Rational Foundations of the Truth of Catholic Christian Belief

1. God is real.

  • Humans, the world and its evolution have such an intricate, beautiful design which can only be caused by an Intelligent Designer, and not by mindless matter nor by chance.
  • Nothing can cause its own existence. In the chain of causes and effects we see, if there is no First Uncaused Cause, then the second causes and their effects could not exist. The big bang implies a Big Banger.
  • We know of objective moral facts of right and wrong (e.g. do not steal my things) which obliges humans in all cultures. Its power to oblige can’t come from men obliged by the moral law. It comes from a Lawgiver.
  • If there is no God, life is ultimately meaningless. Only God satisfies the deepest longings of the human heart for infinity and eternity.
  • To bet on God is your only chance of winning eternal happiness, and to bet against him is your only chance of losing. (Note:  Most points build on Peter Kreeft’s Extremely Brief Arguments for the Existence of God.)

 

2. Jesus is the real God made man.

  • Many reliable eyewitness accounts, eminent contemporary Roman historians and archaeological findings attest that the man Jesus really existed in history and was worshipped as God.
  • Jesus did things only God can do, and no other human has done. He stopped a storm in one instant, raised 3 dead persons back to life, multiplied 5 loaves of bread to feed 5000 and turned 500 liters of water into top quality wine.
  • Jesus was confirmed dead by the best killers of ancient history, the Roman soldiers, and was seen to have resurrected by more than 500 persons.
  • Jesus claimed he was God. He said, I and the Father are one. He forgave sins and claimed eternity, omnipresence, and all authority in heaven and on earth. Since he was not a lunatic or a liar, he should be telling the truth: Lord.

Thousands of people in the early years of Christianity, including former skeptics and enemies, gave their lives to testify to the truth that Jesus resurrected and is God. Hundreds of thousands continue to do so throughout history. One estimate says that in the 20th century alone, there were 45.5 million martyrs! (Barrett, Johnson)

3. Jesus built one Church, the Catholic Church.

  • The Bible and the early Christians testify that Jesus built his Church on Simon, whom he renamed Rock (Petros), and gave him the keys of the kingdom (Mt 16:18-19).  Jesus told him alone to feed my sheep (Jn 21:15-17).  History shows that the Popes are St. Peter’s successors.
  • The Bible is a Catholic book.  It was Pope Damasus’ Council of Rome in 382 AD which drew up the official list of the books of the Bible. All Christians trust the Catholic Church when they read the Bible.
  • The Bible refutes the “Bible alone” principle. St. Paul says hold to traditions taught by us by word of mouth (2 Thes 2:15).  The Bible also tells of a Council’s authority where St. Peter declared what we believe (Acts 15) and that the Church –not the Bible—is the pillar and the bulwark of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).
  • The true Church is universal, evangelizing in all parts of the world with more than 1.2 billion members today. Compare this with the 2nd biggest Christian group, the Orthodox Churches with only 230M (1/5 of its size).
  • Since God is Truth, Reason and Love, his Church is the greatest educational and charitable institution in the world. Modern secular research shows that the Church in Catholic Europe gave birth to modern science, university education, economics, the hospital system and support for human rights. It is also the longest lasting institution today.

There are two alternatives: either the three basic statements are true (they correspond to reality) or they are false (they don’t). Given the quantity and quality of the evidence in favor of the truth of Catholic belief, wouldn’t it take more faith to be a non-believer? Isn’t it logical to try to learn more about this reality, and if convinced, to choose to live by this truth, and learn more about Jesus’ loving invitation to enjoy God’s life of supreme joy—now and in heaven?

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