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December 3, 2013

Many Protestant churches—including some of those I attended before I became Catholic—are of the view that God no longer gives visions.

“The age of prophecy is over,” they say.

Other Protestants—notably those in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements—think otherwise. So does the Catholic Church.

Catholic theology commonly distinguishes between what is known as public revelation and private revelation. Public revelation—which is the kind of revelation we find in...

December 2, 2013

One argument that is often used by mythicists is the claim that other pagan deities were also born miraculously of virgins, making the birth of Jesus nothing new in the history of world religions. As the argument goes; Horus, Osirus, Mithras, Dyonisus, Krishna, and others all fit this description. In fact, as it is often claimed, there are also heroes and historical figures like Ion, Romulus, Asclepius, and...

December 2, 2013
Relief from the Arch of Titus: Looting of the Temple

For Christians, Advent has just started; for Jews, they are currently in the middle of Hanukkah. Hanukkah attracted some special notice this year because, once in 80,000 years, it began on the same day as the American Thanksgiving. For weeks ahead of time, there were stories about Thanksgivukkah and how American Jews...

November 30, 2013

Few texts have been the occasion for the spilling of more ink than Matthew 16:17-19: 

And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,...

November 26, 2013

Now that we’re entering the last part of the year, the familiar sight of Salvation Army bell-ringers has returned.

The bell-ringers are volunteers or employees of the Salvation Army, and they stand in public places, such as in front of supermarkets, ringing bells and soliciting donations, which are placed in large red kettles (or buckets).

In other times of the year, people drop off donations—often of clothes, furniture, and other used items—at Salvation Army drop boxes or at...