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.
Christ comes to us in history, in Mystery, and in majesty. So how shall we receive Him? Will it be with a spirit of terror, of apathy, or of joy? When we pray, in the Nicene Creed, "We look forward to the Resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come," do we mean it?
In its rush to enter "the Christmas season," the world has forgotten about the holy season of Advent. That's a pity, because if we're going to welcome Christ into our hearts this Christmas, we need to take the time to make room for Him. Here are 6 ways that you can reclaim Advent.
This Thanksgiving, just Who are we thanking, exactly?
Is mandatory celibacy extrabiblical? Who cares?
We all know that priests, monks, and nuns are celibate, but why? Is it just an arbitrary Church rule? Is it just for pragmatic reasons, like ensuring that the priest has enough time to minister to the People of God? Or is there a deeper, prophetic meaning to celibacy?
A Protestant website suggests that Jesus hated the Jewish sacrificial system. This claim is obviously false, given that (1) God established the Jewish sacrificial system; (2) Jesus personally participated in it; and (3) the sacrificial system reached its apex on Calvary, when Jesus became our Sacrificial offering.
The awful terrorist attacks unfolding right now in Paris recall for me the martyrdom, at the hands of Islamic extremists, of a group of French monks living in Algeria. The abbot of those monks prepared for his death with a shocking, thought-provoking "Last Testament." It's worth the read.
392 years ago today, Saint Josaphat, an Eastern Catholic bishop in Ukraine, was dragged out of his rectory and murdered by the Eastern Orthodox townspeople that he was trying to lead back into union with the Roman Catholic Church. The Church does not hesitate, in her prayers, to say that he poured out his […]
The Catholic Deuterocanon - the set of seven books accepted by Catholics and rejected by Protestants - clearly teaches the morality of praying to the Saints and praying for the souls of the deceased. But can we trust that the Deuterocanon is canonical? Evidence from Romans 9 -- a favorite passage amongst many Protestants -- strongly points to a "yes" answer.