Month: November 2013

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The Caliph’s Catch-22: Protestant Arguments Against the “Apocrypha”

There’s a story (probably legendary) about the destruction of the great Library of Alexandria: John the Grammarian, a Coptic priest living in Alexandria at the time of the Arab conquest in 641 AD, came to know ‘Amr, the Muslim general who conquered the city. The men were each other’s intellectual peers, and John became the […]

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Explore Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) With Me

Pope Francis’s new Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) was released today. I haven’t had a chance to read it all yet, but I thought I’d try something a little different today. Let’s explore the document together: I’ll begin by posting a few of the passages that jump out at me. You do the […]

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Why We Should Take John 6 Literally About Transubstantation

One of our deacons, John Staley, recently reminded me of something I’d written about the Eucharist four years ago. Since Eucharist means “Thanksgiving,” this seems like a perfect time to share it. I was prompted to writing by C. Michael Patton, a Reformed blogger. He’d written a post entitled, “Why I Don’t Buy the Roman […]

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The Awesome Power of the Five-Step “Lectio Divina” Method to Scripture

James Tissot, Jesus Teaches in the Synagogues (1886) In his 2010 encyclical Verbum Domini (“The Word of the Lord”), Pope Benedict XVI advocated a particular approach to Scripture as a key, both to our personal sanctification, and to Christian ecumenism: Listening together to the word of God, engaging in biblical lectio divina, letting ourselves be […]

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Can Objective Morality Exist Without God? (Round 3)

Yesterday marked the conclusion of my debate with Steven Dillion on objective morality and the existence of God. Here’s everything, in case you missed any of it: Monday (11/4) – Joe’s opening statement (affirmative)Tuesday (11/5) – Steven’s opening statement (negative)Wednesday (11/6) – Joe’s rebuttal (affirmative)Thursday (11/7) – Steven’s rebuttal (negative)Friday (11/8) – Questions exchanged (three questions each)Saturday (11/9) – Answers (Joe and Steven answer each other’s questions)Sunday […]

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Can Objective Morality Exist Without God? (Round 2)

My debate with Steven Dillon on whether objective morality can exist without God  continues on Strange Notions. On Wednesday, they posted my rebuttal to Steven’s opening statement, and today, they posted Steven’s rebuttal to my opening statement. From my rebuttal: Is Agony Intrinsically Evil? In my opening statement, I suggested that non-theistic moral systems cannot […]

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Can Objective Morality Exist Without God? (Round 1)

Can objective morality exist without God? That’s the question that Steven Dillon and I are debating over at Strange Notions. The schedule is as follows: Monday (11/4) – Joe’s opening statement (affirmative) Tuesday (11/5) – Steven’s opening statement (negative) Wednesday (11/6) – Joe’s rebuttal (affirmative) Thursday (11/7) – Steven’s rebuttal (negative) Friday (11/8) – Questions […]

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The HHS Mandate is “Self-Defeating”? A Federal Court of Appeals Weighs In.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an important ruling about the HHS Mandate today. The ruling makes several important points, and frames the HHS Mandate debate in a productive way. It’s certainly an exciting moment for those of us against the mandate, even though it doesn’t go nearly as far […]

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