Running the (Terrible for Catholics) Numbers on Conversion

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The Pew Religious Landscape Survey gave the chance to write some code and run the numbers on religious churn, retention, and conversions for my day job at FiveThirtyEight.  Here are a few highlights: Evangelical Protestants Are The Biggest Winners When People Change Faiths The numbers presented by Pew help describe current patterns, but they don’t tell the whole story of which denominations are most attractive to people who might be looking for a new one. Gain and loss numbers can wind up sk … [Read more...]

Using N-Dimensional Spaces to Learn to Think About God

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I had a great time speaking about Arriving at Amen at the Catholic Information Center last night (especially during the Q&A section -- there were a couple I'm still mulling) and the audio from that event should wind up online eventually.Plus, you can see me live (and ask questions of your own -- the last one at the CIC was about transhumanism) in NYC on May 26th and Boston on June 2nd.In the meantime, EWTN News Nightly put up the clip of my interview, if you'd like to hear me talk … [Read more...]

How Do We Talk About Heaven and Sin? [Radio Readings]

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You can listen to “Fights in Good Faith,” my weekly radio program, streaming today at 5pm ET and tomorrow (Sun) at 1pm  The episode is now available to download and stream.Every week, I put up a “Radio Readings” post, so you can track down the books, articles, and (this week) adorable experiments that I cite on the show. So, without further ado, here’s what I’m talking about this week.  "Deny the Cat and Refuse Thy Nature..."  From G.K. Chesterton's Ort … [Read more...]

Christ is an Outlier and Should Have Been Counted [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along. In the second to last chapter of Open Mind, Faithful Heart, Pope Francis draws heavily on the letter to the Hebrews as he discusses Christ's role as priest to his people.  In fact, I think most of the chapter is simply quotatio … [Read more...]

Choosing a Prudent (not a ‘Tough’) Advent Fast

NOT an example of fortitude

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's reading, Pope Francis's discussion of Christ's preparation for death nicely parallels Joseph Pieper's chapter on Fortitude in The Four Cardinal Virtues.Here's Francis: Jesus took his death seriously, as he did his … [Read more...]

“It is Not Good for Man to be Alone” – a review of Gay and Catholic

A New Living Rainforest Experience Is Launched At London Zoo

A few weeks ago, our Dominican-run Adult Sunday School tackled the topic of "Deadly Sins and Lively Virtues" and the brother teaching walked us through St. Thomas Aquinas's classification of sins and their progeny (i.e. clamor (speaking so intemperately so as to lose the ability to say actual words) is one of the offspring of wrath).  As our Dominican friar kept expanding the flow chart of faults, the most surprising branch turned out to be the cluster of sins rooted in Sloth.(Editorial … [Read more...]

Standing Naked Before God [Pope Francis Bookclub]

(from this fascinating article on art restoration)

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.When I read this week's chapter of Pope Francis's book, I was quickly drawn down a wikipedia rabbithole by one particular word Francis chose to use as he discussed how we speak with God in prayer: By intercession, we gain access to … [Read more...]


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