17 results
January 4, 2016

I once gave a lecture in a Northwestern diocese—up in the morning, back to San Diego in the afternoon, the entire trip taking only ten hours—and came away with a renewed sense that things were turning around. I had been invited by the diocese to participate in a series on Catholic apologetics. Talks were geared toward CCD instructors, parish evangelization leaders, and those engaged in adult education.

That a diocese would host such a...

December 28, 2015

In Randall Jarrell’s Pictures From an Institution, one of the characters says there are thirty hours in every day, “if only you know where to look for them.” Lucky man. I guess I don’t know where to look. I’ve never found more than about eighteen useful hours and normally far fewer than that.

What I find myself forced to do—what you undoubtedly find yourself forced to do—is to undertake some things and let others slide. We...

November 16, 2015

Apologetics is loaded with opportunities to err. Like ice cream, the errors come in a bewildering assortment of flavors. Some are as mild as vanilla, others as shocking to the palate as chunky raspberry-lemon. You can commit vanilla errors endlessly and never be tripped up by them (and seemingly never trip up others), but a single chunky raspberry-lemon error can throw you off track, can throw your listeners into the ditch, and even can sink your career.

There never has been an...

November 2, 2015

While not every exegetical argument can be settled with the citation of a verse, some can.

I often have received letters and e-mails from non-Catholics saying, “Put up or shut up. Where does the Bible mention anything about confession?” I quote John 20:22–23: “Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them, whose sins you shall retain they are retained.” Of course, I don’t stop there. I draw the logical inference.

If a priest is to distinguish which sins are to be forgiven...

August 10, 2015

You may have heard about—and may have attended—the national apologetics conferences that Catholic Answers has hosted the past few years in San Diego.

Most people don’t know that they weren’t the first such conferences for us. Our first was held a quarter-century ago in Long Beach.

The theme of that three-day 1990 conference was “Go Forth and Teach.” It proved to be a great success in all ways except financial. We didn’t make much of a profit, and we learned that putting on a...