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December 15, 2015

Is science the only legitimate form of rational inquiry? The evolutionary biologist and popular atheist Richard Dawkins thinks so. 

In a 2012 debate with Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dawkins claims that religion, as opposed to science, is “a betrayal of the intellect.” He asserts that appealing to God to explain the universe is “a phony substitute for an explanation” and “peddles false explanations where real explanations could have been offered.”...

December 14, 2015

The Church Comes Home is a book about the ultimate in atomistic Christianity: starting your own church in your own home. The authors are Robert and Julia Banks. I found an advertising blurb used to promote the book to be unintentionally instructive:

“Home churches are as old as the New Testament, and now the Bankses help you carry on the tradition in your community of faith! Discover how to start a home church of your own, determine doctrine, form a network with...

December 11, 2015

Imagine the looks you'd get if your name was Harry Connick, Jr. People would think you're the famous singer, actor, and American Idol judge, right? On this week's Catholic Answers Focus podcast, I spoke with a man by that name who also happens to be the iconic jazz composer and multi-Grammy- and Emmy-Award winner.

Harry is also a down-to-earth husband, dad, and practicing Catholic—"practicing until I get it right," in his words....

December 11, 2015

Have you ever tried to persuade someone that your belief was true, and that person responded, “Well, there is no truth,” or “It might be true for you, but not for me”? What was your response? I'll bet it was frustrating.

This way of thinking, called relativism, is an impediment to any sort of rational dialogue. How can one argue for the truth of a belief if truth is not real? It’s impossible.

So, in order to engage in any discussion about truth, the obstacle of relativism must...

December 10, 2015

In the aftermath of the terror attacks in San Bernardino there has been a great deal of media chatter about how the two killers became “radicalized.” How, that is, they went from presumably normal, peaceful Muslims to the type of Muslims who would assemble an arsenal of guns and explosives and use it to slaughter innocent people in Allah’s name. What malign influence caused that transformation?

It’s interesting how we’re using “radical” in this context—to mean extreme, not-mainstream...