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!
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.
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?
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.
Partly, this is a post about St. Peter, and why he's the "Rock" in Matthew 16. Partly, it's a post about the connection between the Cross and Jesus' Messiahship. Mostly, though, it's a post about Jesus Christ, and the continual need to grow in our understanding of Him.
The "infallibility problem" in Eastern Orthodoxy is more similar to the infallibility problem in Protestantism than you may realize. In each case, rejection of centralized infallibility leaves them with fallible (and hazy) collections of infallible teachings.
If you're not in the habit of praying or chanting these antiphons, today's a great day to start, since it's the beginning of a new season. It's a good way of drawing closer to Mary, of keeping in sync with the liturgical season, and of ending each night on the right note.
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) is the greatest and most famous painter of the Dutch Golden Age. While he’s perhaps most famous for paintings like The Return of the Prodigal Son, he also is believed to have painted between 40-100 self-portraits (there’s a huge range in the number, because several of these might have been painted by his students). Many of these […]
Last month, Pope Francis celebrated the opening of the Year for Mercy. But before we praise mercy, then, we first have to ask what it is. What makes it unique? Matthew Rensch (Burlington) looks at some of the oft-overlooked features of this virtue.
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?