71 results
December 9, 2016

CHALLENGE

“The Catholic Church has too many rules.”

DEFENSE

This is a cliché and does not stand up to examination.

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First, how many rules is “too many”? People never propose a number for how many would be appropriate. They just repeat a stock claim to criticize the Church.

Second, the rules the Church has are much fewer than those of any group of comparable size.

The Church has a billion members, the large...

December 2, 2016

CHALLENGE

“The Catholic Church is too uptight about divorce. People ought to be able to freely divorce and remarry if they choose.”

DEFENSE

The Church’s teaching on divorce is humane, just, and rooted in the teaching of Jesus.

*  *  *

The Church’s teaching is humane, for it recognizes that there can be legitimate reasons to obtain a divorce under civil (secular) law: “If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring...

November 25, 2016

CHALLENGE

“The pope is a sinful man who makes mistakes. Therefore, he can’t be infallible.”

DEFENSE

The premise of this challenge is true; the conclusion is false.

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The pope is a sinful man, but this does not lead to the conclusion that he can’t be infallible. Sinlessness—sometimes called impeccability—operates in a different sphere than infallibility does....

November 18, 2016

CHALLENGE

“Christians use God to explain what currently can’t be explained by science [i.e. ‘the gaps’]. But as scientific knowledge grows, what’s left for God shrinks to nothing.”

DEFENSE

Christians understand God as the ultimate explanation for everything, not just things science can’t presently explain.

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God causes some things directly and some indirectly, using...

November 11, 2016

What if you are challenged with:

“The Church is obsessed with sex—premarital sex, divorce, contraception, homosexuality. Why can’t it shut up about it?”

What is your defense?

The Church isn’t obsessed with sex. Our culture is.

The Church has remained constant in its teachings on sexuality. It proposes the simple and beautiful understanding that God designed humans to express their sexuality in marriage—the lifelong partnership of man and woman, oriented to the...