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Chapter 1

Faith and Revelation


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  1. What do St. Columbanus and Jean‑Pierre de Caussade teach about faith?

  2. Why did God create man?

  3. Speaking of God, the text states: “Endowing man with the gift of free will, he invites us to seek, know, and love him through our free choice. In doing so, however, he also permits man to reject him. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, chose sin over obedience and thus severed their relationship with God.”

    Why is choosing sin necessarily a rejection of God? Is it possible to sin and yet still desire to seek, know, and love God? If we truly have a “free will,” then why are we not free to decide for ourselves what is morally right or wrong?

  4. Why did God give Moses the Ten Commandments?

  5. What did the Death and Resurrection of Christ make possible?

  6. Explain the “paradox” described in this section of the text.

  7. What does St. Thomas Aquinas mean when he says, “Our intellect does not adequately grasp the divine essence in any of the conceptions which the names applied to God signify, the definitions of these terms cannot fully define what is God”?

  8. What is the difference between knowing God and knowing about God?

  9. This book is about the Blessed Trinity. Will we know God by the time we finish studying this text during this semester? Explain.

  10. What does it mean for the text to say God “seeks us first” and “chose us first”?

  11. What three gifts from God set man apart from all other created beings?

  12. Where can the fullness of God’s truth be found?

  13. According to Pope Benedict XVI, what did Plato understand about the human search for God?

  14. Explain how the search for God is different from the search for a cure for cancer, a new planet, or a previously unknown subatomic particle. Then explain how the search for God is similar to these other searches.

  15. How is natural (or ordinary) faith similar to supernatural faith? How are they different?

  16. What did St. Augustine mean when he wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you”?

  17. What is the best way to explain the Faith to most nonbelievers? Why?

  18. For each of the sets of statements below, identify which of St. Thomas Aquinas’ arguments for the existence of God applies:

    a. The way trees, plants, grass, and all of nature grows and matures and the way animals and humans are conceived, born, and grow all reveal an intelligent design. Such a design must have an intelligent designer, an intelligent being that created it all and directed how nature would work. That intelligent being is God.


    b. Astronomers say the universe began with a “Big Bang,” with the explosion of a super‑dense collection of matter that scattered atomic particles and energy in all directions and led to the formation of galaxies and stars. If the universe was caused by that Big Bang, then what caused the Big Bang itself? Before that, what caused that dense matter to exist? Science acknowledges that matter does not generate from non‑matter. Whatever or whoever is ultimately responsible for the creation of the universe is God.

  19. Explain the “Paley and the Watch” argument for the existence of God. To which of St. Thomas Aquinas’ arguments is it related?

  20. How did Sts. Paul and John compare human understanding of God while on earth with human understanding of God in Heaven?

  21. When did “salvation history” begin? Why not before that?

  22. Why did God select a Chosen People?

  23. What is the Incarnation?

  24. Who is the culmination of all Divine Revelation? Why?

  25. How did the Apostles encounter Christ?

  26. Name five primary means by which we may encounter Jesus Christ.

  27. How is Christ present in his Church?

  28. List the Seven Sacraments.

  29. What does the term “efficacious” mean?

  30. What means of encounter with Christ is typified in the Gospel story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13 – 35)?

  31. What did St. Jerome mean when he wrote, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”?

  32. Suppose a friend were to say to you, “I don’t like set prayers like the Our Father or the Hail Mary. When I try to pray the Rosary, I end up saying the words unconsciously and my mind wanders all over the place. I find myself thinking about this week’s football games, the homework I have to do, or just plain zoning out.” What would be a good response to your friend’s concerns?

  33. According to the Second Vatican Council, how does the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass contain all the ways in which Christ is present to us?

  34. The text describes an encounter with Christ as a “transforming experience, a spiritual ‘turning point.’”

    a. What two New Testament characters does the book use as examples of this transformation in Christ? Briefly explain how they were transformed by encountering Christ.


    b. Can you think of another example in the New Testament of a person who was transformed from an encounter with Christ?

  35. Fill in the blanks below based on your reading of this section of the text:

    a. Faith in God is received from _________ and for _________ .


    b. Faith is verified by ________________ .


    c. Faith comes alive when lived ________________ .

  36. What does faith call each person to do?

  37. Why has the Catholic Church always taught that Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are essential to understand Divine Revelation?

  38. What four criteria did the Church use to determine if a particular writing belonged in the New Testament canon of Scripture?

  39. Who set the standard for accurate and careful Bible translation, and what was the name given to the Bible he translated?

  40. What two qualities does Sacred Scripture possess that guarantees it transmits truths necessary for our salvation?

  41. If the Bible is free from error, does that mean that everything it says is literally true?

  42. What is the relationship between the natural sciences and Divine Revelation?

  43. What is the Catholic view of the theory of evolution?

  44. What are the three instances when a particular Church teaching is infallible?

  45. What did St. John Paul II mean when he said Divine Revelation is “immersed in time and history”?

  46. According to Dei Verbum, how is the New Testament hidden in the Old and the Old Testament revealed in the New?

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