November 26, 2022

THE QUESTION: Unending Debate: Should Christians Baptize Babies? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Yes or no, depending what church is answering the question. A quote posted in August by Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary says this “debate over baptism has raged in the church for millennia” and “all sides argue passionately for their view.” Jesus’ evangelism command to his followers in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) directed water baptism for church membership as observed in all types of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant groups... Read more

November 12, 2022

THE QUESTION: “Why Do Catholics Pray for the Dead?” THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: A Catholic News Agency feature for All Saints’ Day with the above headline was written by senior Rome Correspondent Hannah Brockhaus. One of The Guy’s colleagues immediately critiqued that wording because Eastern Orthodox Christians likewise pray for the dead, although in a different mode from Catholics, as we’ll see. Perhaps the appropriate question should instead be: Why don’t Protestants pray for the dead when these other Christians... Read more

October 28, 2022

THE QUESTION: What do world religions believe on polygamy, pro and con? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: With religion, age-old issues such as polygamy vs. monogamy never disappear, and just last week a Jerusalem Post article discussed Jewish practices, which we’ll examine below. First, some terminology: What’s called “polygamy” occurs in two ways. “Polyandry” means one woman with more than one husband, a rare form found among, for instance, some Buddhists in Tibet where the husbands are commonly brothers. The familiar... Read more

October 14, 2022

THE QUESTION: As Iran protests persist, what women’s clothing does Islam require? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: The facts are these. On September 13, Iran’s morality police arrested 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for violating the legally required Muslim dress code for women. She was wearing the mandatory head scarf (hijab), but apparently it did not correctly conceal all of her hair. Three days later, Amini died while still in police custody. The government blames a heart attack, but suspicions that she was... Read more

September 30, 2022

THE QUESTION: What does biblical religion teach about forgiving loan debts? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: President Biden’s pre-election executive order to limit or erase college students’ loan debts is back in the news this week. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office issued its “highly uncertain” estimate that the plan will cost at least $420 billion, the first federal lawsuits filed against it argued that only Congress can legally enact spending, and the Department of Education scaled back the numbers who get... Read more

September 16, 2022

THE QUESTION: Why does Islam ban non-Muslims from the holy cities of Mecca and Medina? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum is among the last people Saudi Arabians might want to listen to. Yet he penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed last month urging Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to end Islam’s longstanding ban against non-Muslims entering the faith’s two holiest locations, Mecca, where the Prophet Muhammad issued the Quran and founded the religion 14... Read more

September 2, 2022

THE QUESTION: In Islam, what is a fatwa? Why the demand to kill novelist Salman Rushdie? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: In 1989, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s theocratic ruler, ordered the assassination “without delay” of novelist Salman Rushdie because of his novel “The Satanic Verses.” Remarkably, this official fatwa imposed the duty of freelance killing in the name of God upon masses of Muslim believers in all nations, and also demanded death for the editors and publishers involved with the... Read more

August 19, 2022

THE QUESTION: What does the Bible teach about abortion? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: This question is raised by the assertion that the Bible “says nothing about abortion.” So writes Melanie Howard, a Scripture scholar at Fresno Pacific University, a Mennonite Brethren campus self-defined as both “evangelical and ecumenical” that “embodies Christ-centered values.,” Her July 25 article titled “What the Bible actually says about abortion may surprise you” for was widely distributed to Associated Press and Religion News Service clients... Read more

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

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