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October 19, 2016
Peter Walks on Water by Philipp Otto Runge, 1806

Let’s say you’re talking to a skeptic, and he makes the claim, “Jesus never said he was God. That’s something his disciples later ascribed to him—like it was to the Buddha.” What would your response be? I bet you would turn to Jesus’ “I Am” statement in John 8:58 and say, “You see, Jesus ascribes the divine name, ‘I Am,’ to himself, and we know he was using it for himself because the Jews immediately attempted to kill him, thinking he was blaspheming.”

This, of course, would be a...

October 18, 2016
Members of the Little Sisters of the Poor speak in front of the Supreme Court.

It is a remarkable fact of history that Jesus and his apostles, as well as a good number of early Christians, found themselves running afoul of the temporal authorities. In his epistle to Timothy, St. Paul says that he is “suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal” (2 Tim. 2-9) on account of the Gospel. So serious were the crimes of which they were convicted that nearly all of them were put to death.

We do well to meditate on this fact. Why did the political authorities...

October 14, 2016
The Last Judgment by Stefan Lochner, 1435

Some 1,600 years ago, St. Augustine wrote:

In that one [Adam], as the apostles says, all have sinned. Let, then, the damnable source be rebuked, that from the mortification of rebuke may spring the will of regeneration—if, indeed, he who is rebuked is a child of promise,—in order that, by the noise of the rebuke sounding and lashing from without. . . . God may by his hidden inspiration work in him from within to will also. If, however, being already...

October 13, 2016

Our focus in the last three “Why I’m Catholic” blog posts has been on whether or not the New Testament presents us with a Christianity in which the Bible functions as the only real authority, all other authorities, when you get down to it, being merely advisory.

So far, from my reading of the writings of the apostles, I don’t see a hint of this. I see no evidence that Paul and John and Peter and the others had it in their minds that when they had passed from the scene...

October 11, 2016

The reformed “Westminster Confession,” ratified in 1647, gives us a pithy statement that sums up well what is meant by “the perseverance of the saints,” or “once saved, always saved,” the fifth and final of the five points of Calvinism’s TULIP (Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints):

God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified, and although they can never...