Reasons to Believe, Hahn

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Title: Reasons to Believe

Author: Scott Hahn

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Part One Natural Resources

Chapter 1 More than a Feeling: On the Love of Learning and the Desire for Dunking

Chapter 2 Ours to Reason Why: On Seeing, Believing, and Flying

  • "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth" Fides et ratio John Paul II, (recommended) When any winged creature tries to fly on just one wing, it falls to the ground.
  • "Reason must always proceed from a set of unprovable first principals. This faith is, for the most part, tacit, unacknowledged, or taken for granted; but is faith nonetheless" (St. Augustine).

Four Givens

i.e four propositions that are universally accepted as true, and are practically undeniable.

  • "Logic is simply a reflection of how the mind structures its thought, which is itself a reflection of the very structure of reality".
  • "Logic is an instrument of reason. It is not, as some would have us believe, merely a set of rules for self consistency.
  • If you want to demonstrate logic's inadequacy, you must make your demonstration in a logical way.
  1. The principle of non-contradiction i.e something can not both A and not A at the same time and in the same way.
  2. The general reliability of a sense perception. Our senses correspond to reality as is exists independent of our perceptions. Sense perception is generally reliable. Reason makes up for its deficit.
  3. The principle of causality. i.e. for every effect, there must be a cause. Scientists of necessity must assume every effect they are investigating has a cause, for otherwise they would have nothing to explain and they could explain nothing.
  4. The notion of self-consciousness. This is what tells me that I exist.

A Mind for what matters

  • What we need to demonstrate to the skeptics is that human beings naturally reason from the visible to the invisible, from the sensible to the insensible.
  • Most people, too, recognize the need for some immaterial moral principles as well: justice, fairness, freedom, love, compassion, solidarity and so on.
  • Music and art, too, move us from the sensory to the abstract.

Trust but verify

  • St. Augustine said "I believe that I may understand." Anyone who knows anything must first put faith in principles that are tacit, unproven, and unprovable.
  • We have good reasons for believing such things. But we don't have proof. We believe that we may understand.
  • The Catholic Church condemns both the disordered reliance on faith alone ( fideism) and the disordered reliance on reason alone ( rationalism).

Chapter 3 Natural Reasons: On the Persuasive Power of the Universe

Chapter 4 Right and Wrong: On Doing and Denial

Chapter 5 The Limits of Reason: On the Testimony of Miracles and Prophecy

Part Two Biblical Reasons

Chapter 6 Bible Stead: On the Church as One Foundation

Chapter 7 Saints Alive: On Love and the Limits of Human Fellowship

Chapter 8 A Mass of Evidence: On the Eucharist and the Purifying Fire of Sacrifice

Chapter 9 Peace of the Rock: On the Papal Office and Its Paper Trail

Chapter 10 Reasons of the Kingdom: On Answering with Your Life

Part Three Royal Reasons

Chapter 11 Created for the Kingdom

  • Adam is made in God's "image and likeness" which suggests a father-son relationship and a delegation of royal responsibilities. (see psalm 8:4-6)
  • The hebrew word for a covenant oath is sheva which means seven. To swear is, literally, to "seven oneself." Covenant, then is the meaning f God's Sabbath rest. God is creating a covenant bond. - that is a family bond with the cosmos Adam was to rule over the world as son of God
  • In giving the world to Adan, God gave the human race a kingdom to rule as His vicars. By their pride and disobedience, however, Adam and Eve forfeited their privileged status.
  • The section "The Comeback Trail" recounts numerous breaking and reestablishing of the covenant throughout the OT.
  • ... Melchizedek, king of Salem (Gen 14:18), who blesses Abraham as he offers a sacrifice of bread and wine to God. (Salem will later be renamed Jeru-salem and identified with Mount Zion; see Ps 76:2)
  • In the promised land, Israel remained a people set apart. A nation unlike any other, they were governed not by human laws, but by God Himself through His prophets.
  • God first gathered into one kingdom all the sons of Abraham, so that he might eventually gather all the sons of Ada.

Chapter 12 The Fleeting and Future Kingdom: The Difference David Made

Chapter 13 The Kingdom Come: On Christ the King, the Son of David

Chapter 14 When the Reign Comes: The Church is the Kingdom

Chapter 15 The Catholic Lifetime Readings Plan: An Apologetic Exhortation

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Bibliographic info


LC control no. Type of materia

Description ISBN

Notes Includes index. Subjects LC classification Dewey class no.

LC control no.: 2007007526 LCCN permalink: Type of material: Entry Not Found Personal name: Hahn, Scott. Main title: Reasons to believe : how to understand, explain, and defend the Catholic faith / Scott Hahn. Published/Created: New York : Doubleday, c2007. Description: x, 227p. ; 22 cm. ISBN: 9780385509350 (alk. paper) Contents: Natural resources -- Biblical reasons -- Royal reasons. Subjects: Catholic Church --Apologetic works. Catholic Church --Doctrines. Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. [199]-227). LC classification: BX1752 .H23 2007 Dewey class no.: 230/.2 Electronic file info: Table of contents only Links: Table of contents only CALL NUMBER: BX1752 .H23 2007