Why You Should Read C.S. Lewis' “The Great Divorce”Apr 26, 2016 2 Comments
C.S. Lewis was that rare sort of genius, able to combine high theological insight with vivid imagination, and it is precisely this coming-together that makes his writing so memorable--especially his classic fantasy book, “The Great Divorce.”
Porn and the Curse of Total Sexual FreedomApr 19, 2016 13 Comments
The most recent issue of “Time Magazine” features a fascinating and deeply troubling article on the prevalence of pornography in our culture. Yet neither the author nor anyone that he interviewed or referenced ever spoke of pornography use as something morally objectionable. Until we see that the laws governing sexual behavior, which are often read as “taboos” and invitations to repression, are in fact the manner in which the relation between sex and love is maintained, we'll never find true love.
“Miracles from Heaven” and the Problem of TheodicyApr 12, 2016 4 Comments
The surprisingly thoughtful and affecting film, “Miracles from Heaven,” illuminates a few aspects of the anguished problem of suffering: the rarity of miracles, God's delight in working through secondary causes, the Christian expectation of suffering, and the fact that suffering often gives rise to love.
First Thoughts on “Amoris Laetitia”Apr 08, 2016 56 Comments
In Pope Francis' new exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia,” he wants the truths regarding marriage, sexuality, and family to be unambiguously declared. But he also wants the Church’s ministers to reach out in mercy and compassion to those who struggle to incarnate those truths in their lives.
Bill Nye is Not the Philosophy GuyApr 05, 2016 27 Comments
In a recent viral YouTube video, pop-scientist Bill Nye Nye denigrated the discipline of philosophy, stating that it never deviates from common sense, that it doubts the reality of sense experience, and that it engages in speculation about whether we might be part of an intergalactic ping pong match. But while we may listen to Bill Nye as he leads us through an experiment, we should ignore his misguided reflections in regard to the higher questions of life.
The Spiritual Legacy of Mother AngelicaMar 28, 2016 12 Comments
Mother Angelica, one of the most significant figures in the post-conciliar Catholic Church in America, has died after a fourteen-year struggle with the after effects of a stroke. When Church historians write their accounts of the years immediately following Vatican II, Rita Rizzo of Canton, Ohio, Mother Angelica, will find a very honored place.
The Disturbing Fact of the ResurrectionMar 24, 2016 3 Comments
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the be-all and the end-all of the Christian faith. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, all bishops, priests, and Christian ministers should go home and get honest jobs, and all the Christian faithful should leave their churches immediately. The Resurrection isn't just a subjective event or symbol. It's a stunning, disturbing fact that opens up the divine life to everyone.
“Risen” and the Reality of the ResurrectionFeb 23, 2016 44 Comments
When I saw the coming attractions for the new film “Risen”—which deals with a Roman tribune searching for the body of Jesus after reports of the resurrection—I thought that it would leave the audience in suspense, intrigued but unsure whether these reports were justified or not. I was surprised and delighted to discover that the movie is, in fact, robustly Christian and substantially faithful to the Biblical account of what transpired after the death of Jesus.
Confirmation and EvangelizationFeb 16, 2016 8 Comments
Just a few days ago, I had the enormous privilege of performing my first confirmation as a bishop, and that compelled me to do some serious studying and praying around the meaning of this great Sacrament. Confirmation is meant to set people on fire with the Holy Spirit, precisely so that they in turn can set the world on fire. Once again, the gifts that they receive are not for them.
The Doritos Commercial and the Revival of VoluntarismFeb 11, 2016 10 Comments
You've likely heard about the absurd reaction of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) to the lighthearted Super Bowl commercial produced to advertise Doritos. NARAL's objection brings to light an ancient and enduring philosophical position that goes by the name of voluntarism, a belief that has led to a distortion of speech and the unchaining of some pretty dark forces.
Pope Francis and the EvangelicalsJan 19, 2016 13 Comments
The whole Christian world has watched with fascination as Pope Francis, over the past several months, has reached out to evangelicals. But does his outreach to evangelicals go beyond the merely symbolic? Is it grounded in more substantial theological commitments? I would argue the affirmative and to do so on the basis of Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel).
“The Revenant” and the Search for a Higher JusticeJan 12, 2016 6 Comments
How much of human history has been dominated by revenge which produces an endless cycle of violence? Alejandro Iñárritu’s new film, “The Revenant,” carries a crucially important message: if there is a God who provides a moral compass and presides over human affairs, then one can let go of vengeance and seek a higher justice.