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July 9, 2013

The problem of evil is the greatest emotional obstacle to belief in God. It just doesn’t feel like God should let people suffer. If we were God, we think, we wouldn’t allow it.

The atheist philosopher J. L. Mackie maintained that belief in God was irrational, for if God were all-knowing (omniscient) he would know that there was evil in the world, if he were all-powerful (omnipotent) he could prevent it, and if he were all-good (omnibenevolent) then he would wish to prevent it. The...

July 8, 2013

When John Paul II died in 2005, it was an event of such magnitude that Internet commentators took to asking Where Were You? when he died. (Global changes to my colleague Jimmy Akin's blog in the years since this post was first published have incorrectly attributed that post to me; it was really the work of Jimmy's friend and co-blogger Tim Jones.) In my case, I learned of his death...

July 8, 2013

The early Church Fathers are indispensable resources for Catholic apologetics, helping to bridge the gap between our own time and the age of the apostles. Not only do they provide extrabiblical verification of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, they also provide a great deal of insight into what the early Christians believed and how they interpreted Scripture.

This can go a long way to demonstrate that certain Catholic distinctives have been believed from the very beginning. One...

July 5, 2013

Today Pope Francis issued his highly anticipated encyclical Lumen Fidei. An encyclical (from the Greek enkyklios meaning “circular” or "general") is a letter sent by the pope for circulation among the bishops of the world or a particular region of the world. Encyclicals are used primarily for teaching and instruction in...

July 4, 2013

Today in the United States we celebrate Independence Day. Two hundred thirty-seven years ago our Founding Fathers declared our nation’s freedom.

Freedom is a good thing but, at the level of the individual, it is not always what people think it is. True freedom does not mean having the ability always to do whatever we want or whatever others might expect us to do. In fact, it sometimes entails acting against our desires or the expectations of others. To do otherwise...