42 results
January 22, 2015

Recently, I appeared on the local PBS radio and television affiliate (KPBS) to discuss a new assisted suicide bill that has been introduced in the California legislature.

Although the station representatives weren’t initially aware of it, both I and the gentleman taking the opposing view were widowers who lost our wives to cancer.

They were surprised and supportive when this turned out to be the case, and it helped balance the discussion since we both had very moving personal...

November 18, 2014

There is a persistent claim that the early Christians were pacifists—in the strong sense of being opposed to all use of violence—and that it was not until the time of the Emperor Constantine that this began to change.

After Christianity became the official religion of the empire, the Church embraced the use of military force, with St. Augustine playing the part of the enabling villain, who came up with the idea of the just war.

This story plays with well-worn tropes: the fall...

November 11, 2014

It’s getting near Christmas, and you know what that means. That’s right! It’s time for another book to be released telling us the sensationalistic “truth” about Christianity.

This time we have The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus' Marriage to Mary the Magdalene by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson.

You may remember Jacobovici from his involvement in previous biblical-archeological shenanigans like the discredited...

November 4, 2014

Suicide is a delicate and disturbing subject.

After the recent suicide of Brittany Maynard, many people are discussing it, and some are asking perennial questions, like whether those who commit suicide are automatically lost.

While suicide can be a mortal sin, it is not always one, and the Church both prays for those who have committed suicide and encourages us not to despair of their salvation.

...

September 15, 2014

There are 235 verses in Matthew that are paralleled in Luke but not in Mark or John.

This number represents more than a fifth of Matthew and Luke, and so some scholars have proposed that there was a written source—called Q—that both Evangelists drew upon, though it is now lost.

There are, of course, other possibilities. One is that Matthew simply used Luke; another is that Luke used Matthew.

It is possible that they both used a lost written source for this material, but...