Tag: Jesus

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Be Bartimaeus.

El Greco, Christ Healing the Blind (1575)
Be Bartimaeus. The Gospel presents Bartimaeus to us to show us that this is what it looks like to follow Jesus. This is what we’re called to. So what can we learn from him? I would propose three things: (1) see your blindness; (2) beg boldly; and (3) make Jesus’ Way your way.

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The Repulsiveness of Christ

Colijn de Coter, Christ as the Man of Sorrows (1500)
When we've tried everything we can think of to lead someone to Christianity and it doesn't work, it's so easy to blame ourselves: to think that if we had done everything just so, or found just the right combination of words, everything would have clicked, and they would have accepted Jesus Christ. If we were only a little more compassionate, or a little smarter, or a little more persuasive in our speech. This reaction is discouraging, and what's more, it's often false. It gets three things wrong: grace, free will, and Jesus.

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Behold, the Wood

Tree of Life, Miniature from the Scherenberg Psalter (1260)
It was through wood that we fell, and it is through wood that we have been redeemed. It goes back to Adam and Eve. The Fall of Man happens after the serpent tempts them into eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree. But from the very moment of the Fall, we're promised that sin and rebellion aren't the end of the story. God promises that a Redeemer will come who will crush the serpent, Satan, underfoot. And the passage in Genesis ends with a tantalizing clue: an angel with a fiery sword is sent to guard the Tree of Life, lest man eat of it and live forever. Salvation, eternal life, will come through the tree, but we can't reach it on our own.

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Aim at Mary, Hit Jesus

Many of the most popular attacks on Mary (both by Protestants today, and by figures like Nestorius throughout the history of the Church) end up being attacks on Jesus. This post looks at three specific examples: (1) "all have sinned" as a denial of the Immaculate Conception; (2) "no one greater than John the Baptist”; and (3) refusing to acknowledge Mary as Mother of God.

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Casting Out Demons in the Name of Solomon: Jewish Exorcisms at the Time of Christ

Giotto, Exorcism of the Demons at Arezzo (detail) (1300)  Exorcisms have been a part of Catholicism from the very beginning. When Jesus sends out the Twelve Apostles, “they went out and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them” (Mark 6:12-13). But […]

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No, the Bible Isn’t the Fullness of Revelation. Jesus is.

The debate over sola Scriptura is often framed as a question of whether the fullness of revelation is Scripture or Scripture plus Tradition. But the Bible points us to the fullness of revelation, and it doesn’t look like this: Vincent Van Gogh, Still Life with Bible (1885) Rather, the fullness of revelation looks more like […]

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Reason #8 to Reject the Reformation: Heterodoxy

While not all of the causes of the Protestant Reformation were theological, some of them undoubtedly were. So St. Edmund Campion, in the eighth of his Ten Reasons against the Reformation, addressed some of these. Specifically, he considers certain “impossible positions” that the Reformers held “on God, on Christ, on Man, on Sin, on Justice, on Sacraments, [and] on […]

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Joel Osteen, Judas Iscariot, and the Heretical “Prosperity Gospel”

Lakewood Church(Joel and Victoria Osteen’s megachurch) The recent controversy over Joel and Victoria Osteen has put these megachurch preachers back in the spotlight. This time, it was because Victoria said: I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way […]

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