Did Jesus Rise from the Dead (And Does it Matter)?

I am the world's greatest teacher.I have a mug that says so.In fact so far I've garnered about half a dozen similar mugs over a nearly decade's long career. So it must be true.I recently lent a friend my copy of The Case for Jesus by Brant Pitre. It's far and away the best case for a real, historical Jesus. He does a great job of laying out, in a fulsome and scholarly way, the argument's for Jesus existence in honest-to-goodness space and time.And for his resurrection from the … [Read more...]

When Did the Historic Church Lose its Way?

 As an Evangelical Protestant convert to Catholicism one of the most common objections I hear to the Catholic Church is an earnest one,"The Church lost its way when it began to add stuff."The line of thinking runs like this:Somewhere along the way, usually in the very early centuries, the Church got confused. They fell into a Old Testament legalistic tangle, they began to venerate the saints and Mary, and they effectively Romanized---becoming unrecognizable as the Church we r … [Read more...]

Everything I Never Knew About the Rosary

I never thought I'd be the sort of person---the sort of Christian---that prays the Rosary.That said, I never thought I'd be the sort of Christian that was a Catholic either.But, in the end, it turns out that praying the Rosary, in more ways than not, made me a Catholic. And changed my life.What I'd thought,as a younger Evangelical was merely a kind of cultural superstition turns out to be one of the most gratifying, uplifting, and powerful Christian devotions. And while there … [Read more...]

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

I am sitting in a hotel room over looking the Detroit River. On the other side is Canada, my home. I've been at a conference these past few days: an enormous Catholic leadership conference which drew together over 1,100 participants from roughly 200 different parishes all over North America. It's been, as so many of these sorts of events are, an incredibly formative time; an amazing opportunity. A time of deep fellowship, learning, and sharing. A time for our own parish to get some meaningful … [Read more...]

Why I Love The Sunday, 7PM Mass

We are an eccentric crew here at the 7PM Sunday night Mass.It's the proverbial last call in town for those hell-bent on fulfilling their Sunday Obligation and freshly home from a weekend of camping, our toddler in bed and my wife pulling babysitting duty, I am here too.Another passenger in the Ark.Or, another oarsmen to row this damn thing.When James Joyce coined the phrase "here comes everybody" to describe the Catholic Church he must've been thinking about this because here we a … [Read more...]

What Mother Teresa (And Her Critics) Can Teach Us About Saints

I'm not going to lie, I've been intentionally avoiding all the negative press swirling around Mother Teresa's canonization this past Sunday.I've read the headlines as they've popped up in my newsfeed. I'm aware of the allegations and criticisms of her work, her character, and her saintliness. I even had the pleasure of reading a hilarious exchange between two of my good friends and a marginally well-known religious commentator on Twitter.He hates Mother Teresa.But I've avoided the … [Read more...]

Congratulations Fr. Roderick (And Thank You!)

Dutch priest and podcaster Fr. Roderick Vonhogen is about to record his 1,000th episode of The Break and I'd like to offer my most sincere congratulations.Long-time readers of my blog will know my history with Fr. Roderick and his seminal podcast then called The Daily Breakfast.It was as a university student, in the earliest days of podcasting, that I stumbled upon a show called The Daily Breakfast. It was listed in a podcast directory, in the days before iTunes, under the "General Inte … [Read more...]

I Used To Be A Christian

This post is a part of the Patheos Catholic Channel series, "Catholicity: Identity and Its Discontents." Read more here.I used to be a Christian.As a fifteen year-old, my conversion to Christianity was something radical. Out of all the stories that we tell ourselves, about ourselves, this was one of the ones that defined me.I was a Christian.And I was the whole kit and caboodle: a sinner right down to the core but trying hard. I read my Bible and prayed; I went to youth group and … [Read more...]

Please Stop Planting Churches

A friend of mine is planting a church in Montreal, Canada. He doesn't know I'm writing this; he doesn't know how I feel about church planting.He was raised a Catholic and left; I converted.He might have some idea.As a young Evangelical, planting a church was the ultimate badge of courage, honour, and faith. Buoyed by that insatiable North American do-it-yourself spirit we saw church planters as the ultimate urban missionaries.As a concerned Catholic, I see them much differently … [Read more...]

The Audacity of Unmerited Grace

Picture the one person on earth that you like the least.There's gotta be somebody.(Even saints have their bad days.)For me it's easy. See, we used to have these neighbours.Now, picture what it would be like to completely forgive all the hurts and hang-ups you've long associated with that one god-awful person---or persons.Gone.Completely forgiven.What would that feel like?Probably pretty insane.First,  it would probably be incredibly difficult to let it all go. … [Read more...]