In this Bishop Barron video, he lays out the argument about what is the “central logic of Christianity.”
Watch the video: pause, rewind, watch again, question, research, read scripture, note, start again, pause, note some more.
Write a post in your iblog in which you
• demonstrate an understanding of the main point(s),
• relates an idea(s) from the video to another text(s),
• offer your own arguments – agreeing or disagreeing with the points in the video – with supporting evidence.
In this painting, The Angel of the North by Ojibwa artist Blake Debassige, we can see how some First Nations artists are integrating the spiritual traditions of their own people with those of the Christian tradition. The painting also reveals the connection between the natural world and the spiritual world.
What familiar symbols can you find?
What elements in the painting show the importance of the natural world to Aboriginal peoples?
Note the wings of the angel in the painting. They are shaped like the wings of an eagle, a spiritual symbol often seen in Aboriginal art. Placing the wings of an eagle on the shoulders of an angel symbolizes a merging of Aboriginal spirituality and Christianity. the angel is drawn as a two-dimensional, transparent figure, revealing the spiritual nature within – a style that is common among the Woodland school of artists made famous in Canada by Norval Morrisseau. The rays from above suggest the presence of the Great Spirit or God. The angel has released one of her sacred feathers as a gift to those who live on the Earth for use in their sacred rituals. The eagle is one of the most sacred spiritual symbols for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Angel of the North and other similar paintings illustrate the way in which some peoples have integrated their spirituality with their Christian faith.
It is a disgraceful and a dangerous thing for an unbeliever to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of scripture, talking nonsense on these topics. Many non-Christians are well-versed in Natural knowledge, so they can detect vast ignorance in such a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The danger is obvious– the failure to conform interpretation to demonstrated [“Natural,” or scientific] knowledge opens the interpreter, and by extension, Christianity as a whole, to ridicule for being unlearned.
– St. Augustine
The history of the Jews goes back thousands of years. Below are some important evens in the first thousand years of the Common Era. Use your knowledge of Judaism, and the history of the region to determine their correct order. Number them 1-8, with 1 as the earliest event.
a. After the Jewish expulsion from Jerusalem by the Romans, Jewish oral law is written down in a book called the Mishnah.
b. Jews in the Roman Empire are repressed.
c. The Romans reconquer Jerusalem and destroy the Temple.
d. The Muslim Empire expands to cover southwestern Asia, northern Aftrica, and Spain
e. Jews rebel against Roman rule and seize Jerusalem.
f. The Jews begin to scatter around the world.
g. Christianity becomes the primary religion of the Roman Empire.
h. The Romans crush the rebellion and prohibit Jews from living in Jerusalem.
Father Kevin Augustyn, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, prefaced the debate, saying, “As Catholics, we are not afraid of intellectual debate. Faith and reason are not opposed to each other.”
Modern science, he[D’Souza] said, was “faith-based” in that it was rooted in Christian assumptions. We presume that we live in a lawful, rational universe whose external rationality is mirrored in our own minds, presumptions nourished by Christianity.
Man is placed between two distinct domains of “the way we are” and “the way we ought to behave.” – D’Souza
If atheism were correct, Hitchens argued, “we would be in precisely the same place we are now” in considering what our duties are towards others and why we are here.
Hitchens then raised the raised the questions of why Christianity should be considered superior to other religions, such as Islam.
D’Souza replied by noting the disconnect between “the way things are” and “the way they ought to be.” This can be explained by supposing a chasm between the “human level” of existence and the “divine level.” In D’Souza’s view, Islam and Judaism hold that this chasm may be closed by mankind building a “ladder” to climb to God.
Christianity, however, declares this project “wonderful but impossible” by teaching that the chasm “has to be closed from the other side” through God entering the world in the person of Jesus Christ.
Hitchens then explained that he finds it “extraordinarily objectionable” to exclude the “occupant of the womb” from the human family.
Following the debate, CNA spoke with Father Augustyn. He said it was an “excellent debate” with both speakers doing “very well” on their positions. In his view, D’Souza countered and “unmasked” some of Hitchens’ “unfair” and “selective” comparisons of religions.
“At the same time, Christopher Hitchens is a formidable opponent. He’s very witty, very sharp, he makes good points, and he brings out audience participation. I don’t think his arguments hold water, but I think he is a good debater.”
Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus. His life is sometimes summarized like this: He was born in a stable. He didn’t go to college, and he wrote no books. He worked as a carpenter. At the age of thirty-three, he was executed as a criminal.
Does this sound like the life story of someone who ended up changing the world?
What did Jesus, whose teachings are the basis of Christianity, teach people to do? What was his lesson for the world? He told people to be loving and grateful. He told people to forgive others. He told people to serve the needy and the outcast.
Do you think these teachings are good? Do you try to do some or all of these things?
When Jesus, whose teachings form the basis of Christianity, was born, Palestine was under Roman rule. Jews were treated badly and had to pay high taxes. Different groups responded to this situation in different ways.
One group, the Sadducees, tried to make the best of things. They accepted Roman rule and tried to fit in with Roman society.
Another group, The Essenes, thought the situation in Palestine came about because the world was corrupt. They withdrew from the world into their own independent communities and devoted themselves to a life of piety.
A third group, the Pharisees, wanted to change society. They remained within society but tried to make Judaism strong again by sticking strictly to the Jewish code of holiness.
A fourth group, the Zealots, also wanted change. They tried to use force to overthrow Roman rule.
Based on what you know about the teachings of Jesus, which of these four groups do you think he had most in common with?