Problems with the New Atheists

One of the positive things about discussions with atheists is that most of them insist on rational discussion. They say they want to discuss things reasonably. It’s disappointing therefore when the conversations sometimes end up with atheists descending to profanity, emotional rants, ad hominem attacks and blasphemy. Nevermind. Some Catholics are fond of irrational rants [Read More...]

The Dictatorship of Sentimentality

dictator

Have you ever had to deal with a female work colleague or family member who, just as the argument got interesting, turned on the tears? Immediately they win. It’s a not-too-subtle form of emotional blackmail. The tears shift the conversation away from reasoning and evidence and you have to stop and feel guilty and compassionate [Read More...]

Michelangelo, Mother Teresa and Miracles

maryimage

Last week in New Jersey some of the faithful flocked to see something strange and wonderful–the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a tree trunk. The story is reported here. Then there was the face of Mother Teresa in a bun in Tennessee. You can see that here along with an image of Jesus [Read More...]

The Early Date of Mark’s Gospel

mark

In seminary we had to study modern Biblical scholarship, and one of my great blessings was that at Bob Jones I learned to be skeptical of the fundamentalists, but at Oxford I learned to be skeptical of the modernists. Both groups seemed to me to be like two madmen strapped back to back. Both the [Read More...]

How Do we Know the Gospels are Historical?

It is easy to exchange convinced assertions: “The gospels are 100% God’s holy Word and every bit is historically accurate!” or “The gospels are fairy tales!” However there is a discipline called “Biblical scholarship” in which scholars do some very interesting work determining just which parts of the gospels they think are reliable and which [Read More...]

What Do Historians Think of the Gospels?

Are the gospels reliable as historical accounts? In an earlier post I wrote that the gospels are unique ancient documents. They are not written primarily as historical accounts by professional historians. Instead they are the collected stories, memories and experiences of the community of Jesus Christ’s disciples. Therefore we treat them as the documents they [Read More...]


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