August 5, 2022

RACHAEL ASKS: Is there a Bible that’s the most accurate? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Almost all the varied 20th and 21st Century English translations on sale are sufficiently accurate and can be relied upon, though debates will never end on some details. The first and fundamental aspect of accuracy is experts’ shared consensus on the best available texts in the original languages of Hebrew and Greek that underlie all translations, based upon a far richer body of surviving manuscripts than... Read more

July 21, 2022

THE QUESTION: What is “Fundamentalism?” THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: After the Presbyterian Church in America decided in June to depart from the National Association of Evangelicals, The Religion Guy wondered in print whether some “evangelicals” are becoming “fundamentalists.” That raises how to define these two similar and historically interrelated versions of conservative Protestantism. Back in 2019, a New York Times Book Review item by a Harvard Divinity School teacher called Jehovah’s Witnesses “fundamentalists” several times. Well, Witnesses do share certain... Read more

July 8, 2022

THE QUESTION: In the Bible, does St. Peter call women the “weaker sex”? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Yes. But why? What did that mean? What was he saying about women’s status in a culture far different from that of the 21st Century? A preliminary point. Word limits do not allow adequate examination here of liberal scholars’ contention that St. Peter did not really write the two New Testament letters the texts attribute to him, or of the reasons conservatives are... Read more

June 25, 2022

THE QUESTION: According to the Bible, was Solomon a good or a bad king? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Both. With the political challenges afflicting the leaders of Britain, France, Israel, Nigeria, Ukraine, the U.S., and other nations, it’s interesting to look back to the rulers in the Bible even though their ancient monarchies were radically different. Among them King Solomon, whose 40-year reign began 2,993 years ago, ranks with his father David in significance. This ever-fascinating figure, portrayed onscreen by... Read more

June 10, 2022

THE QUESTION: Who should receive Christian Communion? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: By coincidence, Christianity’s practice for sharing the Communion bread and wine (or juice) is popping up in two separate controversies. Item: San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone sparked an ongoing fuss with his May 19 declaration that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is not to receive the sacrament at Masses in her hometown because she vehemently advocates liberal abortion laws while openly identifying as Catholic. Item: On June 27,... Read more

May 28, 2022

THE QUESTION: Should religion influence U.S. public policy? For instance, look at Protestants. THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: The media occasionally press this question upon us as, as with a timely May article by Religion News Service columnist Jeffrey Salkin titled “Should religion influence abortion policy?” His thinks not. Salkin acknowledges that “religious ideas are part of the public discourse” but even so “those ideas cannot determine policy. Public policy must be open to rational discourse, with provable data, and not... Read more

May 12, 2022

THE QUESTION: Where do major U.S. religious groups stand on the contentious abortion issue? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: If the U.S. Supreme Court enacts that draft decision leaked to Politico, within weeks abortion policies will be returned to the 50 states for decision, adding to contention. Religious groups often consider the claims of the two lives, mother and unborn fetus, rather than this as simply a woman’s “decisions about her own body” per Vice President Harris’s formulation. Here are summaries... Read more

April 29, 2022

THE QUESTION: Was Jesus a Socialist? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Well, no. For one thing, that term, as with rival capitalism, pertains to modern industrialized society. The 1st Century economy consisted mostly of hand-to-mouth subsistence agriculture, along with fishermen, small-time merchants, individual craftsmen and a tiny class of wealthy overlords. But the question above was posed this month by a Wall Street Journal column, so let’s briefly scan a few aspects of Christianity and economics. Those familiar with the New... Read more

April 15, 2022

THE QUESTION; Did Jesus Exist? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Yes. It would be the ultimate blow to the Christian religion if Jesus, and with him the entirety of the New Testament, is totally fictional The strong consensus among historians, including non-Christians and skeptics, is that, yes. Jesus was an actual person of the 1st Century (Anno Domini!!). Yet an Ipsos poll for the Episcopal Church, released last month, showed only 76% of Americans “believe in the historical existence” of Jesus,... Read more

April 1, 2022

THE QUESTION: What do the latest statistics tell us about the worldwide Catholic Church? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: The Vatican’s Central Office of Church Statistics issued a summary report in February that says as of December 31, 2020, Catholicism had 1.36 billion adherents worldwide. That equals an impressive 17.7% of the world’s people and keeps pace with over-all population growth. The church’s gain of 16 million members over 2019 exceeds the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles and... Read more

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