Why Catholicism?

Two weeks ago I wrote briefly about how I came to be the Catholic I am now; and last week I wrote about objective reasons why I believe Christianity to be plausibly true. Some didn't find them convincing, which doesn't surprise me at all. Outside of mathematics, there's no argument so flawlessly reasoned that it will inevitably and necessarily convince everyone—not that I lay claim to explaining these things flawlessly. Emile Zola famously examined all of the evidence for one the miraculous h … [Read more...]

Lumen Fidei: God is Here, Now


In paragraphs 15, 16, and 17 of Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis explains how faith is not merely assent to a set of beliefs, but trust in a person; and specifically in the person of Jesus Christ; and specifically in the love of Christ and his Father for us; and specifically because the Father shows his love for us by raising Jesus from the dead and promising to do the same for us. Jesus not only tells us that he loves us, but he is willing to die for us; and his Father in Heaven raises him. He loves … [Read more...]

What Is Christian Fantasy?


This post was first written in May of 2004. I think it holds up pretty well. I made some minor edits, and fixed a couple of typos. Kudos to Phil Wade, of Brandywine Books; the link below hasn't decayed, even though it's to the old version of the blog.Phil at Brandywine Books has written several posts (most recently here) on the subject of "What is Christian Fiction?" My answer is that there are several things which can go by that name. The first is simply, "Fiction written to be … [Read more...]

On Wodehouse, Wooster, and Jeeves!

The New Yorker has an article on Bertie Wooster, his valet Jeeves, and their creator, P.G. Wodehouse. Give it a look! … [Read more...]

The Beauty of Gaelic

One of the things I love about Irish music are the songs sung in Gaelic. The language has a flowing, lyrical quality that I find quite beautiful, even though I've no idea what's being said. Today I want to present a sampling of pieces by different artists that I think are particularly fine.First, here's the Bothy Band with "Fionnghuala", which gives me chills. Do listen to this one; it's short, and utterly amazing.In a lighter vein, here's Orla Fallon with "Ni Na La", which I … [Read more...]

Apps o’ the Morning: Scrivener and Textilus

Is there anyone who writes who hasn't heard of Scrivener yet?Scrivener is a word processor for large and complex writing projects: novels, screenplays, scripts, and the like. Instead of writing a single long stream of text, as you might do in Word or OpenOffice, it lets you break down your project into many small pieces of text (e.g., scenes). You can look at these in an outline view or in a cork board view; and you can attach notes and tags to any scene apart from the actual prose. You … [Read more...]

Bleeding Delicately on the Page

Wonder of wonders, I actually got some fiction writing done this week. I've written the first draft of another scene for Watchman for Daybreak, the first story set in the S'Mary's World universe, adding another 1500 words. It's beginning to come together, plot-wise, though the eventual structure is still somewhat up for grabs.And then, I added a bit to "Jeeves and the Nameless Ichor"...but then came to the sad realization that to do it properly I'm going to need to immerse myself in Bertie … [Read more...]

Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows, is a rare bird: an epistolary novel, a form that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. (In this case it does.) It is also a love letter to the island of Guernsey as it existed just after World War II, which is when the book takes place.Juliet Ashton is a writer, a Londoner who made it big during the war with a series of comical newspaper columns under the name of "Izzy Bickerstaff". Now that the war … [Read more...]

Why Christianity?

In the comments to my post on "What We Can Know, and How We Can Know It", Alex Symczak asks:Also, you can't argue me into this kind of faith? It relies purely on personal revelation? Then you have no reason to think you're following the right religion. Your justification cannot distinguish between You, or a protestant, or a Hindu, or a Muslim, or a Pagan. What makes you so special, that God gave you the correct revelation? Or are all others just lying?This is a fair question; and the … [Read more...]