4th Doctor: Nothing. I’ve searched the whole house. Completely empty. No secret passages, no hidden rooms, nothing. It’s got to be here, though.
Professor Emilia Rumford: What has?
4th Doctor: Well, the Cailleach.
Professor Emilia Rumford: Oh, the witch hag?
4th Doctor: Yes.
Professor Emilia Rumford: It’s only a legend.
4th Doctor: Yes, I know. And so was Troy until dear old Schliemann dug it up.
Doctor Who: The Stones of Blood 1978
This piece by Kirsten Power is a must read and this section should be particular read by people who dismiss Christianity out of hand as nonsense:
A few months into the relationship he confronted me with a question I didn’t expect to get from any person I knew: “Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior?”
“Of course not!” I answered. It was ridiculous. Who says things like this? I wondered.
My boyfriend then explained that he saw a future for us, but that he couldn’t marry someone who didn’t accept Jesus as their Savior. But then he told me something that I had never heard: “If you can keep an open mind,” he said, “God can reveal Himself to you.”
This is Christianity 101 and Ms. Power’s first reaction to it was secularism 101
This didn’t sound right to me…
But the rest of the sentence was not
…but I had so much respect for this man that I didn’t feel I could dismiss his claim out of hand. But I warned him that even though I was willing to show up at church from time to time, the chances of me becoming a Christian were less than zero.
But it turned out that the church he attended was pastored by a man named Tim Keller, who might be the most persuasive Christian apologist and evangelical pastor of his generation (if not the century). His sermons would weave together threads from philosophy, history, music, literature, and even popular culture. I had never heard anyone talk about the Bible, or Jesus, the way Keller did.
About a year into this unlikely journey I came to the conclusion that the weight of evidence was on the side of Christianity being true. But this was a head decision, not one of the heart.
I’ve said many times that the primary reason to believe in Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular is because it’s true and if you look at the empirical evidence you’ll understand why many of the greatest minds in history figured this out.
Ironically Ms. Power path echoed the early disciples on the road to Emmaus at first the truth of the matter is presented by argument and reason. To wit:
Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
but like Ms. Powers it’s the personal encounter with Christ which clinched the deal
And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
I suspect the personal encounters with Christ and / or the blessed mother are actually a lot more common than people are willing to admit, particularly if they function in a secular environment. But even without such an encounter a reason based start is perfectly valid start. Once you have reason behind you then you will be able to see whats right in front of your face.