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Chapter 2: Knowing God Reason and Revelation.

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1 Chapter 2: Knowing God Reason and Revelation

2 We can know truth, goodness, and beauty by using our human reason, but reason can only take us so far. Ultimately, we have to trust in what God wants us to know and has made known to us (through Scripture and Tradition) for our salvation.

3 Our Need For God Human beings, by nature, desires to love and be loved. No matter how much treasure we receive in this life, there is always an emptiness that we feel – these are signs of our need for God. We were made by God and we were made for God. “For you have made us for yourself, [God], and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” ~ St. Augustine

4 How do fill our need for God?
Natural gifts of observation and reason Reason tells us that there must be something or someone greater than us. A person can come to certainty about the existence of God and know what is right and wrong by using reason and observing nature – natural revelation

5 The Need for Divine Revelation
Even with the use of reason, without Divine Revelation, we would be vulnerable to serious errors and sins; although it is theoretically possible for us to be saved, it would be very difficult. Divine Revelation – God making Himself and His Divine plan known to humans through words and deeds in human history.

6 How has God revealed Himself and Plans to Humans?
God first revealed Himself to the people of Israel, the Chosen People, through the works of the prophets (Old Testament). God established a covenant, but it was broken again and again by the people. In the final stage, God sent to us His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ to be our Savior. Jesus is both true God and true man. He is the fullest and complete revelation of who God is. Through Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection, God established with humanity an eternal covenant.

7 Do we now know enough to be in eternal union with God?
Yes. Everything that we need to know for our salvation has been revealed in Christ. We can come to deeper insights, but everything we need to know about God and salvation has been revealed to us in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

8 Scripture and Tradition
After Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to the apostles. The Holy Spirit inspired the apostles to remember and pass on all that Jesus taught them to the early Christians – this passing on of the Good News is called Sacred Tradition, or Apostolic Tradition or just Tradition

9 Scripture and Tradition con’t…
The Gospels were eventually written, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to record what was handed down by the apostles. Each of the Gospels gives a “portrait” of the life and meaning of Jesus’ lie and teachings. The writers of the gospels are known as the evangelists, they are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The four gospels, along with the letters (epistles) of St. Paul and other church leaders, and the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) form the New Testament of the Bible.

10 Scripture and Tradition con’t
God reveals Himself to us (revelation), in two modes: Scripture and Tradition. Together, they form a sacred Deposit of Faith. They serve as the authentic and complete source for our knowledge about God and God’s plan for the whole human race.

11 Scripture and Tradition con’t…
All Christians bear the responsibility of spreading the good news of salvation. But to guarantee that what God has revealed to us is passed on authentically, God granted the teaching office of the Church – the Pope and the bishops (successor of the Apostles), a special gift or authority to teach, interpret, and preserve Scripture and Tradition for all believers until Christ returns. This teaching authority is called the Magisterium.

12 Biblical inspiration and Interpretation
All Christians believe in biblical inspiration – that God inspired the writers of the Bible to write what we need to know about our salvation -- how to live, how to get to heaven, and about God and His plan for us. Some Christians, known as fundamentalists or literalists believe that every part of the Bible must be absolutely true (history, geography, science, etc.) Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the authors of the bible without taking over their natural human limitations. Catholics believe that the Bible is without error in those things that God wants us to know about our salvation without having to be historically and scientifically correct. This belief is called biblical inerrancy.

13 Interpreting the Bible
When we read the Bible we need to keep two things in mind: what the original writer intended and meant – looking at the literary form, history, and culture The various ways or tools that can be used to understand the Bible. These tools are called the senses of Scripture

14 Senses of Scripture Literal Sense – what the words of Scripture literally mean. Spiritual Sense – meaning expressed in Scriptures when read in prayer; in the context of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection; and in the context of the Tradition of the Church

15 Spiritual Senses Allegorical Sense – the use of allegory (i.e. crossing of the Red Sea as an image of Baptism). Moral Sense – how the passage encourages us to do good and act justly. Anagogical Sense – how the passage speaks to us in the events of our lives.

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