENT
PLUTARCH
PRAYER
RELIABLE
RELIGION
REVELATION
WORSHIP

Quiz:

  1. ___________ is about God, myself, and the relationship between God and myself.
  2. Ways of showing love for God include , _, and thanks.
  3. ___ said that no city will ever lack temples, gods, and prayers.
  4. Millions believe that God has made His __ known to us.
  5. It is false to say that one religion is as __ or true as another.
  6. __________________is a good place to start when searching for the most truthful and influential religion.
  7. The _____ is the best source of information about the origins of Christianity.
  8. The New Testament was written in the last half of the __ century.
  9. The four ___ were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
  10. Matthew and John were ___ of Jesus.
  11. Their honesty is shown by their willingness to __ for what they wrote.
  12. Non-Christian ___ like Josephus and Tacitus confirmed the story about Jesus and the early years of Christianity.
  13. Recent _ findings also back up the Gospels.
  14. We can confidently state that the Gospels are _ history books.
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