anyone care to share?

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what do you tell an eleven year old son who says, "if we're catholics and we think we're right, but muslims think they're right, how do you know who is wrong? how does anybody know who is right or wrong?"


It's an important question to ask.

I'd try to explain it in terms of the founder of each religion. If any one of us (Catholics) made up our religion, then it would be pointless to say that we're right. However, since it was God Himself who founded our religion, we know that He's always right and we believe what He says.

Muslims think they're right because they believe that Mohammed was the last great prophet, but even the Koran says that they follow the God of Abraham. Well the God of Abraham revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Compare Jn 8:48-59 with Ex 3:13-15 (Jesus is "I AM", the Divine Name or YHWH), and Jn 1:1-3 with Gen 1:1-3 (Jesus was present at the creation of the world).

Have him consult one of the good Reverend Fathers of our acquaintance. I might also recommend our new parish DRE.

It's a question that, if you're not already equipped to deal with, you'd best refer the boy to someone who is. He's grappling with some heavy duty philosophy...this is no place for amateurs.

You'll need someone with enough understanding of logic (formally) to walk him through the claims of the respective parties, the available evidence in support and against those claims, etc. Pastoral sensitivity is also essential...someone who can dig for the question that is prompting this musing.

That said, I'll say congratulations. You do have a bright boy on your hands.

send a boy to see a priest? So wrong in these sexually correct times. The answer is we don't. That's what faith is for.


I don't think you should give up so easily, Bagchucker. Do you think an eleven-year-old boy is going to be satisfied with such a cop out?

Our intellects may ultimately be humbled by the mystery that is God, but that doesn't mean that human reason is completely useless when it comes to religion. Moreover, as St. Anselm of Canterbury pointed out, faith seeks understanding.

Having said that, Smockmamma, I second Flambeaux's suggestion that you send your son to a priest. I've done the same whenever I had big questions that I couldn't make heads or tails of, and all the priests I've talked to have managed to shed some light on those issues. They do study these things in college or seminary and will have already have heard the questions and their answers (as well as thousands of years' worth of commentary). =)

Incidentally, I approached a priest friend (while he was still a seminarian) about something very similar. A Muslim man had tried to convert me and seemed to have built a pretty good case for the Koran against the New Testament. Using reasoning that the most logical atheist in the world would not find fault with, my friend systematically (and respectfully!) demolished the case for the Koran.

So there is a reasonable answer at least for the validity of the New Testament books.

surely the whole point of the Catholic faith is -Jesus is THE way The truth and The life.
We believe this because The Church tells us so and also because our personal experience of God confirms it.



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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on October 2, 2007 10:29 AM.

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