December 15, 2014

I recently received a couple of apologetics inquiries that may not seem related on the surface, but that I believe are suggestive of a common problematic approach to the Mass. The first was about the propriety of Christmas pageants in church. The inquirer was very obviously put off by the common custom of small children acting out the Christmas story for the benefit of parishioners, and wanted to know if this kind of spectacle was appropriate in a church dedicated to the worship of God:

Could you please inform me as to whether or not plays should be performed in church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? That is, Christmas pageants by children. Jesus said, "My house is a house of prayer." Why then should we have plays in his Church? Where is the reverence for our Lord...

December 12, 2014

Many Protestant apologists claim we Catholics present a partial picture of the early Fathers with regard to the Eucharist. Both Tertullian and St. Augustine, they will claim, did not believe in the “Real Presence,” as Catholics refer to the teaching of the Church on Transubstantiation.

For example: 

Tertullian, “Against Marcion,” Bk 4, chapter 40:

Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body.

St. Augustine, “On Christian...

December 6, 2014

In my new book, Behold Your Mother - A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines, I give eight reasons for belief in the Immaculate Conception:

1. Mary is revealed to be "full of grace" in Luke 1:28.

2. Mary is revealed to be the fulfillment of the prophetic "Daughter of Zion" of Zech. 2:10; Zeph. 3:14-16; Isaiah 12:1-6, etc.

3. Mary is revealed to be "the beginning of the new creation" in fufillment of the prophecy of Jer. 31:22.

4. Mary is revealed to possess a "blessed state" parallel with Christ's in Luke 1:42.

5. Mary is not just called "blessed" among women, but "more blessed...

December 4, 2014

In May Gallup released a poll showing how American opinions towards the Bible have changed in the last twenty years. The poll is summarized well in the graphic to the right, but for easy reference here are the results:

 

1.  The Bible is the actual word of God and should be taken literally, word for word (-9%)

2.  The Bible is the inspired word of God, but not everything in it should be taken literally (+1)

3.  The Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man (+9)

The biggest problem with this poll is that the terms used in the questions are not defined. For example, what is the difference...

December 1, 2014

It is not known how the town carpenter found out that his betrothed was pregnant. Perhaps she told him herself after returning from a months-long journey to visit relatives (Luke 1:38, 56). Written accounts would later report though that she was "found" to be with child, as if the news was not shared by the pregnant woman but was the result of an independent discovery (Matt. 1:18). A young woman visibly pregnant with her first child before her marriage...

November 23, 2014

Every year as we cycle through the calendar, the apologists at Catholic Answers can count on having to answer certain questions. From May through October, we get the wedding questions, at Lent we get the fasting and abstinence questions, at Christmas we get questions about non-practicing Catholics who show up to Mass once or twice a year.

Even secular holidays, such as the North American harvest festival of Thanksgiving, bring apologetics questions. Once in a while, the questions are about whether or not those who abstain from meat on Fridays outside of Lent can eat their leftover turkey on Black Friday (...

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A Year with the Bible: Scriptural Wisdom for Daily Living
This vibrant and spiritual collection is the perfect daily companion, packed with the wisdom of the Scriptures; the Word of God.  A Year ...