I’ve become convinced that its important for the Church to inoculate our young people with a healthy dose of catechesis before we ship them off to college, just enough so that when they first hear about Nietzsche or really study Darwin they won’t freak out and presume that what the Church taught them in 6th grade confirmation is the only wisdom the Church has to offer.
I’ve been working on writing a catechism, a distillation of the faith into concise questions and answers with brief supporting scriptures that could be the starting point for a conversation.
You can find the earlier installments here.
Here are questions 22-24
I. The Father
22. If God is All-powerful can God do whatever God wants?
The categories we call Truth, Beauty or Goodness exist outside of our minds, cultures and languages. They are not merely relative concepts or words we attach to things with no reality beyond this world.
Instead they derive from the universal, eternal nature of God.
What we call ‘Goodness’ derives from the eternal, unchanging nature of God, whose Being is Absolute Goodness. In addition, God does not change.
If God is Perfect, Immutable Love then God cannot do something that is unloving.
If God is Perfect, Immutable Goodness then God cannot do something that is not good.
Not even God, the ancient Christians believed, can violate his eternal, unchanging nature. God cannot, say, use his omnipotence to will evil, for to do so would contradict God’s very nature.
For God to be free, then, is for God to act unhindered according to God’s nature.
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
– 1 John 4.8
23. If God is all-knowing, does God have a plan the world?
God’s will, revealed through Abraham, Christ and the Spirit’s sending of the Church, is that all of creation be renewed, redeemed and resurrection; so that what was originally ‘very good’ will be so eternally with Heaven joining Earth, God dwelling with his creatures and mourning, pain and crying no more.
“Look at the stars in the sky. Count them if you are able. So shall your future be…” – Genesis 22.17
24. If God is all-knowing, does God have a plan for my life?
God has a desire for your life: that you become as fully human as Jesus, and like Jesus, become friends with God.
How you fulfill that desire, with the gifts and freedom God has given you, is the adventure you call your life.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” – Romans 8.29