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 “...

The Annunciation by Matthias Stom (early seventeenth century)
September 21, 2016

As a stay-at-home mother of four young girls, I’m often the target of the remark, “You’re a better woman than I am—I just couldn’t stay at home all day.” I usually give a hearty laugh in my head (or, in less charitable moods, out loud) at this backhanded compliment.

As the role of the modern female gets rearranged more and more, one thing seems to remain the same in women’s circles: the barrier between at-home mothering and so-called “fulfillment at work.” Naturally, when I reassure my interlocutor that she is indeed built to tackle the duties of home life, the response is almost always, “Well, I’m just not fulfilled at home.”

By “fulfilled” such a woman usually means (whether she knows it or not) the indulging of disordered or uncultivated emotional...

September 20, 2016

“Are you saved?”

It’s a question Catholics get all the time from “Bible Christians.” The average Catholic replies with a resounding “I dunno.”

But Evangelicals and Fundamentalists answer the question, “Yes, I am, since I’ve accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.” They seem to know exactly what to say. Many of them add, “What’s more, since I’m born again, I can’t forfeit salvation. I have an absolute guarantee of getting to heaven.”

Is their position biblical? Is it the traditional Christian position? They think so, but they’re wrong.

More tone than substance

Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are theologically conservative Protestants who pride themselves on a strict adherence to biblical teachings. They believe in the...

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...