As of late, I’ve heard a number of adverse comments about Christianity in general from my own circle of non-Christian or non-religious/atheist friends. Often I find myself keeping quiet and letting the comments pass due to my self-admitted lack of knowledge on spirituality and Catholic dogma/doctrine. I do not want to come across as a “it’s true just because it’s Christian” or “it’s true because the Bible says so” which are both useless answers to people with science backgrounds. I do not feel that I MUST win the debate (after all, we are given free will to choose what we believe in). But at times like these, I feel I have an obligation to defend my own faith as a Catholic.
Things that particularly make me uncomfortable (i.e. because I know they are false presumptions or wrong conclusions) are:
Christians do not question (and so they just believe everything the Bible says etc).
I’ve looked up answers for this and I now know that the Catholic church has the role to protect the integrity of our faith and thousands of years of prayer and study have gone behind the believes we hold true. But an answer like this would be countered by its own set of dissenting questions (e.g. how can prayer help decide what the truth is, how do YOU know that your truth is THE truth?, every religion claims to be the true one etc)
There are instances in the Bible where modern culture cannot explain. I know science does NOT have to explain or prove God because that would be judging God by human standards (i.e. human understanding). One example is how Noah can live >900 years. Another one I can think of is the ‘supernatural’ parts of the Bible (e.g. parting of the Red Sea etc). To me personally, these are not pre-suppositories of my faith. Just because Noah may not have lived to >900 years old, it does not mean that the Bible should be taken as merely fiction. Put plainly, I do not know the answers to such questions nor am I able to explain in contemporary terms how such things could have happened. But what would be the best way to deal with such questions?
For these questions and all other questions that I may not be able to answer, what is the proper way to defend the faith? Honestly, I feel that I am failing my obligation as a Catholic when I let these things pass and not stand up for what I believe in.
Put plainly, how do I defend the perfect Truth of the Church with an imperfect understanding of the Truth?