Tag: faith

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Karl Barth v. Keith Mathison on the Early Church & Sola Scriptura

German postage stamp honoring Karl Barth's 100th birthday
Did the early Christians believe in "sola Scriptura" (Scripture alone)? Or did they also believe in Apostolic Tradition? Keith Mathison, in his book "The Shape of Sola Scriptura," claimed that the Catholic view wasn't found in the first centuries of the Church, and that the earliest Church Fathers believed in sola Scriptura. Mathison's views are thoroughly debunked by (of all people) Karl Barth, the Reformed theologian Christianity Today called "the most important theologian of the twentieth century." And Barth capably proved the Catholic Patristic case... even though he personally believed in sola Scriptura!

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But Only God Can Forgive Sins!

Gebhard Fugel, Christ Heals the Sick (1885)
The Catholic Church teaches that the Apostles were given the ability to forgive penitents of their sins. One of the frequent objections to this is that "It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7). Ironically, that objection originally comes from the Scribes and Pharisees, and Jesus' response explains precisely how we can know that the Apostles were given authority to forgive sins.

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How George Carlin Misunderstood Prayer

William Blake, Ancient of Days (1794)
The famous comedian George Carlin was a fervent atheist, and had a particular disdain for Christian prayer. He argued that it was arrogant of us to ask the God of the Universe for anything. He’s got a Divine plan, and then we come along to ask Him for special favors. But Carlin also viewed prayer as either destructive or worthless. After all, God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good God of the Universe, and He has a Divine Plan. If our prayers cause Him to change that plan, Carlin reasoned, we’re making things worse. If our prayers don’t cause Him to change His plans, what’s the point?

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Martin Shkreli and the Crisis of Corporate Conscience

Martin Shkreli, founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals
Martin Shkreli has been labelled the "most hated man in America" after his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of their potentially life-saving anti-parasitic drug Daraprim by over 5000%. But if you support the HHS Mandate, you can hardly complain about Turing Pharmaceuticals. You don't get to spend years harassing Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor for bringing conscience into the marketplace, and then turn around and complain that the markets are amoral.

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Do Democratic Presidencies Reduce the Abortion Rate?

Abortion Ratio by Party
A popular progressive political argument is that the only truly pro-life choice is to vote Democratic. After all, the argument goes, even if said Democrats are vocally "pro-choice," they're also pro-social net, and the presence of a social net prevents women from feeling like they "need" abortion. During Republican administrations, in contrast. social nets get slashed, pregnant women feel more desperate (and less capable of caring for the children with which they're pregnant), and abortion goes up. It's an interesting theory, but is it true?

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