This is why Magis Center exists:
Our Mission: To provide a comprehensive and rational response to today’s “secular myths”.
Our Goal: To restore, reconstruct, and revitalize belief in God, the transcendent dignity of every human person, the significance of virtue, the higher levels of happiness, love, and freedom, and the real presence of Jesus Christ. We will find and return lost sheep to the Good Shepherd.
WHAT MAGIS CENTER IS DOING AND WHY YOU SHOULD USE *MAGIS MATERIALS
First, a brief explanation of why Magis Center exists. As you may be aware, Fr. Spitzer was President of Gonzaga University for 11 years. He noticed a marked decrease in the faith within the student body, and this at a Catholic University. His research showed that four popular secular myths were corroding faith and morals as well as undermining faith in God and Jesus Christ. The Myths are:
- The Conflict between Faith and Science.
“Faith and science are in conflict. Science is truth. Therefore, faith is a fantasy, and if I am going to be authentic, I had better distance myself from the fantasy.”
- The Conflict between Suffering and Love.
“God cannot be loving because if he were, he would not allow suffering in the world — especially the suffering of children and other innocent people. The fact that there is tremendous suffering among the innocent shows that either God is not loving (in which case he is not relevant to me) or he doesn’t exist at all.”
- The Conflict between Christian Virtue and Freedom (and Moral Relativism).
“Jesus Christ and the Church impose a bunch of rules and ‘should nots’ on all of us, but there are many other viewpoints that allow for more freedom and personal opinion. Why should I follow the teachings of Christ and the Church instead of these other viewpoints – which seem equally valid?”
- Skepticism about the Significance and Reality of Jesus.
“If our moral life, prayer life, and Church community are all grounded in the teaching of Jesus Christ, how can I be sure that he even walked or talked on this earth anyway? Why is Jesus more significant than any other prophet or wise man?”
WHAT MAGIS CENTER IS DOING:
Led by Father Spitzer and his tireless work in putting out Rational Apologetics addressing these myths, Magis Center is intent on completely debunking these four myths and rebuilding a faith centered society. The process should be one of working through these myths from beginning to end as the first will help develop a strong sense of reason. By the time students complete their high school education, we highly recommended that all of these four myths are adequately addressed.
The Reason Series and From Nothing to Cosmos were both produced as a response to the first myth, “There is a conflict between faith and science.” The Reason Series is a dramatization aimed at 8th graders and up (adults in small groups at parishes have also enjoyed this production). From Nothing to Cosmos is a lecture series by Fr. Spitzer and is targeted at 10th grade through college level. This lecture series covers the same information as The Reason Series, and a bit more, but in far greater detail.
Another product, actually the initial Magis product, that is excellent for High School and above is the documentary, Cosmic Origins. This is a stand alone product, about an hour in length, that consists of interviews with world renowned scientists discussing the universe. It is excellent for introducing science, reason and faith and is appropriate for all levels of high school and above. This is a very good video for using on retreats. Samples of these products are available under the FREE/RESOURCES tab on our website.
We have recently released Happiness, The Series. This series responds to the second myth, “There is a conflict between love and suffering.” Happiness consists of the DVDs and a Workbook and is targeted at 9th grade and above. This is a series of interviews with various people from many walks of life. Some doctors, psychologists, actors and others are interviewed as we look into what makes us happy (Through Father Spitzer’s “Four Levels of Happiness”. We learn the benefits of suffering and how to suffer well as well as the important connections between happiness and suffering. Samples of Happiness are available under the above FREE/RESOURCES link. In a few months, the second in this series will be available, Happiness, Suffering and the Love of God. This series will be another lecture series by Father Spitzer targeted at upper level High School and above. Once again, the lecture series will be a bit more straightforward and contain more in-depth information and ideas than Happiness, the Series. This will be recommended for 11th grade and above.
The third myth, “There is a conflict between Christian Virtue and Personal Freedom (and Moral Relativism)” is being addressed by a new series with an expected release date of early to mid June. This product is titled, Virtue, Faith and Freedom. This will be similar to Happiness, the Series in that it is a series of interviews with various people about why we cannot be the captain of our own ship. Our conscience, it turns out, is not a very good or very reliable guide through our world. If we can’t trust our conscience, what, or who, can we trust. This series will show why direction, properly given and properly received, is actually more freeing than to try to pick our own way through life’s maze. You can find free materials on this subject on the Virtue and Freedom landing page by clicking here.
Lastly, we come to the fourth myth, “How do I know Jesus Really Existed and, even if He Did, Why Should I Believe He was/is God?” Why is Jesus more significant than other prophets or wise men? If our moral life, prayer life, and Church community are all grounded in the teaching of Jesus Christ, how can I be sure that he even walked or talked on this earth anyway? Many versions, one basic myth. This fourth myth will be addressed by our last series, The Reality of Jesus. While this series will not be ready for publishing until late 2016 or early 2017, here are some of the materials that will be used to create the product: https://www.magiscenter.org/reality-of-jesus-additional-resources/. As you can easily ascertain, the materials will be compelling and will be presented in a way that will build upon a solid foundation.
All of these products are produced to meet the USCCB guidelines for “supplemental materials”. We pray the teachers and administrators recognize and embrace these products for they are truly needed in order to turn the tide from the agnostic and atheistic teachings that are inexorably tilting the framework of our Church and our society. It is time for us to lead the discussions down the right and true path. As Father Spitzer has noted, there is a dearth of apologetic materials used in our schools today in spite of the fact apologetics is the Bishop’s preferred mode of teaching. Magis Center is following the will of the Church and hopes you help us by utilizing these materials to address the above concerns. We are responding but we need your help.
Note: Only The Reason Series currently has Lesson Plans but we are addressing that now. The lesson plan would be similar for all products as they are designed on a similar platform. We are here to answer any additional questions you may have. Feel free to call, text or email. We are here to serve.
*Magis (pronounced mah-jis) in Latin means “more.” In some contexts it can mean “the even more” – the furthest frontier – frontiers of reason, knowledge, the universe, and reality itself.
Do These Materials Work?:
Here is a typical review from a high school student who completed The Reason Series with her class:
“Overall, the videos answered several of my questions and undoubtedly increased my faith. Before watching these videos, I don’t think I could convince someone who didn’t believe in God that he exists and is our Creator. However, I now have full confidence that I could explain this and change someone’s opinion on creation. I truly believe I learned a lot from watching the episodes, and I was glad certain things I had doubts about became clear. Each episode made me think deeper about God and His reasoning for creating us. In the end, I definitely think The Reason Series brought me closer to God and made me believe even more firmly in my faith.”
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