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August 28, 2013

Who is the patron saint of apologetics?

Some people say Justin Martyr. Others Thomas Aquinas. Still others Francis de Sales or one of the Counter-Reformers.

All sound choices. St. Justin’s Apology, penned in the second century, is the archetype of written works defending Catholic doctrine. Aquinas settled the Manichees, and, if my memory serves, wrote some good stuff about the Faith himself. In addition to...

August 26, 2013

Apologists argue. By that I do not mean that they yell or gesticulate wildly or call people names. That is not arguing; that is harassment. Arguing, in its proper sense, is providing "a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea...

August 22, 2013

It's rather embarrassing whenever someone asks me as a convert to recount my experience in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Even though it wasn't all that long ago (1995–96), the experience was so forgettable that I remember only two incidents. 

The first incident was when one of the facilitators was teaching us the...

August 13, 2013

Some year ago, I encountered a reference to the First Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) having addressed the canon of Scripture.

For a long time, I was unable to find any confirmation of this.

The surviving materials we have from Nicaea, which include the first part of the Nicene Creed, do not deal with which books belong in the Bible.

I ended up concluding that the idea the council addressed this subject was likely a myth, but recently I ran across an indication that it may...

July 29, 2013

The assumption that religion is at the root of most of the major conflicts in human history seems to be ingrained in our society. But is this assumption correct? How can a Christian respond to it?

Just the Facts

According to the Encyclopedia of Wars (Phillips and Axelrod), of the 1,763 major conflicts in recorded history, only 123 of them can be classified as having been fought over religious differences. That’s less than 7 percent.

The...