484 results
June 19, 2013
Myth or Messiah?

A small handful of scholars today, and a much larger group of Internet commenters, maintain that Jesus never existed. Proponents of this position, known as mythicists, claim that Jesus is a purely mythical figure invented by the writers of the New Testament (or its later copyists.) In this post I’ll offer the top four reasons (from weakest to strongest) that convince me Jesus of Nazareth was a real person without relying on the Gospel accounts of his life.

4. It is the...

June 19, 2013

In a twist on Robert Frost’s old saw about vers libre poetry, a priest friend of mine once remarked, “Being spiritual but not religious is like playing tennis without a net.”

This strikes me as very apt. There does seem something unsportsmanlike about claiming the consolations of spiritual living without binding oneself to a God or creed. It’s all dessert, no dinner.

And, like eating a gummi bear soufflé every night, it’s not very healthy, either. “Spirituality” (...

June 18, 2013

The Catholic interwebs are abuzz with the news that there is a change being made to the Eucharistic prayers we hear at Mass.

It’s a small but significant change: A specific mention of St. Joseph is being inserted into Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV.

(Thanks to Fr. Z for pointing this out and making...

June 18, 2013

I was recently asked:

Could you please explain to me rationally without using [complex] words, and yet using theology, and convince me why I shouldn’t get a tattoo? There’s too much mumbo jumbo on the Internet, and I would truly appreciate finding something concrete and understandable.

I’m afraid that I cannot explain—either with simple, or complex words—why you shouldn’t get a tattoo.

The reason being that, in principle, the Church does not...

June 17, 2013

Some skeptics claim that the early Christian community was heavily influenced by the surrounding pagan culture of the Roman Empire—that the entire Christian system of belief was cobbled together by cherry-picking teachings from the “competing religions” of the time. A variant of this claim popular among non-Catholic Christians is that the Church started by Jesus Christ remained pure at first, but then slowly adopted pagan beliefs, especially during and after the time of the Emperor...