September 29, 2016

On this feast of the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, it's worth revisiting this question: Is it true Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Michael the archangel and Jesus are the same person?

In a word, yes. The Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that Jesus was Michael the archangel prior to his coming to Earth: "Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God's Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return" (Aid to Bible Understanding, Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, 1971, 1152).

Jehovah's Witnesses arrive at this erroneous belief primarily through the misinterpretation of two Bible passages:

  1. Daniel 10:13, 21, where reference is made to a "great prince," Michael; and
  2. I...
September 28, 2016

Editor’s note: Jimmy Akin’s book A Daily Defense, forthcoming in October from Catholic Answers Press, comprises 365 one-page defenses (plus one for leap year) of typical challenges to the Catholic Faith. These daily doses of apologetics are designed to arm the reader with short-form answers and tips for delving deeper into any particular subject. For the next several months, the Catholic Answers blog will run occasional excerpts.

Spiritual or Religious?

CHALLENGE:

”I consider myself spiritual rather than religious. Why isn’t that enough?”

DEFENSE:

Because God loves you and wants even better things for you.

When people say they are spiritual rather than...

Patrick Coffin
September 27, 2016

The day I auditioned for the job of hosting Catholic Answers Live, Murphy's Law kicked in. Everything that could go wrong went wrong.

First, it was raining that December day in 2008, which meant the drive from Los Angeles to San Diego was maddeningly slow all the way down. Not good, when I was already roiled by "studio fright" in anticipation of trying out for a live radio show that I had never heard all the way through.

Second, per my ADHD traits, I got lost and was almost late. Behind the wheel, listening to the soft thump-thump of the wiper blades, I was thinking about Murphy and his law and was therefore extra distractable. Fun!

Third, the first guest was unavailable at the last minute. Jarring, to say the least. Luckily, Steve Ray manfully...

The resurrected Christ told Mary Magdalene, “Do not hold me.”
September 26, 2016

Suppose your ninety-year-old grandmother tells you she sees leprechauns dancing in the butter dish in the cafeteria at her assisted living home. Would you think her perception conforms to objective reality? Or would you think she’s hallucinating? My guess is the latter.

Imagine now your grandmother dies, and then a few days later you see her sitting in a chair in that same cafeteria smiling at you as you go to pick up her belongings. Would you conclude she is raised from the dead? Or would you conclude she is appearing to you to let you know she is happy in heaven? I bet you would opt for the second explanation.

The critics weigh in

Critics of Christianity appeal to these sort of subjective experiences when trying to offer explanations to the...

September 23, 2016

Let me continue my thoughts about how to deal with Fundamentalists and Evangelicals regarding salvation. As I noted in my previous blog post, Romans 10:9 seems to say the mere acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior is sufficient to assure your salvation. If the verse is taken in isolation, this interpretation looks plausible; but it isn’t the only possible interpretation, and it doesn’t square with other things in the New Testament.

In Romans 10:9 Paul could very well have included an implied condition in what he was saying (and in fact this is the Catholic position): You will be saved provided you otherwise do what God commands, such as avoid sin. This interpretation comports better...

September 22, 2016

Reincarnation, which means literally “to be made flesh again,” is the belief that after death the soul lives on in another body. The soul might inhabit a similar body (e.g., a man’s soul enters another man’s body) or even a radically dissimilar body (e.g., a man’s soul enters a frog’s body). Regardless of what form reincarnation takes, the Catechism of the Catholic Churh states:

Death is the end of man’s earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny. When “the single course of our earthly life” is completed, we shall not return to other earthly lives: “It is appointed for men to die once” (Heb. 9:27). There is no “...

Decoding the Bible's Most Mysterious Book
Absolute Relativism: The New Dictatorship And What To Do About It
In his best-selling booklet Absolute Relativism: The New Dictatorship And What To Do About It, Chris Stefanick tackles all the tough qu...