Indonesia,Africa, Iraq.The news reports are alarming: Christian communities in largely Muslim lands are facing oppression, persecution, even martyrdom.These situations are not the result of recent shifts in attitudes or current political tensions. In fact, they reflect the difficulties non-Muslims under Islamic law have endured since Mohammed set out to convert the world.
Isn’t secrecy in the Church an obstacle to accountability, participation, and other desirable things? But it is sometimes appropriate and even obligatory for the Church to keep secrets. How can we tell the difference between good secrecy and bad? A new book by a noted Catholic journalist offers some answers.
You only think you’re right.Truth is on my side. Sometimes the task of an apologist can seem more like verbal combat than making disciples of all nations. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, when we talk to Protestants about the faith,we may find the task made easier when our aim is to build up rather than tear down.
There is an idea underlying most textbooks, television shows, and journalism that treats scientific subjects—scientific materialism. Its premises are rarely explained and often assumed but its dangers are real. Indeed, what’s at stake is human freedom. Here is how to recognize it and argue against it.
Americans are on the whole an optimistic people. In Europe,we are viewed as so many Little Orphan Annies, singing about “tomorrow.” But we shouldn’t confuse optimism—grounded in materialistic gain and scientific progress—with genuine hope. Christian hope is the virtue that neither presumes salvation nor despairs of it.