TF38: Trying Not To Be Heretics

This week on Thinking Faith! Eric and Brett are trying their darndest to NOT be heretics. We’ll look at what heresy is (and isn’t) we’ll talk about some common examples and share some tips on what to do if you think you’ve encountered a heretic in your midst! From Dominican video games to St. Nicholas punching Arius in the face, we’ll see if our hapless hosts can avoid getting fired over this one! Read more

The Aliens Are Us

I have sometimes heard it said – sometimes jokingly, usually half-jokingly – that only one thing could bring peace to our world: an attack by extraterrestrial forces. Only then, the argument goes, when faced with a threat to all of us, would we human beings at last put aside our differences and recognize our common humanity. I am no expert in either science or science fiction. Scientists seem divided on the prospect of the existence of intelligent life existing in… Read more

Oh What a Circus: Evita Medley, U.S. Politics Edition

As a teenager, I had something of an obsession with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals.  I can’t quite claim to have attained an encyclopedic knowledge of them, but I do have an uncanny long-term memory, and I listened to recordings of his musicals a lot.  It was also during that time that the film version of Evita, starring Madonna, came out. All of this ended up providing me with a coping mechanism of sorts during last year’s election season, when I realized… Read more

Some Thoughts on Vatican II, Part 1

This is not a post on the documents or formal results of the Council, but more on how things changed in a day-to-day way in the wake of it. I asked my mother (aged 83) once about what she remembered about the pre-Vatican II Church, and she said, “I remember going up to Father before Mass and saying, ‘Father, I swallowed some toothpaste when I was brushing my teeth this morning – may I still receive communion?’ “Father said something… Read more

Blessed are the Poor

So do we give the homeless person begging for some spare change? Yes. Will that person use it to buy food? Maybe not. Read more

TF35: What’s A Catholic To Believe About Marian Apparitions?

Welcome to another week of Thinking Faith! Brett and Eric are continuing with last week’s Marian theme (In keeping with this Marian month of May) and ripping into the mailbag to answer some listener questions about Marian Apparitions. This week we address questions from James and Elaine who find themselves wondering about the propensity of Mary to appear from time, the tradition of the Church to mark some of these places as special pilgrimage sites, and just how we, as… Read more

A Bomb Is Not a Mother

Pope Francis has a penchant for using maternal imagery in reference to the Church, and true to his gift for holding up the beauties of the Church’s tradition to let them speak for themselves, he does so in ways that transcend any pietistic stereotypes.  Recently, he used this type of language to turn the language of military hard power on its head.  We may be accustomed to the stock phrase “mother of all X” to convey magnitude, but the pope’s simple… Read more

TF34: Catholics and Anglicans Thinking About Mary

This week on Thinking Faith, in keeping with the Marian theme of this Month of May Eric and Brett discuss our Church’s Marian Dogmas. We’ll look at what the Church has to say about Mary’s role as Theotokos (God Bearer), her Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity and Assumption into heaven all through the lens of a very exciting dialogue document produced by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) seeking common ground on Mary between Anglican’s and Catholics. AND if this piques… Read more

What Should a Pastor Say?

The presence of so many people on Easter (like at Christmas and on Ash Wednesday) is, shall we say, the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Read more

On Tolerating the Intolerant and Other Paradoxes of a Living in a Democracy

Last night I attended my first congressional town hall meeting. My local representative, House Republican Rod Blum, graciously took the time to meet with a crowd of about one thousand at a local high school. A lottery system was used to allow participants to ask questions. Topics included health care, climate change, tax reform, immigration, education, and military spending. As you might imagine, the anger in the room quickly became palpable. Most of the people present (myself included) were opponents… Read more

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