October 24, 2016

Editor’s note: Jimmy Akin’s new book A Daily Defense comprises 365 one-page defenses (plus one for leap year) of typical challenges to the Catholic Faith. These daily doses of apologetics are designed to arm the reader with short-form answers and tips for delving deeper into any particular subject. Through the end of the year, the Catholic Answers blog will run occasional excerpts.

Religion and War



October 20, 2016
The Baptism of Christ, Joachim Patinir (c. 1480-1524)

Christians have always known that the four canonical Gospels describe the same major events in Christ’s life but in different ways. For example, consider what God says at Jesus’ baptism. In Mark 1:11 and Luke 3:22, God says, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” But in Matthew 3:17 God says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” So which is it? Did God say, “You are my beloved son” or “This is my beloved son?”

The apocryphal second-century Gospel of...

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...