The title of this book probably baffles many of us: how can faith ever make you think? For most people, thinking contradicts having faith. People who think do not have faith. And people who have faith do not think. That is the most common perception nowadays. But that perception is seriously flawed. In fact, there is a strong connection between thinking and having faith.
St. Augustine expressed this quite clearly when he said, “Believers are also thinkers: in believing, they think and in thinking, they believe.… If faith does not think, it is nothing.” In the Catholic tradition, this connection has been known as “faith and reason.” Pope John Paul II even wrote an encyclical on this issue, making them two sides of the same coin.
Table of Contents
1. THE AVALANCHE OF ATHEISM
Atheists who are unaware of God.
Atheists who are undecided about God
Atheists who are argument stoppers
Atheists who have closed their minds
Atheists who have been brainwashed
Atheists who are militant
Atheists who are enslaved
2. YOU ARE ONLY…
Only a speck of dust?
Only a bag of genes?
Only a string of DNA?
Only a blob of cells?
Only a pack of neurons?
Only an automated machine?
Only a glorified animal?
Only a member of a colony?
What is the bottom-line?
3. THE GOD WHO IS AND THE GOD WHO ISN’T
God is not a part of the universe
God is not a physical being
God is not an absent landlord
God is not a deity among other deities
God is not a hypothesis
God is not “a god of the gaps”
God is not a dictator
God is not all there is
4. DO WE REALLY HAVE A FREE-WILL?
Genetics: perhaps we do have a free-will
Neuroscience: perhaps we do have a free-will
Philosophy: yes, we do have a free-will
5. SCIENCE AND FAITH REUNITED
Galileo stoked the fire
Born in the cradle of religion
Science, a Judeo-Christian project
God is the author of both
How to read the Book of Scripture?
Science and faith back together again
6. MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE
The soul has two parts
The mind is the intellectual part of the soul
The will is the voluntary part of the soul
7. HOW EVIL IS SUFFERING?
The essence of evil
The man Job
The God-man Jesus
A matter of life and death
8. GOD’S PRESCRIPTION FOR HAPPINESS
Why “ten words”?
What does each “word” command?
Coming to the end…
“After a lifetime in the academy, I am convinced that the highest priority in the New Evangelization is intellectual evangelization, and specifically, apologetics – answering the major questions which so deeply concern our young people: Does God exist? Are we mere matter? Is there a conflict between the bible and science? Does evolution have to be rejected? What is happiness? Are we really free? How can suffering be reconciled with a loving God? This book does all of this in an incredibly accessible, engaging, and intelligent way – which paves the way into the mind and heart of the living God."
"This lively and accessible work should awaken or reawaken many Catholics to the glories of their Church as a beacon of faith and reason. It’s a real contribution to the New Evangelization."
— Mary Ann Glendon Professor of Law, Harvard University, Former US Ambassador to the Holy See, President Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
“We live in a time and place in which vague religiosity unattached to belief in anything in particular has apparently become an attractive option for a large and growing number of people, including some who call themselves Catholics.
Gerard Verschuuren’s book is a bracing antidote, well-reasoned and clearly written, to this peculiar affliction and a timely reminder to us all that the pillars of authentic faith are grounded in truth."
— Russell Shaw Professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome
Former Secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/US Catholic Conference
“I really enjoyed reading this book. I love his humorous asides following some deep and important fact or matter of faith. Gerard Verschuuren writes very clearly and his message comes across effectively for readers who are searchers in our faith life!"
— Sr. Marianne Postiglione, RSM Senior Editor at ITEST, Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology Former Music Professor at Salve Regina University, RI
Radio Interview with Jon Leonetti on Iowa Catholic Radio (8/24/2022)
Radio Interview on WakeUp Radio from Louisiana (9/21/2022)
Interview with Michael O'Neill on EWTN Radio (10/15/2022)
Interview with Brigid Ayer for Faith in Action on Catholic Radio Indy (11/05/2022)
“In Faith that Makes You Think, Dr. Verschuuren demythifies the cultural assumption of the incompatibility of faith and science. Each chapter addresses misunderstandings and corrects mistakes clearly and convincingly for both the theologian and the lay person. While I am no philosopher or biblical expert, Dr. Verschuuren writes in a clear style comprehensible to the lay reader that enlightens the esoteric terms of those disciplines.
As an elementary educator, I particularly enjoyed Chapter 6, “Made In God’s Image,” but every chapter is engaging and enlightening! Faith That Makes You Think will take a prominent place on my bookshelf–literally and metaphorically–and I look forward to using it in Sunday school and book club discussion groups.”
Jennifer Erickson, Elementary Educator, Alice Gustafson School, Batavia, IL