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  • Writer's pictureCofComCat

Heavy Stuff

Updated: Mar 3

Last week, we chatted about Christian counter-culturalism, tackling issues such as meekness in a loud world, patience in an age of instant gratification, and humility in a culture of self-centeredness. Travis even touched on his and his wife’s (very difficult!) decision to delay, indefinitely and perhaps even permanently, physical intimacy (sex!) as part of their path into the Catholic Church. We addressed the reality that leading a Christian life is and always has been inherently counter-cultural, drawing on the sentiments of David Kilby who once wrote:

“We cannot keep our faith private because Christianity, at its very foundation, is a bold and outward faith. It cannot simply be inherited and we cannot contain it within our church walls. Christ meant for it to be spread everywhere, so despite living in a culture that wants religion to be a personal matter, we need to be countercultural, witnessing to the world that we have been transformed by Christ and are sustained through his Church."

Heavy stuff.

This week, we’re joined by our friend, former football player, finance aficionado, and fellow man of faith Braden Ritchie to learn about his path from an agnostic childhood, to encountering the Christian religion via friends and football as a teenager and in young adulthood, to eventually converting to Christianity and entering the Catholic Church as a man. Braden tells us how he gradually realized that if things can be good or bad, we need something to determine what is good and what is bad. This led him down a long path toward discovering what that something is.

Braden is hardly the first person to ponder these issues. Travis wrestled with the same questions for years, ultimately determining that:

• Relativism (i.e., the belief that there are no absolute truths and that all knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context) is self-refuting because its truth implies its falsehood. Relativism asserts that the truth-value of a statement is always relative to some standpoint, which implies the same statement can be both true and false. And consider the fact that a moral relativist cannot protest their innocence when accused of molesting a child, raping a family member, or assaulting a religious minority because there is no standard by which relativism asserts child molesting, rape, or assault are wrong. Relativism is nonsense!

• Nihilism (i.e., the belief that life is meaningless and that nothing really matters, thus rejecting all moral and religious principles) is too paradoxical. If nihilism is true, nihilism itself is meaningless. If nihilism is true, life and every argument you make are meaningless so why even live or argue for nihilism? And if nihilism is true, what claim can a nihilist make for why atrocities such as the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide are wrong? Nihilism is also nonsense!

Travis and Braden both found themselves pursuing the truth no matter where it led, finding anti-relativistic and anti-nihilistic arguments significantly more compelling, including those of famed Christian apologist C.S. Lewis who says:

“If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other, there would be no sense in preferring civilised morality to savage morality.”

Their paths, albeit wholly different, led both Travis and Braden to the same place. This week, Braden tells us all about his path in the pursuit of truth. What can listeners expect? Some football talk, some funny stories, and some philosophical faith insights for Christians and non-Christians alike. And Braden reminds us: we’re all engaging in a life-defining gamble regarding the belief in God’s existence! Posed by 17th century French mathematician, physicist, inventor, and philosopher Blaise Pascal: if God doesn’t exist but you live as if He does, you incur only finite losses (e.g., maybe sacrificing certain pleasures), but if God does exist and you act as if He doesn’t you face infinite losses (i.e., an eternity in Hell). The stakes are indeed infinite.

Again: heavy stuff!

And that’s exactly why we’re here: challenging conversations, practical advice, and (hopefully) inspiration for Catholics specifically, Christians generally, and non-Christians potentially.

God bless!


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