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As a college student, I was a little abnormal.  Because of questions that were raised by some of the classes I took my first semester, my nominal Catholic faith had been destroyed.  As a result, I was on a quest for Truth.  I was passionately focused on finding answers to life’s ultimate questions.  Like normal college kids, my classmates were more focused on where the next party was! 

Blaise Pascal was a true genius.  A Seventeenth-Century French mathematician, he is credited with many inventions.  His work has had a profound influence on modern science, everything from probability and statistics, to the existence of vacuums, which set the stage for quantum physics.  Amazingly, he was also a master of French prose and is considered one of the most important authors of the French Classical Period.  As if all this wasn’t enough, Pascal was an accomplished philosopher and theologian as well.  And this might be his best-known legacy.  You may not have had any idea what a genius Pascal was, but I’ll bet (pun intended) you’ve heard of Pascal’s wager!

Outdated.  Unscientific.  Anti-intellectual.  This is one of the most consistent themes in surveys that ask young adults why they’ve abandoned their Christian faith.  Modern science, they say, makes the Christian worldview look like a relic of the past, an unenlightened, archaic mythology.  Modern science, they say, makes Christians look like naïve simpletons who must base their faith on a blind leap, irrational emotional experience, or intuition that defies reason—an “I believe because I know Jesus in my heart” kind of thing.  Modern science, they say, makes it impossible for any intelligent, scientifically-minded person to believe in Christianity.

Chip Ingram is a pastor in California.  He has a daily radio show called Living on the Edge.  Last week I was listening to the broadcast as he addressed the question: Why do so many young people leave the Church?  Statistics suggest that around seventy percent of those raised in the Church leave the faith by the end of college.  Chip gave this example as one explanation why: He was talking with a teen from his church.  She firmly professed to believe in Christ.  But, she said, “If you ask me to tell my gay friend she’s wrong, I’ll walk away from my faith first!”

A real reaction to real events.  Being a pastor, I’ve had many people share their grief with me.  There’s nothing more heart-breaking than the death of a loved one.  No matter how hard you try, you can’t escape the finality of it all, the suffocating loneliness, the unrelenting pain.

Why Did the Disciples Doubt When Jesus First Appeared to Them?

Three days after He was crucified, Jesus’ disciples claimed that they found the tomb He was buried in empty.  Last week, I showed how their initial reaction to discovering the empty tomb, doubt, reveals that the story is very credible.  To their utter humiliation—down through the ages—their initial reaction wasn’t a heroic faith that Jesus had conquered death, but instead, the clueless presumption that someone else must have moved His body.  This, however, wasn’t the most humiliating thing they did.

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

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