Agnostic Objection: "Gospel Too Good to be True"

Perhaps this is a special case of theodicy, or the argument from suffering, that certain kinds of suffering are logically incompatible with an omnipotent benevolent personal Creator.

Namely, “The Church’s message is too good to be true.” Even if I cannot disprove unverifiable miracle claims or ascertain ancient history, the goodness of the claim pushes it beyond what can be reasonably hoped for. In other words, this world has so much suffering that the claim that all wrongs will be righted appears to belong in another universe. (Perhaps this is in fact what St. Paul was writing about regarding the universe itself groaning for a new creation …? Romans 8:18-27)

So how would you answer this objection? “The Gospel (that God is love and will right all wrongs and reward the faithful beyond expectation) is too good to be maintained.”

My answer may not fit the bill because it is an existential one.

There’s an agnostic in me alongside a Christian in the becoming.

I know that to be shown to be true the Gospel will have to be accompanied by unmixed messages.

Insofar as I saw this on occasion around me, I could acquire some belief.

By telling people to keep quiet and swell the ranks of the “army” of “groupies” of the grandstanding and falsely jovial archbishop, and not use initiative and discretion to build up the next person, so that by helping that person acquire a crown they gain a share in that crown themselves, by airbrushing out the heart of the Scriptures, the talents, the lampstands, the rations on time, the false teachers have forced agnostics to utter the statement quoted.

Do those false teachers model the indwelling Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit? The “good” in the statement quoted, where do Christians think it would come from, and would it be enough?

Does not Scripture itself say that if the Church airbrushed out part of it the plagues in the book would be added to it?

I sympathise and I don’t refute at all.

I redouble my prayer to mix with fellow Christians with a sufficiently deep vision. Then we shall be able to intercede.

Many CAF members have evidently grasped these things already. But between the Catholic and Protestant churches overall, there is too much of the other thing - a form of godliness without its power - being put across (they hijack TV and the internet).

That’s my opinion. Based solely on where I think I am at the moment.

The only answer is to agree that it is, in fact, too good to be true. But it’s still true anyway. There are hints around us every day that point to its truth. The job of the Church, ideally, is to relentlessly raise awareness of these hints. It’s sad that many are concerned with doing anything and everything EXCEPT carrying out this job.

There are a couple books by Father Andrew Greeley that introduced me to a different way of reasoning toward faith (and the Faith) that might be of use to you. They are entitled The Great Mysteries and The Bottom Line Catechism, and at least the former used to be freely available online.

Fr. Greeley, who has passed away, was not what you would call 100% orthodox in his opinions, but there does not seem to be anything outright wrong in those two books. He just comes at believing from a very different direction than the usual. Instead of starting from the propositions of the Faith, he goes back to the way the Church itself (and Israel before that) would have developed those beliefs, starting from a sudden and unexpected breaking through of goodness into a world that often seems to be lacking it (the Exodus/Sinai and Jesus, respectively); then how that turned into stories that could be spread to people who weren’t there for the original revelation; and finally how people started to work out the details of what God must be like and how we should live based on all that.

Like the poster above me, Fr. Greeley points to smaller experiences of grace in daily life as demonstrations of the truth underlying the stories and teachings that have come down to us. To him, Christianity is precisely the belief, against all seeming evidence to the contrary, that those moments of goodness are clues to the true reality we live in, while the bad things that seem to pile up are a temporary obscurement of that reality. One of my favorite quotations of his is, “The Christian Faith is the conviction that tomorrow will always be different, even if today is the last day of your life.”

Too good to be true, absolutely.

Imagine an all mighty Creator becoming part of His creation and after proclaiming and demonstrating to this creation how they should be living their lives, He allows them beat Him and kill Him only so that He rise from the dead in order to open the door to eternity so that His creation can share eternal life with Him.

Too good to be true, only because our Creator is too good to be true.

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