Apologetics Corner

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Can Human Free Will and Divine Predestination Both be True?

If God is not love but only knowledge, then it is difficult or impossible to see how human free will and divine predestination can both be true. But if God is love, there is a way. Freedom and predestination is one of the most frequently asked questions among my students—partly because of modern man’s great concern for freedom, but also, […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Pope Benedict XVI on Creation and Evolution: “Complementary Realities”

In 1981, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, developed a catechesis for adults on the creation narratives because, he noted, creation catechesis was nearly absent from teaching, preaching, and theology. His catechesis was in the form of four Lenten homilies given in the cathedral of Munich. Later in 1986, and at the request of many people, he published the […]

moral-compass-featured-w740x493

Don’t You Impose Your Morality on Me!

When teaching about virtues and the moral life, I often think of a discussion I had with a college friend. He was taking an ethics class with a professor who promoted moral relativism – the notion that there is no objective moral truth, no right or wrong. According to a relativist, all truth claims are subjective, merely reflecting one’s own […]

DSC_0101

Five Questions From Catholics About Evolution

In elementary school, children learn about dinosaurs and fossils, how fossils form, how paleontologists reconstruct skeletons of animals from the past using those fossils. There seems no difficulty whatsoever accepting that all kinds of plants and animals lived on the Earth before people lived. Meanwhile, the Catholic children learn about Creation, Adam and Eve, Original Sin, Noah’s Ark, and the birth, life, death, […]

desert-israel-into-the-lenten-desert-featured-w740x493

Five Biblical Truths About Fasting

Last week, I asked the question, “Are you looking for the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ?” and responded by exploring the reasons for the Catholic practice of self-denial. We saw that “fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, helps us, by God’s grace, […]

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

I Believe in God

When we say “I believe” as we recite the Apostle’s Creed we are making a statement about our Faith. The theological virtue of Faith is supernatural and infused by gift of the Holy Spirit. St. Thomas Aquinas points out that Faith is not only the first thing we need, but that we cannot be proper Catholics without it.1 St. Paul […]

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

Why Catholics Practice Fast and Abstinence?

Would you like to know the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ? Of course you would.  We all would. Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one […]

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

Conversion Stories from the Bible

Nearly everyone loves conversion stories. Over the last couple of decades, the conversion stories of people who have entered the Catholic Church have exploded onto the scene in the form of compilations of short stories found in books such as Surprised by the Truth and more detailed accounts such as found in Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. But no book contains more […]

"The Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"The Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Imago Dei

The renowned psychologist, Paul C. Vitz, has made the tragic observation that “America is the most polytheistic nation in history; we worship over 350 million gods.” So disconnected have we become from the truth about the human person that we do indeed fancy ourselves our own creators. Through a confluence of intellectual errors, philosophical hubris, educational disintegration and moral decay, […]

"The Temptation of St. Anthony" - by Lucas van Leyden
(detail; click for full image)"The Temptation of St. Anthony" - by Lucas van Leyden (detail; click for full image)

The Real St. Anthony

January 17 is the Memorial of St. Antony, Abbot (A.D. 251-356). St. Athanasius (A.D. 296-373) is the great Church Doctor who stood against the world in defense of the “Trinitarian doctrine, whole and undefiled” thus earning the title “contra mundum.” He battled the Arian heresy as fearlessly and steadfastly as his mentor St. Anthony (A.D. 251-356) lived out the devout […]