Friday, July 30, 2010

Mark Shea " Can One Choose Belief"

Mark Shea has a very good post in the National Catholic Register The question is posed "Can one choose belief? This is a good question because in our secular world choosing is akin to a right. And equally important is to understand that Catholicism is not merely a choice, like choosing where to shop, or what diet to follow, or exercise program. Shea writes:

"Can one choose belief?"

"Yes. But it’s a particular kind of choosing. Not shutting your eyes and willing to yourself to believe what your intellect knows to be self-contradictory nonsense (that’s insane). But choosing to believe the possibility that the God who transcends (not contradicts) reason has spoken in Christ Jesus. It is, at the very least, worth checking out the possibility."

and also:

"A Christian is, in fact, free to suppose that even the oddest religion is partly right, and that there is a rather complex hierarchy of truth which can grant to other religious and philosophical traditions all sorts of real perceptions of truth (rather like the insightful Hindu tale of the blind men and the elephant). Christianity, for instance, made extensive use of Plato in trying to articulate the Faith to the Greco-Roman world, just as it honored the oracles of Judaism in making its appeal to Jews. You can see this happening already in the book of Acts. It also, of course, draws sharp distinctions between itself and other religious traditions. But the point is that the Church never has to pretend “We alone are solely right and everybody else is completely wrong.” Atheism paints itself into this corner with alarming frequency, which is why it tends to emit the constant rhetoric about how its adherents are, to use Sagan’s charming self-flattery, a “candle in the dark”. Only the One True Church of Rationalistic Science can save us all. "

Shea also compares Christianity to Islam and makes several good points. I advise you to read the post from the link above.

We must always be free to discuss why faith in Jesus Christ is a very reasonable thing to do. We must be prepared to make the case why it is a good choice to live as Christ taught us and to seek to be holy. "The Catholic Church" is, as G K Chesterton wrote: "It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age."

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