Month: December 2015

18 Comments

Why was Jesus Born of a Virgin? (Four Wrong Answers, and the Right One)

As Christmas day approaches, we’re also confronted with a part of the faith that has caused great difficulty for Catholic and Protestant believers alike: the Virgin Birth. About a quarter of Americans deny the Virgin Birth (along with about a quarter of Anglican clergy in England). What should we say to these doubters? Why should we believe in the Virgin Birth, and why does it matter? Why was Jesus born of a Virgin? And why did the early Christians think this doctrine so important that they included it in both the Apostle's Creed and Nicene Creed as a core part of what it is to hold the Christian faith?

Continue reading: “Why was Jesus Born of a Virgin? (Four Wrong Answers, and the Right One)”

7 Comments

The O Antiphons

Back in 2011, I wrote a series of reflections for the last seven evenings of Advent (tonight through the evening of December 23rd), focused upon the traditional “O Antiphons” tied to each night.  Each one addresses Christ by a different title, based upon the Messianic prophesies in the Book of Isaiah.  Most people are familiar with these titles […]

Continue reading: “The O Antiphons”

97 Comments

4 Errors about the Burden of Proof for God

Duccio, Pilate's First Interrogation of Christ (1311)
As longtime readers know, I used to be a lawyer before entering seminary to prepare for the Catholic priesthood. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that I'm fascinated by questions about the "burden of proof" in religious questions. For example, does the burden of proof fall on the believer or the atheist? What sort of evidence is permissible to meet this burden of proof? Do "extraordinary" claims require extraordinary evidence? Should they meet an extraordinary burden of proof, above the burden required for other sorts of claims? Here are four ways that those questions are answered incorrectly.

Continue reading: “4 Errors about the Burden of Proof for God”