"I should not believe the gospel unless I were moved to do so by the authority of the Church."
That is why I do think the Catholic Church has it right that before you can have faith in the Scriptures you must have faith in the tradition and the authorities that approved the sacred writings and doctrines. Once you believe in the messenger you will believe the message. That is where it all turns.
In that way it is like money... without faith and trust in the governing party issuing it the money is only paper and does not carry the value. The illusion must be shared by the majority and backed by the authorities for money or religion to work. I heard an Economist state that "the illusion of normalcy is what we labor under."
As one Cardinal put it "To be steeped in history is to cease being protestant." Which I can appreciate however if one pushes the imagination a bit history goes beyond Christianity and covers many more cultures back to the pagans and the other religions of our human ancestors. Not to mention before the time of human civilization. If you go back as recent as 50 AD most of the world did not even know what the Jewish scriptures even claimed much less the new religion Christianity.
Paganism ruled the Roman Empire. Places like China and India had Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Hinduism. The Arabs were Pagan as well. The Africans had a variety of beliefs including Animism.
So I agree that when you accept the premises, axioms, and apriori doctrines of the Church - the narrative then makes sense within that specific paradigm and matrix...it is the starting premises and the entrance into that paradigm that are a stumbling block for various reasons. The explanation is only powerful to the believer.
The natural explanation is more coherent compared to the competing supernatural explanations. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Even recently new religions come up such as Mormonism in America. The fact that this religion has grown to such an extent with its recent dubious beginning points to the credulity of human beings in my opinion. Human beings are inherently superstitious. It takes cognitive work not to be superstitious as a human. The human being is so fragile and too much alcohol or force to the head and the thing we call ego seems to be altered or vanish.
Religion has had such a monopoly on the human psyche because of its perceived fulfillment of explanation and human justification. Modern science is closing the gap on explanatory power.
The Adam and Eve story and some stories in the Old Testament are a hard premise if you will to fully accept within the modern scientific narrative as well some questionable aspects of the God of the Old Testament. If Adam and Eve are metaphors then it does go to the question of why a real sacrifice was needed for a metaphor. As far as being in denial of Judgment day one would have to ask what Just God would judge whole nations that never knew of the Jewish scriptures? And why send a sacrifice to a small few expecting that people should believe this on hearsay and if they do not they should be tortured for eternity. Why reward credulity and the accident of where you are born? Threats like these sound very man made that come from sources of insecurity and not from an all powerful loving God. The Hubristic self aggrandizement of humanity to think that this whole universe was made just for us. I can speak for myself and say that compared to this cosmos I am but a mote of dust in the morning sky and would be surprised to find that humans have a special place in it. In fact the way Nature treats humans seems to be about the same way it treats all creatures unfortunately.
"When you get a person to look at the sun as it bakes down on the daily carnage taking place on earth, the ridiculous accidents, the utter fragility of life, the powerlessness of those he thought most powerful—what comfort can you give him from a psychotherapeutic point of view?" -Ernest Becker
The human animal has a fragile psychology to the point that myth is milk to our species. Maybe the existential position of the human being is so strange and absurd that as Machiavelli stated it is no suprise that the crazy give a good account of themselves in these crazy times. As one philosopher noted in so many words to exist is to be nourished on faith. The dead have no need for faith.
"In the affairs of the world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the lack of it."
Curiosity, wonder and skepticism are important I believe in that it can help children pursue a greater educational experience. In a life where there are many charlatans, claims, and questionable motives in general it seems skepticism is a better ground zero approach than a religious axiom or a specific ideology. To me an atmosphere of free thinking and critical thinking are important for education otherwise if all knowledge is dictated by a religious axiom then it is limited to that box. The pursuit of knowledge should be open to question and critical thinking. Now if that process leads one to a specific religion that is different but if they start with a religious axiom then that is limiting to other possibilities.
The facts are the same in the Universe but the interpretations differ. And my do they differ when you have billions of human beings mapping their way through this strange existence. I would like nothing better to study the human being including its biology, psychology, and history. If nothing more than to find some truth in this short and strange existence and maybe contribute a verse to this play we call life.