Why do I believe in God? Why am I a Christian? Why am I Catholic? And why am I a seminarian? Here's how I answered those four question to a group of high school theology students.
In the modern age, it's easy to assume that Christians always studied Scripture by reading their personal Bible, or that theological questions always settled by the believer looking through his Bible at home, alone. But none of that is true. As St. Augustine and Scripture itself confirm, the Bible was originally intended to be proclaimed to the community. Which is why I'm happy to be part of a project that seeks to do just that.
On Easter Sunday, why does Jesus say to Mary Magdalene, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father"? And why does He then invite St. Thomas to touch His hands and side?
Both St. Matthew and St. John take pains to specify that Christ's Tomb was never-before used. “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid” (John 19:41). But why do they both specify this seemingly-mundane detail? Because the Virgin Tomb, like the Virgin Womb, tells us something about Who Jesus Is.
How important is it that all Christians operate from the exact same Bible? You may be surprised to learn that for most of Church history, the (implicit) Christian answer was "not that important." Why was this the case? And why isn’t it the case today? Because of a major shift in how Christians approached Scripture and doctrinal orthodoxy...
If you missed yesterday's Catholic Answers Live episode on where the Bible came from, it's available for listening or downloading. As always, your feedback (questions, comments, etc.) is welcome!
Contemporary Christian groups are fond of producing "Statements of Belief" (SoBs) that serve as sort of imitation Creeds. That's a bigger problem than it might seem.
Where did the Bible come from? Why do we have these books and not, say, the Gospel of Thomas? Did the Council of Nicaea vote to determine which books made the final edition? Did the Catholic Church add seven books at the Council of Trent?
As far as I know, Christianity is unique in this: we believe in a God who willingly, and regularly, humiliates Himself. Consider the worst blasphemies imaginable, and then consider how far beyond those that Jesus is willing to go.
Because Jesus Christ is risen today, we know that we too, shall rise from the dead. If we are to be saved, we cannot be united with God only in our souls, but in our bodies as well. Upon this point - the radical truth of Easter Sunday - rests a whole world of Catholic moral theology.