I don’t have issues with Catholic doctrine, and I definitely feel more at home, spiritually speaking, in the Catholic Church than anywhere else. But I find the experience of reading the New Testament disconcerting, rather than comforting or edifying. I am constantly distracted by contradictions or points of fact that seem at odds with the Jesus we’re taught about in Church.
I’m looking for recommendations for a resource that can help me understand these issues and get beyond this hurdle. Here are some examples of the sort of things that give me pause:
-Luke 18:19. A man calls Jesus “good.” Jesus answers, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” How’s that? I thought Jesus WAS God. And good. I realize that there are other NT verses that contravene this idea, but then, that’s part of the problem, isn’t it?
-Mark 4:11. Jesus tells his disciples that he speaks to them in parables so that “those outside” may “see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.” Wha? Who are these “outsiders” that Jesus doesn’t want to be saved? And why?
-is Jesus’s yoke easy and his burden light (MATT 11:30), or is the way “hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”?
-are we to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (MATT 5:44), or if people don’t accept our proselytizing, should we shake the dust of their town from our feet as a testimony against them because “it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”?
There’s also a lot of detail in the NT that makes me think Jesus was expecting the end of the world very soon after his life. And there seems to be a sort of conspiracy about not letting certain people know about Jesus or his miracles. Why the secrecy?
You see the problem? And these are just the few that come to mind as I’m writing this note. It seems that in almost every chapter of the NT, I come across stuff that makes me squirm a little or that makes no logical sense or which is contradictory.
Does anyone know of any good resources that clear this kind of thing up?