“Armstrong’s Handbook of Apologetics”: a Cyber-“Book”

“Armstrong’s Handbook of Apologetics”: a Cyber-“Book” December 6, 2019

Compilation of 280 articles of mine for the National Catholic Register (29 September 2016 to 1 August 2022): enough material for four 245-page books (about 3 1/2 pages for each 1000-word article).

I consider this collection to be a virtual book, even though I don’t intend to make an actual published book out of it. But in terms of presenting the wide scope and broad range of Catholic and general apologetics arguments that can be brought to bear, it has strong similarities to, and the main components of books like my One-Minute Apologist (2007; which had 61 two-page chapters in a Summa-like format), Proving the Catholic Faith is Biblical (2015; 80 short chapters — usually 1000 words or less — covering many topics), and The Catholic Answer Bible (2002): forty apologetics inserts: each one page long.

These articles for National Catholic Register are all a standard length of 1000 words: give or take a very few. A thousand words usually run about 3 1/2 single-spaced pages, including spaces between paragraphs. It’s not very long at all. And it is a nice length (perhaps the ideal one?) to summarize the usual apologetics and exegetical / historical arguments involved in any given theological issue. I’ve gotten very comfortable this length of article, after doing this “gig” for over three years now, and two earlier ones that were similar (Seton Magazine and Michigan Catholic). I have found that most of the important points that need to be made, can fairly easily be presented within this length.

These articles also essentially constitute my “mature” opinions on each topic I tackle, since all of these were written (or revised) in the last five years or so. I keep learning things all the time (my thought is always developing), so in some cases, I would have slightly changed my mind (where permitted, in light of dogma), or added new arguments (that I’ve either seen, or came up with myself) not present in my earlier writings.

With these articles close at hand, categorized alphabetically by topic and conveniently linked, the reader has a quick and easy resource that may come in handy when the usual objections to the Catholic faith arise. Each article is easy to read (so I’ve been told many times), and can probably be completed in less than five minutes (if even that), and, I submit, contains enough substance and content to provide ample food for thought and further reflection or study. It’s my privilege to have been allowed to write and publish them in such a prestigious venue. Enjoy!

*****

Abortion

On Being a So-Called “Single-Issue” Pro-Lifer [1-25-18]

Do Democratic Presidents Cause Fewer Abortions to Occur? [2-28-18]

Apologetics and Evangelism

Apologetics Doesn’t Mean Being Sorry for Your Faith [6-6-17]

“The Harvest is Ready”: 14 Tips for Catholic Evangelism [7-12-17]

Swearing and Sharing the Faith Don’t Mix Very Well! [7-16-18]

Some Thoughts on Evangelism and Being “Hated by All” [7-20-18]

Apostolic Succession

Apostolic Succession as Seen in the Jerusalem Council [1-15-17]

Answers to Questions About Apostolic Succession [7-25-20]

A New Biblical Argument for Apostolic Succession [4-23-21]

Atheism

Atheists Seem to Have Almost a Childlike Faith in the Omnipotence of Atoms [10-16-16]

Yes, Virginia, Atheists Have a Worldview [3-23-21]

Why Should We Bother Defending the Bible Against Atheists? [4-1-21]

Baptism

What the New Testament’s Baptisms Teach Us About the Magisterium: Christians remain bound to Church doctrine through its development [1-29-17]

What the Bible Reveals About Infant Baptism [7-27-17]

14 Bible Verses That Show We’re Saved Through Baptism [11-30-21]

Explicit Biblical Instruction on Saving Souls [2-28-22]

Bible (and Catholicism)

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Bible, Canon of
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Bible, General
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Camels, Domestication of (and the Bible)

Camels Help Bible Readers Get Over the Hump of Bible Skepticism [7-21-21]

Celibacy (in Priests and Religious)

Priestly Celibacy: Ancient, Biblical and Pauline [9-18-17]

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Charismatic (Catholic) Renewal 
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Church (Catholic): Authority of
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C. S. Lewis vs. St. Paul on Future Binding Church Authority [1-22-17]

The Analogy of an Infallible Bible to an Infallible Church [6-16-17]

Why Do Protestants Reject the Notion of “One True Church”? [6-22-17]

Catholicism is True and Denominationalism is Anti-Biblical [6-27-17]

Is the One True Church a Visible or Invisible Entity? [9-12-18]

Catholics Accept All of the Church’s Dogmatic Teaching [9-18-18]

Orthodoxy: The ‘Equilibrium’ That Sets Us Free [3-29-19]

Were the Jerusalem Council Decrees Universally Binding? [12-4-19]

Church, Sinners in / Scandals

Were 50 Million People Really Killed in the Inquisition? [5-30-18]

The Sex Scandals Are Not a Reason to Reject Catholicism [8-24-18]

Some Nagging Questions About Scorsese’s Silence [2-19-17]

Are Abuse Scandals a Reason to Leave the Church? [3-31-19]

The Inquisition, as Medieval Catholics Would View It [7-31-19]

Confession and Absolution

Confession and Absolution Are Biblical [7-31-17]

Contraception

Bible vs. Contraception: Onan’s Sin and Punishment [5-30-17]

Luther and Calvin Opposed Contraception and “Fewer Children is Better” Thinking [9-13-17]

Contraception and “Anti-Procreation” vs. Scripture [6-6-18]

A Defense of Natural Family Planning [5-25-19]

Conversion, Catholic

Here’s What I Discovered That Made Me Become Catholic [9-29-16]

Why C. S. Lewis Never Became a Catholic [3-5-17]

Daniel

Is There Any Archaeological Support for the Prophet Daniel? [4-25-22]

Deuterocanonical Books (So-Called “Apocrypha”)

How to Defend the Deuterocanon (or ‘Apocrypha’) [3-12-17]

Divorce and Annulments

Annulments are Fundamentally Different from Divorce [4-6-17]

Doctrinal Development

Development of Catholic Doctrine: A Primer [1-5-18]

Ecumenism and Comparative Religion

Biblical Evidence for Ecumenism (“A Biblical Approach to Other Religions”) [8-9-17]

Ethics and Social Teaching, Catholic

Atheist “Refutes” Sermon on the Mount (Or Does He?) [7-23-17]

What Proverbs 31 Says About Alcohol [9-22-17]

Borders and the Bible [1-14-19]

What Does “Turn the Other Cheek” Mean? [7-20-19]

Biblical and Catholic Teaching on the Use of Alcohol [3-26-20]

Eucharist, Holy

Transubstantiation, John 6, Faith and Rebellion [12-3-17]

The Holy Eucharist and the Treachery of Judas [4-6-18]

Transubstantiation is No More Inscrutable Than Many Doctrines [9-26-18]

Why Are Non-Catholics Excluded from Holy Communion? [7-3-19]

The Host and Chalice Both Contain Christ’s Body and Blood [12-10-19]

If You Believe in Miracles, You Should Believe in the Real Presence [12-31-21]

Refuting the “Real Absence” Anti-Transubstantiation Argument [1-10-22]

Was Jesus Unclear in John Chapter 6? [1-25-22]

Evil and Pain: Problem of

God, the Natural World and Pain [9-19-20]

Is God Mostly to Blame for the Holocaust? [5-31-21]

Faith and Works / “Faith Alone” / Discipleship

Final Judgment is Not a Matter of “Faith Alone” At All [10-7-16]

How Are We Saved? Faith Alone? Or the Way Jesus Taught? [5-11-17]

“The Lord Helps Those Who Help Themselves” [7-19-17]

“Personal Relationship with Jesus” — A Catholic Concept? [2-19-18]

Did Jesus Teach His Disciples to Hate Their Families? [8-17-19]

First John, Faith and Works, and Falling Away [11-24-19]

Lessons in Reconciliation from Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson [2-10-20]

Good Works and Men, God’s Grace, and Regeneration (vs. John Calvin) [8-6-20]

Fathers of the Church

Did St. Augustine Accept All Seven Sacraments? [11-15-17]

22 Reminders That St. Augustine Was 100% Catholic [4-23-20]

14 Proofs That St. Athanasius Was 100% Catholic [6-4-20]

God, Attributes of

Does God Punish to the Fourth Generation? [10-1-18]

If God Needs Nothing, Why Does He Ask For So Much? (Is God “Narcissistic” or “Love-Starved?) [8-22-19]

Does God Ever Actively Prevent Repentance? [9-1-19]

Who Caused Job to Suffer — God or Satan? [6-28-20]

The Bible Teaches That Other “Gods” are Imaginary [7-10-20]

Does God Have Any Need of Praise? [9-24-20]

God in Heaven and in His Temple: Biblical Difficulty? [12-10-20]

Goliath

How Tall Was Goliath? [8-30-21]

Heaven

Salvation and Immortality Are Not Just New Testament Ideas [9-23-19]

Hell, Satan, and Demons

Screwtape on the Neutralization of Effective Apologetics and Divine Callings [2-5-17]

How to Annihilate Three Skeptical Fallacies Regarding Hell [6-10-17]

Satan is Highly Intelligent—and an Arrogant Idiot   [11-27-17]

Is Abortion a Biblical Metaphor for Hell? [10-20-18]

7 Takes on Satan’s Persecutions and the Balanced Christian Life [11-24-18]

Universalism is Annihilated by the Book of Revelation [6-23-19]

The Bible Teaches that Hell is Eternal [4-16-20]

Holy Places and Items / Relics

The Biblical Understanding of Holy Places and Things [4-11-17]

Biblical Proofs and Evidence for Relics [3-13-20]

Relics Are a Biblical Concept — Here Are Some Examples [5-31-22]

Homosexuality

History of the False Ideas Leading to Same-Sex “Marriage” [11-2-16]

How Did Jesus View Active Homosexuality? [9-16-19]

Icons, Images, and Statues

Worshiping God Through Images is Entirely Biblical [12-23-16]

How Protestant Nativity Scenes Proclaim Catholic Doctrine [12-17-17]

Crucifixes: Devotional Aids or Wicked Idols? [1-15-20]

Was Moses’ Bronze Serpent an Idolatrous “Graven Image?” [2-17-20]

Golden Calf Idolatry vs. Carved Cherubim on Ark of the Covenant [1-7-21]

Indulgences

The Biblical Roots and History of Indulgences [5-25-18]

Jesus

50 Biblical Proofs That Jesus is God [2-12-17]

Did Jesus Descend to Hell, Sheol, or Paradise After His Death? [4-17-17]

Visiting Golgotha in Jerusalem is a Sublime Experience [3-21-18]

Are the Two Genealogies of Christ Contradictory? [1-5-19]

Did Jesus Use “Socratic Method” in His Teaching? [4-29-19]

Can the Prayers of Jesus Go Unanswered? [6-10-19]

Why Jesus Opposed the Moneychangers in the Temple [9-26-19]

Jesus’ Agony in Gethsemane: Was it “Anxiety”? [10-29-19]

On Whether Jesus’ “Brothers” Were “Unbelievers” [6-11-20]

Did Jesus Heal and Preach to Only Jews? No! [7-19-20]

The Bible is Clear — Jesus is True God and True Man [9-12-20]

9 Ways Jesus Tells Us He is God in the Synoptic Gospels [10-28-20]

12 Alleged Resurrection “Contradictions” That Aren’t Really Contradictions [4-7-21]

11 More Resurrection “Contradictions” That Aren’t Really Contradictions [5-8-21]

Darkness at Jesus’ Crucifixion — Solar Eclipse or Sandstorm? [4-15-22]

Joshua

What Archaeology Tells Us About Joshua’s Conquest [7-8-21]

Jericho and Archaeology — Disproof of the Bible? (Here is one possible explanation for the high level of erosion in Jericho) [9-26-21]


Liberalism, Theological (Modernism / Dissent / Heterodoxy)

Silent Night: A “Progressive” and “Enlightened” Reinterpretation [12-21-17]

Liturgy, Formal / Rosary

Ritualistic, Formal Worship is a Good and Biblical Practice [12-4-16]

The Rosary: ‘Vain Repetition’ or Biblical Prayer? [3-16-18]

Luther, Martin

50 Reasons Why Martin Luther Was Excommunicated [11-23-16]

Luther’s Disgust Over Protestant Sectarianism and Radical Heresies [9-8-17]

10 Remarkably “Catholic” Beliefs of Martin Luther [10-6-17]

Luther Favored Death, Not Religious Freedom, For ‘Heretics’ [10-25-17]

Mary, Apparitions of

Biblical Evidence for Marian Apparitions [5-21-17]

Mary, Bodily Assumption of

Biblical Arguments in Support of Mary’s Assumption [8-15-18]

Mary, General

Did Mary Know That Jesus Was God? [4-29-18]

The Exalted Blessed Virgin Mary and Theosis [11-28-18]

Martin Luther’s Exceptionally “Catholic” Devotion to Mary [4-16-19]

St. John Henry Newman’s High Mariology [10-18-19]

Mary, Immaculate Conception of

Martin Luther’s “Immaculate Purification” View of Mary [12-31-16]

Scripture, Through an Angel, Reveals That Mary Was Sinless [4-30-17]

Was Mary’s Immaculate Conception Absolutely Necessary? [12-8-17]

“All Have Sinned” vs. a Sinless, Immaculate Mary? [12-11-17]

Amazing Parallels Between Mary and the Ark of the Covenant [2-13-18]

Biblical Support for Mary’s Immaculate Conception [10-29-18]

Mary and Jesus

Did Jesus Denigrate Calling Mary “Blessed?” [12-24-19]

“Who is My Mother?” — Jesus and the “Familial Church” [1-21-20]

Mary, Invocation and Intercession of

Why Do We Ask Mary to Pray for Us? [5-24-22]

Mary Mediatrix

Mary Mediatrix: Close Biblical Analogies [8-14-17]

Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos)

How to Correct Some Misunderstandings About Mary [2-20-19]

Mary, Perpetual Virginity of

Biblical Evidence for the Perpetual Virginity of Mary [4-13-18]

More Biblical Evidence for Mary’s Perpetual Virginity [4-25-18]

Perpetual Virginity of Mary: “Holy Ground” [5-8-18]

Jesus’ “Brothers” Always “Hanging Around”: Siblings? [5-11-18]

Biblical and Patristic Evidence for Mary’s “In Partu” Virginity [11-14-19]

The Early Protestants Believed in Mary’s Perpetual Virginity [11-19-19]

Were Sts. Simon and Jude the Cousins of Jesus? [12-24-21]

Calvin Believed in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary — So Should Calvinists [6-22-22]

Mary, Queen Mother

Mary is Queen Mother and Queen of Heaven [6-6-19]

Is Our Lady the Woman of Revelation 12? [11-27-19]

Mary, Veneration of

St. Louis de Montfort’s Marian Devotion: Idolatry or Christocentric? [12-18-16]

The Blessed Virgin Mary is Our Role Model [4-20-17]

Did the Angel Gabriel Venerate Mary When He Said “Hail?” [3-14-19]

50 Biblical Reasons to Honor Jesus Through Mary [7-24-19]

Mass, Sacrifice of

Is Jesus “Re-Sacrificed” at Every Mass? [8-19-17]

Why is Melchizedek So Important? [1-15-18]

Time-Transcending Mass and the Hebrew “Remember” [8-3-18]

Reasons for the Sunday Mass Obligation [11-14-18]

Intriguing Biblical Analogies to Eucharistic Adoration [2-13-19]

The Absurdity of Claiming That the Mass is Idolatrous [6-17-19]

Miracles

Biblical and Historical Evidences for Raising the Dead [2-8-19]

Reflections on Joshua and “the Sun Stood Still” [10-22-20]

Moses and the Exodus

Using the Bible to Debunk the Bible Debunkers (Is the Mention of ‘Pitch’ in Exodus an Anachronism?) [6-30-21]

Science, Hebrews and a Bevy of Quail [11-14-21]

Papacy and Petrine Primacy

50 Biblical Indications of Petrine Primacy and the Papacy [11-20-16]

Papal Succession: Biblical and Logical Arguments [5-26-17]

I Hope the Pope Will Provide Some Much-Needed Clarity (Re: Answering the Dubia) [9-30-17]

Top 20 Biblical Evidences for the Primacy of St. Peter [1-8-18]

Does Paul’s Rebuke of Peter Disprove Papal Infallibility? [3-31-18]

A Brief History of Papal Infallibility [5-21-18]

Protestant Objections to Papal Infallibility [2-29-20]

Is Peter’s Primacy Disproved by His Personality? [11-30-20]

Which Has More Authority: A Pope or an Ecumenical Council? [5-19-21]

Christians Have Always Recognized the Pope’s Authority — Here’s Proof From the 1st Century (Pope St. Clement of Rome) [9-18-21]

Jesus Christ and St. Peter — Are Both Rocks? [6-29-22]

Penance / Mortification / Asceticism / Lent / Monasticism

Where are Lenten Practices in the Bible? [2-23-19]

Bodily Mortification is Quite Scriptural [2-28-19]

More Biblical Support for Bodily Mortification [3-5-19]

Why God Loves Monasticism So Much [3-5-20]

John Calvin vs. Lent and the Bible [2-20-21]

15 Times Martin Luther Sounded Surprisingly Catholic When Talking About Suffering [2-25-21]

Prayer 

Biblical Prayer is Conditional, Not Solely Based on Faith [10-9-18]

Priests

Was the Apostle Paul a Priest? [4-2-17]

“Call No Man Father” vs. Priests Addressed as “Father”? [8-9-18]

The Biblical Basis for the Priesthood [11-2-18] *

Purgatory and Prayer for the Dead

50 Biblical Indications That Purgatory is Real [10-24-16]

Does Matthew 12:32 Suggest or Disprove Purgatory? [2-26-17]

St. Paul Prayed for Onesiphorus, Who Was Dead [3-19-17]

25 Descriptive and Clear Bible Passages About Purgatory [5-7-17]

Reflections on Interceding for the Lost Souls [6-26-18]

Jesus, Peter, Elijah and Elisha All Prayed for the Dead [2-23-20]

“Religion”

The Bible Makes It Clear: Religion Means Relationship With God [6-18-21]

Sacramentalism

Biblical Evidence for Sacramentalism [8-29-17]

Sacraments and Our Moral Responsibility [1-7-20]

Saints

The Holy Collaboration of Mother Teresa and Malcom Muggeridge [6-20-18]

Saints and Angels, Invocation of

Why Would Anyone Pray to Saints Rather Than to God? [1-8-17]

4 Biblical Proofs for Prayers to Saints and for the Dead [6-16-18]

Angelic Intercession is Totally Biblical [7-1-18]

Why the Bible Says the Prayers of Holy People Are More Powerful [3-19-19]

The Saints in Heaven are Quite Aware of Events on Earth (featuring a defense of patron saints) [3-21-20]

Prayer to Abraham and Dead People in Scripture [6-20-20]

What Christ’s Words on the Cross Tell Us About Elijah and the Saints [8-2-20]

How Can a Saint Hear the Prayers of Millions at Once? [10-7-20]

Origen and the Intercession of Saints [11-19-20]

Saints and Angels, Veneration of

The Veneration of Angels and Men is Biblical [8-24-17]

Biblical Evidence for Veneration of Saints and Images [10-23-18]

Salvation and Justification / Grace

“Why Desire Salvation?”: Reply to a Non-Christian Inquirer [7-7-17]

Biblical Evidence for Salvation as a Process [8-4-17] 

Biblical Evidence for Catholic Justification [11-2-17]

Is Grace Alone (Sola Gratia) Also Catholic Teaching? [2-5-18]

‘Doers of the Law’ Are Justified, Says St. Paul [5-22-19]

Jesus on Salvation: Works, Merit and Sacrifice [7-28-19]

The Bible is Clear: ‘Eternal Security’ is a Manmade Doctrine [8-17-20]

Eternal Security vs. the Bible [8-23-20]

There Never Will Be a Single Human Being for Whom Christ Did Not Suffer [4-28-21]

Biblical Reasons Why Catholics Don’t Believe in ‘Limited Atonement’ [10-27-21]

More Biblical Reasons Why Catholics Don’t Believe in ‘Limited Atonement’ [10-30-21]

What the Bible Says About Justification by Faith and Works [7-27-22]

Ongoing Justification and the Indwelling Holy Spirit [8-1-22]

Science

The Bible and Mythical Animals [10-9-19]

The Bible is Not “Anti-Scientific,” as Skeptics Claim [10-23-19]

Galileo and Fellow Astronomers’ Erroneous Scientific Beliefs [4-30-20]

Modern Science is Built on a Christian Foundation [5-6-20]

The ‘Enlightenment’ Inquisition Against Great Scientists [5-13-20]

Embarrassing Errors of Historical Science [5-20-20]

Scientism — the Myth of Science as the Sum of Knowledge [5-28-20]

Creation Ex Nihilo is in the Bible [10-1-20]

Medieval Christian Medicine Was the Forerunner of Modern Medicine [11-13-20]

Quantum Mechanics and the “Upholding” Power of God [11-24-20]

Dark Energy, Dark Matter and the Light of the World [2-17-21]

Sexuality

Sex and Catholics: Our Views Briefly Explained [2-2-18]

More Proof That ‘Heresy Begins Below the Belt’ (Even for Young C. S. Lewis) [8-30-20]

The Bible on Why Premarital Sex Is Wrong [5-26-21]

Sin: Mortal and Venial

What the Bible Says on Degrees of Sin and Mortal Sin [7-6-18]

“Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner” — Quite Biblical! [1-29-20]

 

Suffering / Redemptive Suffering

Suffering With Christ is a Biblical Teaching [3-27-18]

The Bible Says Your Suffering Can Help Save Others [1-31-19]

Biblical Hope and Encouragement in Your Times of Suffering [4-22-19]

Tradition (Apostolic / Sacred)

Tradition is Not a Dirty Word — It’s a Great Gift [4-24-17]

In the Bible, “Word of God” Usually Means Oral Proclamation [12-17-19]

The Bible Alone? That’s Not What the Bible Says [3-5-21]

The One-Legged Stool Called ‘Inscripturation’ is Not Taught in the Bible [3-15-21]

How Did the Gospel Writers Know About ‘Hidden’ Events? [3-31-22]

Trinity, Holy

50 Biblical Evidences for the Holy Trinity [11-14-16]

Wealth / Capitalism / Catholic Social Teaching

Who Must Renounce All Possessions to Follow Jesus? [1-21-21]

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Last updated on 1 August 2022

 

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