Topics of Interest

I’ve been in comment conversations with so many different people over the last few weeks that I’ve forgotten where I’m at. Anybody have any questions they wanted me to address that I haven’t gotten to you? Post a comment, and I’ll see what I can do. Read more

The Dogmat Saw Pakistani Jazz, Gnostics and Small, Petty Men

This week the Dogmat saw a string orchestra from Pakistan, Robert Barron on modern variants of gnosticism, Julie Davis on being petty, and a host of other things. Pakistani Musicians Play Amazing Version of ‘Take Five’: And so they do, although the Dogmat isn’t sure the sitar (the Dogmat thinks it’s a sitar) is really a jazz instrument. Two wags and a shrill yip. On Small, Petty Men and Loving One Another: Julie Davis on how she manages to defuse… Read more

Proving God Experimentally

Aristotle managed to prove the existence of the First Cause from first principles and reflections on world around him.  Thomas Aquinas went further and showed that the First Cause must have Intellect and Will in a manner analogous to human intellect and will (or, rather, vice versa, for the causality runs the other way).  But I know of only one way to prove God “with all the trimmings”: that is, to become convinced that God is the God of Abraham,… Read more

The Evil Catholic Hierarchy?

A commenter on my post about why I remain Catholic asked, Have you considered the possibility that you can still believe what the Catholic Church teaches but leave the organization itself in protest against its history of protecting abusers? I responded: The Church is the Body of Christ. Its members are all sinners, and sometimes they do horrible things. But I will not willingly cut myself off from it. To amplify: I believe what the Church teaches about itself.  It… Read more

Today’s Aquinas: How Far Toward God Can We Reason?

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. In the preceding  thirty-five chapters, Thomas has been addressing natural theology, reasoning about God in the Aristotelian manner from first principles and what we can observe about the world around us: The truths about God thus far proposed have been subtly discussed by a number of pagan philosophers, although some of them erred concerning these matters. And those who propounded true doctrine in this respect… Read more

Why Remain Catholic?

Normally I post music on Fridays, but Tod Worner started something earlier this week with a post entitled “Why I Am NOT Leaving the Catholic Church”, and I thought I’d get in on the fun. (You can find links to a bunch of other bloggers’ answers to the question at the bottom of Tod’s post.) I’ve written about my path to the Catholic faith a number of times, in a number of places, most recently just a week or so… Read more

The Dogmat saw Shticks, Schemes, and Broken Gods

It was another good week for the Dogmat, barking-wise; the Internet continues to serve up the digital equivalent of postmen and boys on skateboards. I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here’s How. The Dogmat wants you to read this one, and to remember it the next time you read the words, “Studies show…”. Science is an amazing tool when it’s done right, but when it’s done wrong it’s no help at all…and it’s so easy and there… Read more

Seven Lies Christians Tell

Tony Kriz had a piece in Christianity Today some while ago about the lies Christians tell when they evangelize, or, as he puts, about “How to talk about your faith without being a total jerk.”  He’s writing from an evangelical point of view; but I thought his points were worth talking about from a Catholic point of view.  You’ll want to read his piece first (it’s short) to get his descriptions of the “seven lies”. 1. We lie when we… Read more

Admin: Missing Blog Comments

I’ve just noticed that comments are not being displayed for blog posts older than May 20th. I’m not sure why; I’ve contacted the Patheos operations folks, and I hope we’ll have them back soon. Read more

A Note for Passing Atheists

I’ve recently been getting more attention from atheist commenters, due largely to my posts about what religion is good for and my interview with Leah Libresco about her new book, Arriving at Amen.  Most of these visitors have been reasonably polite, contrary to the usual stereotype (sorry, guys, but comment boxes seem to bring out the worst in people, and it always applies to people on both sides), and I’ve been having enjoyable conversations with 3vil5triker and Ragarth. And then… Read more