A house in Fillmore slid off its foundation in the 1994 Northridge earthquake,
August 29, 2016

One the great church historians of the nineteenth century, German Lutheran scholar Adolf Harnack, bemoaned the ignorance his mainly Lutheran university students displayed of Catholicism:

I am convinced from constant experience of the fact that the students who leave our schools have the most disconnected and absurd ideas about ecclesiastical history. Some of them know something about Gnosticism, or about other curious and for them worthless details. But of the Catholic Church, the greatest religious and political creation known to history, they know absolutely nothing, and they indulge in its regard in wholly trivial, vague, and often directly nonsensical notions.

As a former Protestant minister who has spent the past twenty-four years studying...

A NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia poster
August 26, 2016

For a short time, Puritanism was the dominant religion in America. But the need to populate a large continent led to lots of immigration of lots of people from different religions. Since then, we Americans have developed a sardonic definition of Puritan: a person with the nagging feeling that, somewhere, someone is having fun and must be stopped.

The new orthodoxy, the state religion, is that abortion is a positive good. Thus, a pro-choice Puritan is a person with the nagging feeling that, somewhere, a woman doesn’t choose abortion. California seems to be full of pro-choice Puritans. The legislature passed a bill regulating what pro-life pregnancy care centers may say, and how loudly they may say it. Pregnancy care centers in California are required to post the fact that...

Esther before King Ahasuerus
August 22, 2016

On this day when the Church memorializes the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is always helpful to consider the accumulation of examples from the Old Testament concerning the Gebirah (Hebrew, “Great Lady”)or “Queen Mother.” In an earlier blog post , and, in my book, Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines, I make that argument as well. It is a good one.

However, if we were to seek out a single typological example from the Old Testament that communicates the most...

August 19, 2016

Newspaper, magazine, and online commentators have served up any number of reasons for the hatred underlying terrorist attacks. Many of them say the root of the problem is that terrorists resent American prosperity. I remember when a recent president said, “They hate us for our freedoms.” I doubt it. Terrorists don’t care, one way or the other, about our Bill of Rights.

I don’t recall demonstrations against the right of Americans to assemble peaceably, to petition for redress of grievances, or to engage in free speech. Why should someone in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, or Afghanistan care whether you can complain to your alderman without being sent to jail?

Similarly with the prosperity argument. Decades ago, many Americans thought the superiority of our system over the Soviet...

August 16, 2016

That God demands man—indeed, created man—to worship him is a fact. He desires the praise and worship of every man and woman without exception. What does this tell us about God’s character? Is his demand and desire for worship unreasonable?

An article at the Richard Dawkins Foundation For Reason & Science website speculates upon a hypothetical scenario where a team of psychologists assess God’s behavioral profile. The author writes:

The following is what I think would be high on their lists. Narcissistic. God likes to be praised. If you don’t praise him, he will either kill you, send you to hell or excommunicate you.

Now, as to the...

August 15, 2016

Ad hominem is a Latin phrase that means “against the man.” It is considered a fallacy or error in reasoning because it tries to refute an argument by attacking the person making the argument rather than the argument itself. This is fallacious because an argument’s soundness has no relation to the character of the person making the argument. Kind, sweet people can be wrong, and mean, vicious people can be right.

Unfortunately, in their zeal to blot out any and all fallacies, some people (especially those who like to argue on the internet) are quick to label any personal criticism or insult as an “ad hominem” argument. Let me point out two things that are often mistaken for the ad hominem fallacy.

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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...