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June 23, 2014

Most of my friends are atheists and agnostics. Many of them are of a variety quite different from the “new atheists,” in that they are content in their disbelief, not feeling a need to berate those of us who believe in God. But I do have several friends who are antagonistic to religious belief.

One topic that comes up regularly in conversations with them is raising children. My atheist friends often tell me that they teach their children to think for themselves. Christians, in their...

June 20, 2014

My article for the July-August issue Catholic Answers Magazine, “Defending the Trinity,” contains a serious error. In a passage about the “generative” and “spirative” processions in the Trinity, I wrote, “The Father and the Son actively spirate the Holy Spirit.” To clarify the word spirate, our editor added, Aquinas's word; it means roughly to beget.”

Unfortunately, I did not get to see it until it was in print. But in fact, St....

June 18, 2014

Whenever I go to eucharistic adoration, I have a little ritual that I follow, something I consider to be a good deed before settling into adoration. I sift through the free devotional literature set out for adorers to use in the adoration chapel while praying, looking for any problematic materials that need to be removed. If I find them, I stuff them in my purse for disposal later.

(Nota bene: I limit this practice to tracts, pamphlets, and other cheap leaflets that the...

June 11, 2014

A few days ago, a friend who is the busy pastor of a parish asked if I would take a look at a question that had come in from an inquirer through his parish's website. He hoped that I could take the time he did not have to research the answer and provide some resources for his inquirer. In a nutshell, this person wanted to know why Catholics affirm that believers could both be a part of the communion of saints and yet sin, since the apostle John said of believers:

He who...

June 9, 2014

Islam teaches that Jesus was not crucified. Instead, Muslims believe he was raised bodily to heaven by God. You may encounter this objection to the Christian faith when you engage in discussions with Muslim apologists. This argument finds its roots in the Qur’an:

That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of ...