Monday, February 11, 2013

Why only Mormonism and Catholicism? Pt. I: Introduction.

Given that there are several major religious movements in the world and many more sub-movements within these movements, it may be asked why I have decided to consider only these two faith traditions. A similar question is often posited by skeptics who rightly observe that one's religion is often no more than the result of where one happens to be born. This applies not only to those born into a specific faith, but converts as well. An American, for instance, may be more likely to become a Christian than Muslim due to prevalence, and additionally because of the less favorable view of Islam  present in the West. My reason for considering both faiths seems to fit the skeptic's observation. I was born into a Mormon family and Culture, and the Catholic faith is the largest single Christian denomination in the world. Unlike some seek only reasons to further reinforce what they already believe, I have attempted to maintain as much impartiality as possible so that I may answer the question "Which faith tradition, if any, is true?"

The faith of my upbringing (Mormonism) remains part of my consideration because I was born into it, and I believe one should not part with the faith of their family, which is often of utmost importance, without very good reason for doing so. I believe such reasons can only be of two sorts: 1) A conviction that another faith tradition is true, or 2) A conviction that one's own faith tradition is false. Even in the case of the second, there are many individuals who, after losing faith, continue to participate in the practices and rituals of their respective tradition for  social and familial reasons. In both cases, I believe leaving one's former faith should be a long and thoughtful process. There have been many who have reverted to the faith of their upbringing upon discovering that they never really gave it a thorough consideration. Thus I consider the Mormon faith to determine whether I have good reason for staying or parting.

The answer to "Why Catholicism?" requires a much longer answer which I am not sure how to begin. Partially underlying this question is the foundational query of this blog, being "How can one determine which faith is true?" I believe the best an individual can do is seek the faith that offers the best explanatory power to the universe and the human condition and all these things entail. To begin I will offer an outline of how I will go about answering the question, which is subject to change:
  • Pt. II is inspired by C.S. Lewis, who after becoming a Theist considered Judaism and Hinduism from which stem the other major world religions, ultimately concluding that Christianity is true. I too will provide my reasons for why I believe Christianity is true.

  • Pt. III will be an account of why if Christianity is true I believe Apostolic Christianity must be true. Apostolic Christianity will include all faith traditions who see apostolic authority tracing back to the original apostles as necessary. These include the Anglican communion, the Assyrian Church of the East, Eastern Orthodox churches, the Mormon movement (including the RLDS), Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Catholic Church (East and West). 

  • Pt. IV will begin a consideration of why I believe the Catholic Church has a superior claim to truth over the other apostolic Christian churches (excluding the LDS faith) and will introduce my consideration of whether it has a superior claim to being the fullness of truth over the LDS faith.

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