Analogies and the death of Bin Laden

That's the title of my latest column over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: N. T. Wright, former Anglican Bishop of Durham, is one of the foremost theologians and biblical scholars in the world. Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews, his work on the doctrine of justification, controversial among Evangelical Protestants, is in many ways remarkably close to the Catholic view. For this reason, Professor Wright’s work, much to his chagrin, has b … [Read more...]

Reason, Conversion, and Plausibility

That's the title of my most recent entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: It is an odd thing to explain to other Christians why one moves from one theological tradition to another, since you know (or will eventually discover) that the reasons that seemed so compelling to you seem less than adequate to others. I believe that the reason for this is that each of us approaches these sorts of questions with a plausibility structure, about which we rarely reflect.What do I mean by a … [Read more...]

Come, Let Us Reason

That is the title of my latest entry on The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: The God of Christian theism is the Source of Reason. St. John calls the Second Person of the Trinity, the Logos, a Greek term from which we get the word “logic.” Within the greatest commandment is the instruction to “love the Lord your God with all your. . .mind” (Matt 22:37-JB). St. Peter commands believers to “always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you have. But give it w … [Read more...]

How Political Correctness Makes Us Dumb

That's the name of my latest essay on The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: The other day I was lecturing in my critical thinking class on the difference between arguments and explanations.  An explanation is an account ofsomething whose truth is not in dispute. So, for example, if you ask me why the Packers won the Super Bowl, I can give you several different answers. But the simplest one is this: they scored more points than the Steelers. We do not disagree as to whether the Packers were … [Read more...]

Apostolic Succession

That's the title of my latest piece on The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: In 2007, when I was prayerfully thinking about returning to the Catholic Church, there were four theological issues that were deal breakers forme: justification, penance, transubstantiation, and apostolic succession. I have already discussed penance, transubstantiation, and justification. Here, I offer a brief account of how I became convinced that the Catholic Church is also right about apostolic suc … [Read more...]

Live Action and Telling Falsehoods

That is the title of  my latest column at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: Over at the website Public Discourse, two outstanding Catholic philosophers, Christopher Tollefsen and Christopher Kaczor, have published essays about the morality of the tactics of the prolife group, Live Action.  Two other Catholic philosophers, Robert P. George and Joseph Bottum have weighed in as well.Live Action recently released a video that included two of its members posing as a pimp and prostitute d … [Read more...]

In the Time of My Confession

That is the title of my most recent column over at The Catholic Thing. Here is how it begins: When I was an Evangelical Protestant thinking about returning to the Catholic Church of my baptism, among Catholic practices I found difficult to accept was the sacrament of penance.I thought that the sacrament took away from Christ’s sufficiency to forgive all our sins, past, present, and future. For I believed that it diminished the scope of Christ’s atonement if I had to do something in order to acq … [Read more...]

And the Word became flesh and lived among us

That is the title of my latest column at The Catholic Thing. Here is how it begins: During the Season of Advent, one often hears in Church circles and even in the popular media the plea, or something similar to it, “Let’s keep the Christ in Christmas.” But before we can take that plea seriously (as we ought to), we have to first understand what it means to keep Christ in Christianity.In the first chapter of his Gospel, St. John eloquently provides an account of the divine paternity of Jesus of … [Read more...]

The Future

That is the title of my most recent column at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins:Things are going to slide, slide in all directions Won’t be nothing Nothing you can measure anymore The blizzard, the blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and it has overturned the order of the soul…. – Leonard Cohen (“The Future,” 1992) These amazing lyrics by Leonard Cohen came to mind after my friend, Lydia McGrew, brought to my attention a court case in the United Kingdom. It concerns Eunice an … [Read more...]

Don’t know much about theology

That is the title of my latest essay published on The Catholic Thing. Here is how it begins: A few weeks ago, my wife and I were watching an episode of “The O’Reilly Factor” in which the host, Bill O’Reilly, was interviewing Bill Maher, a comedian and host of HBO’s “Real Time.” They were discussing religion, with the focus on Christianity. Neither one seemed to know much about the topic, though Mr. O’Reilly seemed slightly better informed. And this on the Fox News channel, which is supposed to b … [Read more...]


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