Why believe?


#1

Firstly, I’m posting this in the spirit of reading informed comments of faithful Christians. If anything below offends then I apologise - that was NOT my intention.
I have been asking myself questions like these, but I don’t know any religious people to ask. So I thought I’d ask here.
Anyway, on with the post…

How do you respond to a site like www.answering-christianity.com

Maybe with a site like answering-islam.org

Its when you read some of this stuff, eg
answering-christianity.com/contra_res.htm

that you may begin to think that religious books are just plain wrong (or even utter nonsense).
How on earth can anyone take any religion seriously.
And if you do believe, don’t sites like these make you question your beliefs?
If there is a god and a message has been sent to us humans, then I don’t see the message, at least not a clear and unambiguous one.
All I see is confusion, bitter acrimony, contradiction and sometimes just plain nastiness.
Did Moses really part the Red Sea (or even any sea)? Or is that just a bit of folklore?
Did Jesus literally use five loaves to feed 5000 men?
And if the original Bible manuscripts have been lost (as the first website above claims), what confidence (if any) can we have that our versions are accurate?
I know there are lots of questions there, but I think they are valid. How can anyone anyone believe?
Sorry, but I could bang my head against a wall as its so frustrating :banghead:


#2

[quote=looking4truth]How do you respond to a site like www.answering-christianity.com
[/quote]

One cannot respond to such a site. It would require a hefty, book length treatise to address all of the nonsense there.

– Mark L. Chance.


#3

[quote=looking4truth]Firstly, I’m posting this in the spirit of reading informed comments of faithful Christians.

If there is a god and a message has been sent to us humans, then I don’t see the message, at least not a clear and unambiguous one.
All I see is confusion, bitter acrimony, contradiction and sometimes just plain nastiness.
Did Moses really part the Red Sea (or even any sea)? Or is that just a bit of folklore?
Did Jesus literally use five loaves to feed 5000 men?
And if the original Bible manuscripts have been lost (as the first website above claims), what confidence (if any) can we have that our versions are accurate?
I know there are lots of questions there, but I think they are valid. How can anyone anyone believe?
Sorry, but I could bang my head against a wall as its so frustrating :banghead:
[/quote]

Hi, and welcome! You’re in the right place. Ask away. We don’t take offense unless the writer intends to be offensive.:slight_smile:

I cut your message down and will tackle a little at a time.

For why we should believe at all, I recommend Mortimer Adler’s How To Think About God. It’s out of print, but you can find it at out-of-print book dealers on the Net. Adler was the most influential American philosopher of the 20th century, who became at Catholic (finally) in December, 1999 at the age of 97.

As to why be Christian, I recommend Mere *Christianity *by C.S. Lewis. The guy (now dead) was a brilliant Brit – a former atheist (as I was). You can get the book cheap from a used book vendor.

Yes, the original “books” of the Bible in the author’s own handwriting (called "autographs) didn’t survive antiquity. They were copied by hand over and over again – painfully, laboriously, carefully, by candlelight – by the Catholic Church for 15 centuries until the printing press was invented. It’s a long and complicated history – and utterly fascinating.

I recommend “Where We Got the Bible” by Henry G. Graham available from Catholic Answers (this website).

Much as the Catholic Church reveres the Bible, that’s not the source of her doctrines. The Church learned her doctrines from the lips of the Apostles, and that’s the Faith she teaches. Her doctrines are confirmed in the Bible – either expressly or impliedly – but the Church would teach what she teaches with the Bible or without it. The Church wrote the New Testament – so the Church isn’t bible-based; rather, the NT is based on the teaching Church.

Protestants have the problem – all Protestant churches are based on a different interpretation of the same cut version of the Bible (Luther cut part of the Old Testament).

In the Catholic view, the Scriptures have several “senses.” There is both a literal sense and an allegorical sense to the feeding of the 5,000 and the parting of the Red Sea. A great book, easy to read, is Mark Shea’s Making Senses Out of Scripture, Basilica Press. Shea is a great writer. His blog on the Net is one of the best. He is a former Evangelical, now Catholic.

That’ll give you something to think about. Take a bite at a time.
Ask lots of questions. You’ll have to read a lot. It’s a great journey – for me, it has been the the adventure of a lifetime. :smiley: I still can’t get enough – can’t learn enough – can’t love God enough – always longing to be in Church, at the Communion rail – I’m always hungry.

Jay Damien (ex-Protestant, ex-atheist)


#4

And if you do believe, don’t sites like these make you question your beliefs?

No, not at all.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.” Psalm 1.

I’m like a tree whose roots are planted deeply by the streams of living water that flow out from the Church. There is no question that the Church has not confronted and thoroughly answered in its 2,000-year history. All I have to do is find that answer.

It’s not a sin to doubt when you’re a Catholic. Untested faith is weak faith. The human mind needs answers. “I believe because I believe” ain’t faith at all.

Read “Faith and Reason” (Fides et Ratio) by Pope John Paul II. vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html

JMJ Jay


#5

[quote=looking4truth]Firstly, I’m posting this in the spirit of reading informed comments of faithful Christians. If anything below offends then I apologise - that was NOT my intention.
I have been asking myself questions like these, but I don’t know any religious people to ask. So I thought I’d ask here.
Anyway, on with the post…

How do you respond to a site like www.answering-christianity.com

Maybe with a site like answering-islam.org

Its when you read some of this stuff, eg
answering-christianity.com/contra_res.htm

that you may begin to think that religious books are just plain wrong (or even utter nonsense).
How on earth can anyone take any religion seriously.
And if you do believe, don’t sites like these make you question your beliefs?
If there is a god and a message has been sent to us humans, then I don’t see the message, at least not a clear and unambiguous one.
All I see is confusion, bitter acrimony, contradiction and sometimes just plain nastiness.
Did Moses really part the Red Sea (or even any sea)? Or is that just a bit of folklore?
Did Jesus literally use five loaves to feed 5000 men?
And if the original Bible manuscripts have been lost (as the first website above claims), what confidence (if any) can we have that our versions are accurate?
I know there are lots of questions there, but I think they are valid. How can anyone anyone believe?
Sorry, but I could bang my head against a wall as its so frustrating :banghead:
[/quote]

The question that I would start with if I were you is, Did Jesus really rise from the grave? From there we can move on to others. If He did not, then asking all these other questions and responding to all the objections is worthless. If He did, then we may have some valid groundwork from which to start.

Would you like to discuss this question. There are many of us who would like to tell you why we believe that He did.

Michael


#6

The beginning of wisdom is to question the premises of the questioner. That is, many debunkers of religious faith act as if their position is objective and rational. If you think about it, they are acting on faith every bit as much as a religious believer. Most of the time all they are trying to do is get you to replace God with another god–matter. They are operating under the unprovable assertion that matter is all there is to the universe. D Armstrong calls it Deo-Atomism, the “atom as God”.

We believe because we are specifically promised things by a loving God through his apostolic witnesses whom we trust–this is good news. Compare it to the alternative–no promise, just a world of dour poo-pooers. When you get down to it, the alternative just isn’t any fun. :smiley:

Scott


#7

[quote=looking4truth]And if you do believe, don’t sites like these make you question your beliefs?

[/quote]

I wouldn’t say questioning your beliefs is necessarily a bad thing. I’m reminded of a saying (I want to say it’s Native American) – something to the effect “We pray for strength and you send us difficulties to make us stronger”.

Take these opportunities to learn more, as you’re doing here. I would hope you also look for official trustworthy information on the main catholic.com site and others and not get all your information from us amateur theologians on these forums who can sometimes do more harm and discredit than we realize (and unfortunately in some cases intential harm).

Obviously being a Catholic I’m partial to the Catholic Church – before as a matter of being in union with my family, but now with a more enlivened faith because it actually makes the most sense compared to atheism or any of the other religions or Christian denominations.

I don’t believe an honest search for truth and meaning will go unrewarded, even if that means you don’t come to the fullness of faith in the Catholic Church. However, I also believe that a sustained honest search will eventually lead you to the Catholic Church and Christ will still save you even if your journey is not quite complete before you die.

I think the key is not to be afraid of challenges, but to confront them and seek answers. Maintaining a spirit of charity will give you the freedom and openness to try to understand others even if you disagree with them. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened unto you. Is this advice as likely to be quoted by an atheist or non-Christian as it is by a Christian? It seems the path with the most freedom to me.


#8

[quote=michaelp]The question that I would start with if I were you is, Did Jesus really rise from the grave? From there we can move on to others. If He did not, then asking all these other questions and responding to all the objections is worthless. If He did, then we may have some valid groundwork from which to start.

Would you like to discuss this question. There are many of us who would like to tell you why we believe that He did.

Michael
[/quote]

Did Jesus rise form the grave? It really does alot (for me at least) to believe that it happened. Its so, well, unique. And it goes against all ‘earthly’ logic. But maybe thats the whole point.
Can I accept the resurrection in my mind? Hmm…dunno…yet.
Can I accept the resurrection in my heart? I think that’s harder for me.
Obviously there are lots of sites offering evidence for resurrection. And there are some fairly powerful testimonies too (although I get very envious/jealous/angry when I read them - why can’t I experience something like that? Its not fair :crying: ! Jesus doesn’t love or want me :frowning: ).
Then I slip back into not caring about it.
Then I slip back into caring about it.
Then I come here and post, and read.
Maybe one day I’ll get there…wherever ‘there’ is.


#9

[quote=looking4truth]Did Jesus rise form the grave? It really does alot (for me at least) to believe that it happened. Its so, well, unique. And it goes against all ‘earthly’ logic. But maybe thats the whole point.
Can I accept the resurrection in my mind? Hmm…dunno…yet.
Can I accept the resurrection in my heart? I think that’s harder for me.
Obviously there are lots of sites offering evidence for resurrection. And there are some fairly powerful testimonies too (although I get very envious/jealous/angry when I read them - why can’t I experience something like that? Its not fair :crying: ! Jesus doesn’t love or want me :frowning: ).
Then I slip back into not caring about it.
Then I slip back into caring about it.
Then I come here and post, and read.
Maybe one day I’ll get there…wherever ‘there’ is.
[/quote]

Read the life of St,Teresa of Avila,she went through the same feelings.God Bless


#10

[quote=looking4truth]Did Jesus rise form the grave? It really does alot (for me at least) to believe that it happened. Its so, well, unique. And it goes against all ‘earthly’ logic. But maybe thats the whole point.
Can I accept the resurrection in my mind? Hmm…dunno…yet.
Can I accept the resurrection in my heart? I think that’s harder for me.
Obviously there are lots of sites offering evidence for resurrection. And there are some fairly powerful testimonies too (although I get very envious/jealous/angry when I read them - why can’t I experience something like that? Its not fair :crying: ! Jesus doesn’t love or want me :frowning: ).
Then I slip back into not caring about it.
Then I slip back into caring about it.
Then I come here and post, and read.
Maybe one day I’ll get there…wherever ‘there’ is.
[/quote]

That is exactly what it comes down to. If you accept that Christ rose from the grave the implications are far reaching. If he did not, then the entire Church, all of Christianity (Protestant and Catholic) are false. Paul said as much,

1 Cor 15
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

I would like you to start by looking at this as a historical matter, rather than a matter of faith. If you start with faith, your faith may be baseless and fail you in the end. But if you start with history and examine the evidence for the resurrection of Christ, then your faith will be based on a historical person (Christ) and a historical fact (the resurrection).

In order to do this we must first look at the Gospels as historical records of the life of Christ. We don’t need to start with the belief that they are inspired (since that would be circular at this point).

Have you ever read any of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John? If not, would you be willing to read through one of them (John or Mark perferably) as we discuss?

I would also suggest you going to www.thetheologyprogram.com and viewing the first few classes of introduction to theology. It will really help you to understand that Christianity is not just a “leap into the dark” but a faith that must be tested as unbiasedly as possible.

What do you think?

Michael


#11

[quote=looking4truth] And there are some fairly powerful testimonies too (although I get very envious/jealous/angry when I read them - why can’t I experience something like that? Its not fair :crying: ! Jesus doesn’t love or want me :frowning: ).
Then I slip back into not caring about it.
Then I slip back into caring about it.
Then I come here and post, and read.
Maybe one day I’ll get there…wherever ‘there’ is.
[/quote]

Hi Looking4truth,

I wanted to address this part because of how close it is to home for me. My mom had similar sadness at not experiencing things like I do. We are both Catholic since birth and the only major difference is that she never rebelled like I did. She finally revealed to me during the past few years how she wished she had “Gifts of the Holy Spirit like you do.” I was so shocked because I had always seen some very wonderful things happen through her unshakable faith and works. After many discussions we started to really discover her experiences too. I guess the part I want to send to you is the hope that those things are already happening and that being in a place like this will help you to see it better. I will pray for you to get those experiences in a way you can more easily understand, or what I refer to on myself as “God’s 2-by-4.” I asked for signs I couldn’t miss and waited patiently. When they happened even some of my athiest friends were amazed.


#12

Can I just say, Bravo, to all the replies on this thread. I was also at this point. I believe that God gave me my sign when my daughter was laying in the hospital on her death bed. A miracle was brought to me from God to show me the right way. His name was Father John. He came in and did a blessing in the name of Jesus Christ and my daughter went through a miraculous recovery.

I got down on my knees and thanked him. I began to read the bible and its teachings and it came to me naturally. I am so thankful for that. That sounds absolutely shocking. Some people say, “your daughter almost died, how on earth could you be thankful?” I was brought to Jesus Christ that day and if she had not been in the hospital, I dont know how much longer I would of been without Him.

I don’t have any texts to give you or any facts off hand. But I do have what I saw. Our God is a wonderful God. Through his name, my daughter is here today. I truly believe that. It is a feeling, and the most wonderful feeling you can have. Might I suggest that you start to read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Wonderful teachings of Jesus.

God Bless you on your quest.


#13

Faith is a supernatural gift, but it is not a blind faith. It is based on reason. Great defences of Sacred Scripture can be made. For example, fulfilled prophecy. Hundreds of prophecies, especially from the Old Testament, were accurately fulfilled. Another would be miracles. There are thousands of miracles reported all the time. Some of them are closely analyzed and documented and can not be explained by any science or human means. Take for example Fatima. Mary appeared to the children there, and promised a great miracle to make people believe. 70 000 people gathered to witness the sun appear to fall towards the earth and then return to its rightful place and witness various healings and such. (Fatima, Portugal, on October 3, 1917…see fatimacrusader.com/crintro/crintropg2.asp). Many more examples could be cited.

As for Scripture itself, the historical, archeological, and documentary evidence continues to validate and support Sacred Scripture. Finds such as the one outlined at bridegroompress.com/snippets/newdiscovery.doc (a fragment of the Gospel of Matthew that seems to be, at the latest, from AD 66) demonstrate the early date of the Gospels. The quantity and distribution of manuscripts, as well as finds such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, demonstrate the general reliability of our renderings of the Scriptures. Books such as Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ, which I highly recommend, though it is Protestant, make a very strong case that Christ did indeed rise from the dead and was who He claimed to be. (For example, the early date of the New Testament, which claims over 500 people saw the Lord after His resurrection, should have made the claims of Christianity sound empty if other witnesses could contradict its claims).

Once the case for Christianity has been made, the case for Catholicism can be made from Scripture, history, the early Church Fathers, and reason.


#14

While the website above looks excellent (I am envious of the quality) and we have a lot in common with our brother Christians, and at the risk of somewhat digressing, I’m compelled to throw in this disclaimer for those searching for Catholic teaching. Readers should be mindful that the above link is indeed NOT Catholic and will thus have the occasional deficiencies of not being the fullness of the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church and are in some cases absolutely contrary to it.

An example are the notes from the above website that accompany John 6: 1-71 which includes the discourse on the Bread of Life. Again, the teaching presented below regarding the Real Presence is contrary to what Christians taught, believed, and practiced for centuries before the Protestant Reformation and is thus contrary to the Catholic Church:

thetheologyprogram.com/page.asp?page_id=594:Once again, Jesus made no effort to modify or re-state His doctrine so as not to lose popular support. He rather sharpened the issue. If they stumbled at His teaching, how much more would they be distressed at His ascension to return to the right hand of the Father (verse 62). They had chosen to understand God’s Word in an almost crassly literal way, while our Lord’s were more metaphorical.* He did not teach the eating of His literal flesh, but of making His person and work a vital part of themselves** (verse 63).148 The real problem, as always, was that of unbelief (verse 64), just as was the case with Judas. They appeared to be true disciples, but were in reality only thrill seekers and deadbeats, looking for a handout. Their unbelief was to be expected for they could only come by means of the Father’s drawing (verse 65).*

I’d check out these links from catholic.com on the sacraments to see why Catholics believe that Jesus was NOT speaking metaphorically (see tracts on the Eucharist, Real Presence, etc); and the Scripture & Tradition tracts to understand the problems that occur with our own non-authoritative interpretations of scripture (especially the “What’s Your Authority?” tract):

catholic.com/library/sacraments.asp
catholic.com/library/scripture_tradition.asp

Seek and you will find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you. God bless you in your journey especially during this Year of the Eucharist.


#15

[quote=michaelp]I would like you to start by looking at this as a historical matter, rather than a matter of faith. If you start with faith, your faith may be baseless and fail you in the end. But if you start with history and examine the evidence for the resurrection of Christ, then your faith will be based on a historical person (Christ) and a historical fact (the resurrection).
[/quote]

I think you’re right about the historical matter (that’s the ‘Can I accept the resurrection in my mind’ I mentioned above). Faith (the ‘heart’ part) will probably come later for me.
So I guess question one would be ‘Did Jesus exist?’ I think I can say ‘yes’ to that!
I’d always thought of him as a ‘Mother Teresa’ type. Just a really decent, caring person who tried to help people. But there are claims that he did some pretty amazing things like healing, etc. As an aside, I’d like to ask the following question…
Do you think some of today’s healing ministries, like Benny Hinn (I think thats his name), have healing powers similar to Jesus, or are they all a con?
Back to Jesus…A quick look at the non-biblical material that mentions Jesus (say from Roman records) makes a convincing case that he was real, and that he was crucified. OK, I’m getting more comfortable with the historical evidence, which brings me to more of your reply.

In order to do this we must first look at the Gospels as historical records of the life of Christ. We don’t need to start with the belief that they are inspired (since that would be circular at this point).

Have you ever read any of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John? If not, would you be willing to read through one of them (John or Mark perferably) as we discuss?

I have not read the gospels, but have begun. I started with Mark, and am up to ch 13 of the NAS bible (I should get a good catholic bible really, but the NT is the same in all bibles right?).
Even in Mark ch1 some interesting things happen. Vs 16-18 for example. Why did Simon and Andrew just down tools and follow? What compelled them to do this? It seems so…instantaneous. No questioning, no doubt. They just went with Jesus. (actually that is a bit away from resurrection, but I think I should ask questions like that).

I decided to finish reading Mark. It does seem as though Jesus really was dead on the cross. Could the centurions have made a mistake? To me that seems unlikely as they had presumably carried out many crucifixions. Surely the executioner knows his business!
So, working on the assumptions that Jesus was dead, we move to Mark Ch16.
Now, do we assume that the young man in v5 was the one who rolled away the stone? How heavy was the stone? Mark 15:46 tells us that one man, Joseph, could move the stone on his own.
And what did this young man mean by ‘He has risen’? My dictionary tells me that risen means ‘to get up from lying or sitting or kneeling’. So how could a dead man get up? My logic tells me that this is not possible.
But it seems as though Jesus did appear to his disciples, and even spoke to them (Mark 16:14-18).
Mark is a short gospel isn’t it. I’ve just had a quick look at John where there is much more detail about post-crucifixion events. I’ll have to read in more detail.
So where does that leave me? Well OK, there was a Jesus. He existed and did good things. He was killed by crucifixion. Oh but the next bit is so hard to believe. I’ll be honest, I can’t accept resurrection…yet.

I would also suggest you going to www.thetheologyprogram.com and viewing the first few classes of introduction to theology. It will really help you to understand that Christianity is not just a “leap into the dark” but a faith that must be tested as unbiasedly as possible.

What do you think?

I think more reading, questioning and more praying are needed.


#16

[quote=midgetface]I guess the part I want to send to you is the hope that those things are already happening and that being in a place like this will help you to see it better. I will pray for you to get those experiences in a way you can more easily understand, or what I refer to on myself as “God’s 2-by-4.” I asked for signs I couldn’t miss and waited patiently. When they happened even some of my athiest friends were amazed.
[/quote]

Thanks for the reply.
If it weren’t for the internet, I wouldn’t have anyone to discuss these things with (well I could go see a priest, but I’m too cowardly to do that yet).
Last night I prayed. It felt wierd. I rambled. I think I made a fool of myself. But I did ask that God would help guide me to his (I should really use a capital h now), ie His truth.
I did make a few new years resolutions. Things like praying and reading the bible, and trying to avoid sin. Those resolutions were a kind of personal pact with myself. By praying and asking for help I’m making a pact with someone (or something) much bigger than me. This is one deal I don’t want to break.
So I will wait patiently as you did, and I will read alot.
Its strange…I almost feel that this will be worthwhile. I feel strangely confident about the outcome of all of this.


#17

[quote=milimac]While the website above looks excellent (I am envious of the quality) and we have a lot in common with our brother Christians, and at the risk of somewhat digressing, I’m compelled to throw in this disclaimer for those searching for Catholic teaching. Readers should be mindful that the above link is indeed NOT Catholic and will thus have the occasional deficiencies of not being the fullness of the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church and are in some cases absolutely contrary to it.
[/quote]

I also found this site
www.catholicculture.org/docs/most/start.cfm
Theres an overwhelming amount of information here, but at least its a Catholic site.
I hope its useful to others reading this thread.
Personally I don’t know what the Eucharist, Real Presence are (perhaps they are a bit ahead of where I am now), but I will find out (I see www.catholic.com has alot of useful material).


#18

[quote=twf]As for Scripture itself, the historical, archeological, and documentary evidence continues to validate and support Sacred Scripture.
[/quote]

What annoys me is how little of this is reported on TV, or the radio (at least here in the UK).
As for books, well my local bookstore has ‘Catholicism for Dummies’, but not much else, although I think a local(ish) Catholic church has a small bookstore and I also think there is a Christian shop somewhere close as well. I’d better get over there (I can’t order stuff online due to lack of credit card).
But I could read all that there is and maybe still not feel it in my heart. Thats my concern. I guess only time will tell…


#19

I am so happy for you. If you continue to search (seek), you will find. I was once an atheist and then agnostic. It was a long journey for me, and I did eventually get that sign that made belief in God logical and undeniable.

I, too, say study the history of the Church. Getting into all the Protestant denomination that come so late in Church history will get confusing. These arguments can be tackled much later. I think you will learn that Catholic is the most logical and consistent belief system. However, at first, I know it is hard to view religious beliefs as logical. You will get there. It may seem illogical for someone to think of building a home out of plywood too, if they have a mud hut and have never heard of nails and other methods used to build a house. It will eventually make sense to you because God will reveal things to you.

I suggest reading The Fourth Cup. It is short and makes sense out of Jesus’ sacrifice and the Eucharist at the same time. Here is the link www.christianideas.org/thefourthcup.htm

If you like Scott Hahn’s style, he has so much helpful studies. You may want to look at www.salvationhistory.com because it has a beginners bible study on it. Also it has a link to the Bible which makes it easier to search for particular phrases or topics.

If you would like to read a book that makes sense out of the Bible as a whole or the big picture you might say, you may want to get Scott Hahn’s book called A Father Who Keeps His Promise. What style do you like to read? Some things are more complicated, more difficult vocabulary etc. than others. I think we can recommend things after we know your reading style so that you don’t get overwhelmed with recommendations. I am sharing my experience. Scott Hahn gets over my head sometimes, but I have found his writings and experience very helpful in understanding the Catholic faith as well as some help with understanding the big picture of covenants in the Bible.

Just a little bit of my personal story since it was a ten yr. journey. “I” made the biggest leaps only after reading the Bible, studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and babbling as you said as my attempts at prayer. Prayer does feel strange before you are sure that God exists, but he sure heard me loud and clear and sent me what I prayed for and I have had no doubt that God exists sense then. The Bible once made very little sense and then it seemed suddenly it was much easier to read. God does work in mysterious ways, and you must accept that some mysteries will be beyond your full understanding. Keep working at searching for the answers that will help you break through those barriers of unbelilef. Some are even social barriers. Like will you feel like people think you are a simple minded Christian. Are you afraid of the responses that family and friends will have. Sometimes these are obstacles that get in the way too, so don’t forget to clear your mind of these things, so that you can really understand information that you find. Well, my excitement led me to saying more than I intended in this post. I really just wanted to encourage you to make sense out of Jesus’ crucifixion from the Sacrificial Lamb/Passover point of view by suggesting that you read The Fourth Cup by Scott Hahn. I hope your schedule has time for lots of reading and you could find this a pleasurable journey that will bring you a level of happiness that your’ve never known. We are praying for you. Keep searching for answers and pray for understanding.


#20

I am very happy for you. My journey was what I perceive to be a 10 yr. journey. I was once an atheist and I did get that sign or proof that I needed. However, it was only after reading the Bible and studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

I’d like to recommend reading The Fourth Cup by Scott Hahn. Here is a link to it.

www.christianideas.org/thefourthcup.htm

Also, his website at www.salvationhistory.com has beginners Bible Study and links to the Catechism. You can search for particular phrases and topics. BTW, there are so many version of the Bible and can cause you to get many meanings. I use the New American Bible. You will see at www.biblegateway.com how reading different versions can cause you to understand it differently. This is one problem with Protestant denominations. Too many interpretations of the same thing.

I hope these links are helpful to you. For me Scott Hahn is very helpful, along with shows on EWTN. Do you have EWTN in your area. They also have a website. What is your reading style - complex or simple - long or short reads. The Fourth Cup link is a relatively short read packed with food for thought for you to understandy Jesus’ crucifixion.


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