October 15 on Catholic Answers Live!

On October 15 3-4 pm PDT I will be the guest on Catholic Answers Live to discuss my recently published article in the September/October 2010 issue of The Rock, "Government Forms (and Deforms) the Soul."Portions of the article are adapted from my latest book, Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010) … [Read more...]

Going to Ole Miss – October 18

On Monday, October 18, I will be in Oxford, Mississippi speaking at the law school at the University of Mississippi on the topic, "Disenfranchising Believers: Why the Religious Motive Test Violates Religious Free Exercise." … [Read more...]

Is Catholicism Rational?: Reflections on the Catholic-Protestant Divide

Suppose someone, like me, a life-long Christian, after considering the arguments for and against Catholicism, decides that the case for Catholicism makes more sense to me than does the case for Protestantism, even though I believe that one can become and/or remain a Protestant without being unreasonable in doing so.I raise this query because there are some--on both sides of the Catholic-Protestant divide--who think that if you don't see the obvious truth of either position (depending on which … [Read more...]

St. Thomas Aquinas for the intelligent non-specialist

I am sometimes asked what book or books I would recommend as an introduction to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas for the intelligent non-specialist.Here is my advice. You should first read Ralph McInerny's entry on St. Thomas in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Then you can move on to these three books, which are some of my favorites:Ralph McInerny, A First Glance at Thomas Aquinas: A Guide for Peeping Thomists (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990)Brian Davies, … [Read more...]

My two appearances on EWTN’s “The Journey Home”

New readers to Return to Rome may not know I have appeared twice on the EWTN program, The Journey Home, hosted by Marcus Grodi. On both programs I discuss my return to the Catholic Church after 30 years as an Evangelical Protestant. Just click either one to watch the video:The Journey Home - 24 September 2007 The Journey Home - 14 September 2009 … [Read more...]

Sister Mary Ann and the Conversion of Baptists

I posted this at my old Return to Rome blog earlier this year. But it's worth a repost.Over at Chris-tocentric (clever name), Chris Castaldo shares this humorous story: Sister Mary Ann, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a Texaco Gasoline station was just a block away.She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas. The attendant told her that the only gas can he owned had … [Read more...]

Not exactly the Arian controversy

Over at several blogs, the "future of Evangelicalism," as they like to think of themselves, is debating who and what counts as a "hipster" and whether it matters or not. See here, here, here, and here. My own sense is that if the past is any guide, today's "hipster" is destined to become retro-humor. This means that Brian McLaren, for example, is just Henry Emerson Fosdick who listens to Steely Dan on his iPod. He's rougly a decade away from becoming the ecclesial equivalent of another victim of … [Read more...]

Tim McGrew’s article on “Miracles” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Timothy McGrew, a philosophy professor at Western Michigan University, has just published a very nice entry on "Miracles" in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. You can read it here. … [Read more...]

What is his best song?

I'm totally taking this idea from my fellow patheos blogger, Scot McKnight, who on Jesus Creed asked this question about the Beatles, "What is their best song?"(Bob Dylan with Roger McGuinn, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Neil Young singing "My Back Pages"- click for lyrics) … [Read more...]

Sacred Texts, Holy Images: Baylor’s historic exhibition of religious art

The Baylor press release reads: From September 25 until November 28, 2010, Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum will have the privilege of housing two of the greatest masterpieces of modern religious art: Georges Rouault’s Miserere and Marc Chagall’s Bible series.  The opportunity to exhibit these two remarkable collections is made possible by the generosity of the Mark Foster Foundation, which has established Fine Arts in the Academy to “advance the serious study of art, history, and Western civil … [Read more...]

Greetings from Waco, Texas – Welcome to Return to Rome at Patheos.

This is the first official day of Return to Rome on Patheos.com. For those patheos readers who don't know much about me or this blog, let me encourage you to read my website bio and then my May 5, 2007 Right Reason posting on my return to the Catholic Church.  Other prior postings and published articles of mine that may interest readers are the following:Francis J. Beckwith, “Dignity Never Been Photographed: Scientific Materialism, Enlightenment Liberalism, and Steven Pinker.” Ethics & Med … [Read more...]

Can We Be Good Without God? Natural Law and the New Atheism

That's the title of the talk I am giving tomorrow, October 9, at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land, Texas. It's scheduled for 11 am. For more info, go here. … [Read more...]

Christianity Today’s strange story on Al Mohler

This story is the buzz on the Evangelical blogs, the most important of which is Justin Taylor's at the Gospel Coalition. (He has the whole skinny here). As a Catholic, I have no dog in this fight, but it seems to me that the article's author, Molly Worthen, a PhD candidate at Yale, pens a few cheap shots that should cause any well-known religious figure with theologically traditional sensibilities to think twice about agreeing to an interview with her.There are two passages that stand out as … [Read more...]

Dr. David Anders on relics and intercession of the saints

(HT: Called to Communion)On Marcus Grodi's radio program, Deep in Scripture, Dr. David Anders offers a biblical and historical account of the theology of relics and the intercession of the saints. Listen here at Called to Communion. … [Read more...]


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