In recent years, we have seen a significant interest in teaching the faith more authentically, but also we’ve become more attentive to answering the real questions believers and unbelievers have. With the Year of Faith fully engaged now, I think we need to attend to three unavoidable questions whether we are teaching teens, adults, or expanding the horizons of our faith and understanding of the cosmos we live in.

There are no easy answers in proposing the Christian faith to others, especially to teens. Do you want pablum when considering real questions?

The other day I was listening to Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer make a good argument for arguing for the existence of God from physics because faith and science are not opposed to each other and because science in many circles have a deeper credibility than the theology would have today. Evidence of God’s existence is true way of “getting” to God because it cannot not bring a person to God as the Creator of all things. The new atheists make an argument from authority that God does not exist; they market their ideas very well. Christians have science and reason to do the heavy lifting. Why not teach the faith beginning from a space-time geometry, or strain theory. What about entropy? Science shows that there is a probability of a beginning of all systems of life. The beginning of life is from the point of view science is not often spoken of in light of the evidence for God.
Hence, three questions that catechists, RCIA leaders, the ordained clergy and laity need to grapple with in an intelligent way:
  1. What is the objective evidence for God?
  2. Why would an all powerful and all loving God allow for suffering?
  3. What is the objective evidence for Jesus Christ?
A good approach is to take questions 1 and 3 independently and to answer the 2nd question in a blended approach with questions 1 and 3.
These three questions are the introductory work that lays the groundwork for further theological and philosophical questions, and the authentic living of the faith today. Not to answer them in a reasonable manner is to be negligent in the advancing the Kingdom of God.
Need help? Visit the Magis Center of Reason and Faith. Father Spitzer’s work is a accessible to all people.