New Testament

Five Lessons from the Christmas Market Attack

On December 11, a Muslim named Cherif Chekatt opened fire at the famed Christmas Market in Strasbourg, killing three and wounding thirteen. There are several important lessons to be learned from the incident. Here are five of them: I. The attack was aimed at Christians. It was no coincidence that the terrorist chose to target [...]

Laymen: “Resolve” to Discern God’s Will for You

In one of the scriptural passages most often quoted by Blessed Pope John Paul II during the course of his historic pontificate, a “rich young man” asks the Lord what I consider to be the only question really worth asking once one reaches the age of reason and understands the reality of death: “What must [...]

The Gospel According to Cahill

Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus Thomas Cahill, Doubleday, 1999, 333 pages, $24.95   The Book of Revelation does not prophesy a plague of shoddy Gospel scholarship, but surely one has descended on us. Some works have been simply outrageous (Norman Mailer’s The Gospel According to the Son) and some [...]

Do You Believe in Good?

Not long ago, in New York City's subway system, there was a campaign underway proclaiming that people can be "good without God." The ads' anti-gospel followed upon the good news previously advertised f ro m the so-called Coalition of Reason: "Don't Believe in God? You're Not Alone." Of course, it's unlikely that even God "believes" [...]

Pray for the Living and the Dead

One of the sillier things one sometimes hears about the Catholic Church is communicated in jokes like the one about the guy who gets to the Pearly Gates and is ushered inside by St. Peter. As Pete's showing him around the Elysian Fields, they pass by a little gothic structure and hear voices inside praying [...]

Theologian says there was no crucifixion

The Daily Telegraph reports that theologian Gunnar Samuelsson from Gothenburg University believes Jesus wasn't nailed to a cross at all -- his 'crucifixion' is based on artistic renderings and Christian tradition rather than actual antique texts: Mr Samuelsson, who has written a 400-page thesis after studying the original texts, said: "The problem is descriptions of [...]

Intellectual Poison: How Thomas Hobbes Ruined Biblical Scholarship

Granting all the wonderful, important things modern scriptural scholarship has given us, it bears within it something dreadfully wrong. If you have had the misfortune of coming into earshot of all too many of our contemporary scriptural scholars, they will assure you that scholarship, properly speaking, must strip both the Old and New Testaments of [...]

One Hundred Fifty-Three Fish and Related Matters

When Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005, there were any number of fascinating coincidences that surrounded his death. They were the sort of things that make you go "hmm" and (if one is a wobbly agnostic) begin to suspect that maybe You Know Who has His hand in things after all. John [...]

The Lord Is with Thee

  The Rosary is a deeply scriptural prayer, and the words "The Lord is with thee" root that profoundly Christian prayer, not merely in Scripture but in Old Testament Scripture. One of the things that marks the writers of the New Testament is their appreciation for the fact that, since Scripture is primarily the work [...]

Lead Us Not into Temptation

One of the great consolations Christians have is that we worship a God who has Himself wrestled with temptation. At the Judgment, we will face not an Olympian abstraction who breezed through on his looks and money, nor a severe and icy Critic who eyes us coldly and says, "Why can't you just not be [...]

If Christ Has Not Been Raised: The Evidence for the Resurrection

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Mark Shea lays out the case for the bodily resurrection of Jesus. You may be surprised how strong it is.  "Jesus came to give us moral guidance, and to prove he meant business, he let himself be killed and seen after death, so we would listen and be good." Not [...]

Guardini on Christ in Our Century

In this Crisis Magazine classic, an up-and-coming writer named Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger meditates upon Romano Guardini's masterwork, The Lord.   Romano Guardini's book The Lord has helped more than one generation of Christians enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. When the book first appeared, it offered a new approach to the spiritual interpretation [...]

Second Readings

The phrase "second reading" comes from the breviary that monks, clerics, and religious are to say daily (the laity often find it most inspiring, too). In addition to psalms, canticles, and other prayers, a "first reading" is from the Old or New Testament. The second reading is usually from a Church Father -- Basil, Ambrose, [...]

Coming to Our Senses: The Allegorical Sense

  We noted last week that one of the principal problems of trying to treat Scripture as a purely human book is that, though God can supernaturalize nature, we cannot naturalize the supernatural. God can assume a human nature and join it to His divinity, but we cannot take a supernatural thing and reduce it [...]

Got Soap? On Swearing and Vulgarity

I've always loved this funny little tune from Chaucer's day called "Sumer is icumen in." Joyful and ebullient, it was doubtless sung by many an English peasant out sweating in the field and is full of the solid earthy, good humor of a people who were closely bound to the land. For them, one of [...]

In Defense of Discrimination

Years ago, the word "discrimination" was primarily used to make intelligent distinctions. A discriminating person was one capable of perceiving the crucial difference between good taste and bad taste, between beauty and ugliness, between a cultivated person and a coarse one, between moral good and evil, between normal and perverse. To call a person discriminating [...]

You May Remember the Reformation

  What to my wondering eyes appears on my computer screen today but a big advertisement from something called "Paula White Ministries." It has that sort of Oprah vibe to it that many non-denominational women's ministries do. Unlike the martial sense one gets from male-run Evangelical outfits that are about "Fighting for the Truth!" and [...]

If Christ Had Not Been Raised: The Evidence for the Resurrection

"Jesus came to give us moral guidance, and to prove he meant business, he let himself be killed and seen after death, so we would listen and be good." Not being raised in any particular religion myself, it wasn't until later that I discovered that this view of Jesus' death and resurrection (which I heard [...]

Biblical Scholarship and the Church

Biblical scholarship is usually granted instant credibility today because it is considered "scientific." Thus, the findings of the Jesus Seminar, however ill-founded, nev­ertheless quickly become front-page news. The assumption is that "science" has once again exploded claims about the Jesus found in the New Testament and preached by the Church. On the other hand, the [...]

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