October 30, 2014

Can science find God? If God is defined as a being (or perhaps “the ground of being”) that is neither composed of matter nor confined to a spatial location, then the answer seems to be no. After all, science is limited to explaining the natural, physical world. If God exists beyond that world and is not composed of anything found within it, then he seems to be out of the reach of scientific inquiry.

But even if science can’t “find” God in the same way I can find my car in a parking lot, maybe it can indirectly find him. After all, if God affects the physical world, then couldn’t scientific experiments detect those effects and then infer from them that God exists?

One common interaction between God and the universe that believers and nonbelievers think can be tested is...

October 24, 2014

I can’t recount how many times I have been told by various brands of non-Catholics, “The Bible clearly teaches that we only have one priest and that is Jesus Christ, so how can Catholics claim a New Testament priesthood?” 

The biblical texts usually begin with Heb. 7:22-25:

This makes Jesus the surety of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them (emphasis added).

The argument goes like this:

1. Jesus is our one intercessor. A...

October 22, 2014

This post is the first in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them.

The Crusades are one of the most misunderstood topics in Church history. Movies and TV present as established fact an outdated anti-Catholic narrative about them that stays alive by sheer repetition. Not only do secular critics of the Church use this narrative to attack Catholicism (and religion in general), but many Catholics uwittingly accept it as true.

The negative “spin” on the Crusades began in the sixteenth century with the Protestant revolutionary Martin Luther, who saw them as an outgrowth of papal authority and power. Later Enlightenment authors such as Voltaire and Edward Gibbon shaped modernity’s negative view of the Crusades by...

October 21, 2014

Catholic Answers Press has published a new single-volume edition of Radio Replies, the classic question-and-answer book by Australian apologist Fr. Leslie Rumble. As a new regular feature on the Catholic Answers blog, we will post some samples from Radio Replies to showcase Fr. Rumble's knowledge, faith, and wit.

58. I have led a happy and contented life, the crux of all human endeavor. Why is religion necessary if this can be attained without religion?

If you are perfectly happy, you are the only one on earth who is. Is there absolutely nothing further you would like to have but which you do not yet possess?

...
A Jehovah's Witness depiction of the crucifxion
October 16, 2014

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Greek word translated as “cross” in the New Testament, stauros, actually means “upright stake” or, in their words, “torture stake.” They claim that Jesus was nailed through both wrists on a large vertical stake without a crossbeam (pictured right). They even go so far as to claim, “True Christians do not use the cross in worship.”[0]

Oddly enough, this belief was not present in the earliest doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their second president, Joseph Rutherford, taught, “The cross of Christ is the greatest pivotal truth of the divine arrangement, from which radiate the hopes of men.”...

October 15, 2014

I'm not a person who naturally thrives in silence. During Lent, I have a hard time keeping the radio turned off in my car for the ten-minute drive to work. It is rather amazing then how annoyed I can become with unnecessary noise before and after Mass. And if the questions on the subject that the apologists get at Catholic Answers are any indication, many Catholics are disturbed by unnecessary noise at Mass. Here is a representative example:

I attend daily Mass after I drop my four children off at school. I look forward to my quiet time at Mass to pray. My days are full with being a mom of four and a full-time student, so I find it hard to find that quiet time that I long for. Recently, two fellow moms I know, a Catholic and a non-Catholic, have joined me at Mass—...

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