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Archive for the ‘Apologetics’ Category

Free Online Resources for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 25, 2011

This post contains free online resources relating to the life, letters and theology of St Paul. The resources include both written and audio material. At the very end of the post I’ve included some links to books available for purchase.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Catechesis on St Paul:

In The Footsteps Of St Paul. Audio series of 13 one-half hour shows by Father Mitch Pacwa.

St Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians. Audio series of 13 one-half hour shows by Father Mitch Pacwa.

Taylor Marshall Podcasts:

Conversion of Heart: The Conversion of St Paul. Podcast by David Higbee delivered at the Chesterton Society Conference in Rochester, NY.

The Life of St Paul: (podcasts by David Higbee)

First Corinthians Podcast Study: (David Higbee)

Second Corinthians Podcast Study: (David Higbee)

Romans Podcast Study: (David Higbee)

Paul’s Letters. A Podcast by Jeff Crandall, St Martha’s Church, Texas.

Contested Letters of Paul’s. Podcast by Jeff Crandall. I think all the letters of St Paul were written by St Paul. However, I also think one should be acquainted with why some reject his authorship of certain letters.

Paul’s Trials and Tribulations. Podcast by Jeff Crandall.

Acts of Apostles and Captivity Letters. 11 Podcasts by Jeff Crandall.

Romans. Several podcast on Romans and some other NT letters by Jeff Crandall.


Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture: (This is an excellent new series of commentaries on the NT).

Ignatius Study Bible (New Testament). A good place for those with little time or little knowledge of St Paul’s writings to begin.

A Pocket Guide to St Paul. An overview of his life, thought and letters by Dr. Scott Hahn.

St Paul and the Power of the Cross. An excellent introduction to one of St Paul’s dominant themes by Fr. Mitch Pacwa.

The Catholic Perspective on Paul: Paul and the Origins of Catholic Christianity. By Taylor Marshall, popular blogger, author and speaker.

Posted in Apologetics, Audio/Video Lectures, BENEDICT XVI CATECHESIS, Bible, Books, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Eucharist, St Paul's life | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Some Online Works By And About St Francis de Sales

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 24, 2011

The Spirit of St Francis de Sales. PDF. The great classic by Jean Pierre Camus.

Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical on St Francis de Sales.

A Summary of the Life of St Francis de Sales.

Introduction to the Devout Life. Online, conveniently arranged.

Treatise on the Love of God. Online, conveniently arranged.

The Catholic Controversy. Online. The Saint’s famous defense of the faith against the Calvinists.

Some of St Francis’ Sermons on Prayer. Four sermons on prayer.

Posted in Apologetics, Catholic, Devotional Resources, St Francis de Sales | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Resources For The Solemnity of Mary, The Mother Of God

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 31, 2009

The Solemnity celebrates the fact that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Eternal Word of the Eternal Father experienced a true human birth in time, taking upon Himself our human nature.

Sermon by Pope John Paul II.

The Office and Dignity of the Mother of God.  By Bishop Ullathorne.

Mary: Mother of God.  Apologetical Essay from Catholic Answers.

The Mother of God.  By Mark Miravalle.

Posted in Apologetics, liturgy, Our Lady | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Resources For The Solemnity Of The Immaculate Conception

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 7, 2009


The Immaculate Conception: Basic Foundations of the Dogma. (two page article)

Mary: Immaculate Ark Of The New Covenant. (Brief essay)

Protestants And The Immaculate Conception.

Luke 1:28 and the Immaculate Conception: Linguistic and Exegetical Considerations.

Posted in Apologetics, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Our Lady | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Video: Deep In Scripture

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 11, 2009

This is a video of Marcus Grodi’s DEEP IN SCRIPTURE program. Currently the show is featuring special guests who talk about the particular Scripture passage(s) which have influenced them. The guest for this show is Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton Society and EWTN host of several shows on Chesterton (series 1series 2). Please note that the show actually begins about one minute into the video, after some silent advertisements (sigh).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Deep In Scripture“, posted with vodpod

Posted in Apologetics, Audio/Video Lectures, Bible | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Post #3, Preparing for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood: Truth and Error Concerning the Dogma of the Eucharist

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 10, 2009

Posted in Apologetics, Catechetical Resources, Christ, Devotional Resources, Quotes, SERMONS | 1 Comment »

How Atheism Undermines Human Reason

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 30, 2009

Hierothee of Cosmos~Liturgy~Sex has a post up (the first in a series)  entitled Why Philosophical Materialism Undermines Human Reason.

Here are the opening paragraphs:

I recently had the displeasure of running across a post on Rod Dreher’s blog where Dreher had made reference to an internet discussion hosted by Stanley Fish of Terry Eagleton’s new book on the silliness of contemporary atheism. Fish had in this discussion given his own public unmasking of the epistemological naivete of philosophical materialism. A bunch of people who seem to crosspost one another so as to gang up against theists in comment boxes had put together a string of comments attempting to dismiss Eagleton and Fish. Their comments were, as is usually the case with these people, embarrassingly ignorant and shallow.

I decided to enter into the fray, pointing out to these sadly ignorant atheists that the implicit assumption of philosophical materialism or naturalism would, if its implications were truly understood, lead to skepticism of all forms of knowledge. Of course, many atheists tend to presume that science undermines Christian faith. They view themselves as the upholders of reason and science against the obfuscations of Christian belief. Little do they realize that the scientific materialism that they have embraced, in whatever particular form it may take with them, undermines the valid achievements of human reason altogether, including the achievements of science. Atheism, in other words, and not religious faith, undermines science.

Needless to say, my comment was met by blank incomprehension and by evasion. It tended to annoy these shallow atheists, mostly trained in engineering methods but not in the exercise of human reason as applied to ultimate issues. Unfazed by their ignorant and uncomprehending dismissals, I have decided to demonstrate here, in a series of posts, why it is that the embrace of philosophical or scientific materialism must lead ultimately to a skepticism toward all knowledge. I shall demonstrate, in effect, that postmodern relativism is the inevitable outcome of believing that the only things in the world that are real are those entities that are in principle capable of being discovered by modern scientific investigation.

Do check out the remaining aritcle linked to above, and keep an eye open for future posts.

Posted in Apologetics, Logic, Quotes | Leave a Comment »

Voice of the Clueless

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 30, 2009

LarryD of ACTS OF THE APOSTASY has a post up containing a statement by Voice of the Clueless regarding Father Cutie’s decision to leave the Church and become an Episcopalian minister.  Larry gives a good, and at times a humorous response to their statement, and I too would like to take the time post a response to part of it.  Words from the clueless are in red.

Our first thoughts are congratulations to Father Cutié.  This statement speaks volumes about its author/authors’ character in light of  the way in which Father Cutie handled himself during his own ministry, his lack of apology for the scandal he initiated, and his cowardice and lack of decency in not notifying his Bishop regarding his decision to leave the Church and valid ministry.

We are sure he thought long and hard in coming to his decision.  What precedence has Father Cutie set which would give license to this surety?  Did he think long and hard about undertaking the ministry of a Catholic priest with its required vow of celibacy?  Did he think long and hard about breaking that vow in such a public manner?  How much hard and long thinking did he do during his “retreat” which he spent in the company of his girlfriend?

He can now be married and remain in ministry.  Let’s be correct here, he has embraced an invalid ministry by joining the Episcopal  ecclesial community (i.e., not a church), and from a Catholic theological perspective he is now just pretending to ministry.

In the history of the Church, the celibacy requirement for priests is “relatively” recent – only in the last thousand years!   The early Church, as shown in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, evidences a married leadership (including Peter).  As LarryD notes ” Umm, 1000 years is recent?!? You kidding me? A major problem with this statement of the clueless is that it obfuscates the issue, and apparently the author(s) is/are unaware of the fact that celibacy and marriage are not incompatible.  Although celibacy is often defined to mean the absence of marriage it does in fact have a broader meaning, particularly in Catholic usage, where it can refer to abstention from sexual relations regardless of one’s state in life. Celibacy and continence can and are often used as synonymous terms.  I am not aware of a single Church council or Church Father who held that married clergy could continue to engage in sexual relations with their wives.  I am aware of many ancient sources that witness to the fact that married clergy were required to remain continent.  These sources include: AD 305, canon 33, the Council of Elvira (;  AD 314, the Council of Arles, canon 29; AD 390, the Council of Carthage; Ad 385, the Directa of Pope Siricius; AD 386, the Cum in unum of Pope Siricius.  A lengthy exposition of witnesses and their statements can be found in THE APOSTOLIC ORIGINS OF PRIESTLY CELIBACY, by Christian Cochini, S.J, pages 139-427.

And note, there is no reference to “priests” in the New Testament.  A statement which is as ignorant as it is gratuitous.  The term priest is derived from the Greek word πρέσβυς (presbus, from whence presbyter).  The Greek term ἱερεύς (hierous=sacred) is never applied to ministers of the NT, probably because of its usage in reference to the Jewish priesthood which is of a different order.  This has led some to the conclusion that NT ministry is non-sacrificial in nature, but as the late Father John L. McKenzie notes in His DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, the sacrificial nature of NT ministry is implicit in the NT.  But as I noted, the clueless statement on this point is thoroughly gratuitous and so I will not continue on this point.

The Bishop of Miami noted that celibacy does have a role. It allows for total dedication of life to ministry.  However, try to tell anyone with a career that marriage prevents dedication to that careerLarryD notes: Ummm….being a priest is NOT a career – it’s a vocation. Being married is a vocation, too, and in order to support a family, one or both of the spouses has to work. This is a strawman argument.  I would like to add that while the NT has nothing but respect for the institution of marriage and the family it is also unambiguous regarding the fact that these can prove a hindrance to one’s commitment to God and the Gospel.

Mat 19:27  Then Peter answering, said to him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have?
Mat 19:28  And Jesus said to them: Amen I say to you, that you who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Mat 19:29  And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.
Mat 19:30  And many that are first, shall be last: and the last shall be first.1Co 7:29  This therefore I say, brethren: The time is short. It remaineth, that they also who have wives be as if they had none:
1Co 7:30  And they that weep, as though they wept not: and they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not: and they that buy as if they possessed not:
1Co 7:31  And they that use this world, as if they used it not. For the fashion of this world passeth away.
1Co 7:32  But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord: how he may please God.
1Co 7:33  But he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the world: how he may please his wife. And he is divided.
1Co 7:34  And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord: that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world: how she may please her husband.
1Co 7:35  And this I speak for your profit, not to cast a snare upon you, but for that which is decent and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.
1Co 7:36  But if any man think that he seemeth dishonoured with regard to his virgin, for that she is above the age, and it must so be: let him do what he will. He sinneth not if she marry.
1Co 7:37  For he that hath determined, being steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but having power of his own will: and hath judged this in his heart, to keep his virgin, doth well.
1Co 7:38  Therefore both he that giveth his virgin in marriage doth well: and he that giveth her not doth better.Luk 14:16  But he said to him: A certain man made a great supper and invited many.
Luk 14:17  And he sent his servant at the hour of supper to say to them that were invited, that they should come: for now all things are ready.
Luk 14:18  And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm and I must needs go out and see it. I pray thee, hold me excused.
Luk 14:19  And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen and I go to try them. I pray thee, hold me excused.
Luk 14:20  And another said: I have married a wife; and therefore I cannot come.
Luk 14:21  And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house, being angry…

Mat 24:36  But of that day and hour no one knoweth: no, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone.
Mat 24:37  And as in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38  For, as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark:
Mat 24:39  And they knew not till the flood came and took them all away: so also shall the coming of the Son of man.

From all of this I think it rather absurd to treat of celibacy of the clergy in such a shoddy manner.

The reasons for celibacy are probably more nuanced. At the time the formal rule of celibacy was declared there were issues of property inheritance and gross abuses related to sexuality.  LarryD catches the absurdity of this statement: But wait! I thought there were gross abuses related to sexuality because of celibacy! That’s what VOTF has been saying since the sexual abuse crisis started. So which is it? How can it be both? I would note that the statement also takes no account of the Eschatological value of celibacy which some of the above biblical quotations witness to.

And there had been a long theological theme going back to St. Augustine equating sexual relationships with baser instincts and evil inclinations, but needed for procreation.    Another worthless statement for two reasons: 1. this is cheap innuendo.  “Theological themes” among theologians are not necessarily equivalent to “themes,” doctrines, and disciplines  of the Church.  2. It sounds as if the author(s) of this statement have relied on Julian the Pelagian heretic’s polemical and dishonest assessment of St Augustines views, but:

“Julian had twisted Augustine’s strictures on con­cupiscence, as though they implied a negative judgment on the attraction between the sexes, or on sexual pleasure in marital relations. Augustine vigorously denies Julian’s charges that he had ever condemned sexual differences or union or fruitful­ness: “He asks us whether it is the difference in the sexes which we ascribe to the devil, or their union, or their very fruitfulness. We answer, then, nothing of these qualities, inasmuch as sex­ual differentiation pertains to the bodies of the parents, while the union of the two pertains to the procreation of children, and their fruitfulness to the blessing pronounced on the mar­riage institution. But all these things are of God. . . . “[28]

And in a later passage he reiterates that he has nothing to object to Julian’s praise (by which he seeks to lead the thoughtless astray) “of the works of God; that is, his praising of human nature, of human seed, of marriage, of sexual intercourse, of the fruits of matrimony: which are all of them good things.” [29] When Augustine condemns concupiscence, therefore, he con­demns none of these divinely-given values of sexual nature. Now a further point is to be noticed. Augustine makes it clear that what he regards as the disorder of concupiscence is not synonymous with sexual pleasure either.

This point needs to be specially stressed since, given the vigor with which Augustine criticizes the yielding to concupiscence, a superficial reader might easily be led to con­clude that he is criticizing the actual seeking of pleasure itself in marital intercourse. A proper reading shows that this is not so.  For an assessment of St Augustine views which isn’t ignorant go HERE.

Posted in Apologetics | 2 Comments »

Month of Mary, Day 18: Marian Resources From Steven Ray

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 18, 2009

The following were taken from Steven Ray’s Site, specifically his Resource Page.

Mary, Ark of the New Covenant 7/31/2006 Download
Mary, Ark of the New Covenant – Quotes from the Fathers 7/31/2006 Download
Mary, Saints, Worship, and Salvation: Do Catholics Worship Mary? 7/31/2006 Download
Mary: Does the Prophet Jeremiah Condemn Catholics for Worshiping the Queen of Heaven? New! 8/7/2007 Download
Mary: Jesus Said His Mother had Other Sons? Really? New! 7/4/2007 Download
Mary: Response to Criticism of the Assumption & Queenship of Mary New! 8/21/2007 Download
Mary’s Virginity: How Was Jesus Born? Miraculous Birth? New! 12/22/2006 Download

Posted in Apologetics, fathers of the church, Our Lady | Leave a Comment »

St Edmund Campion’s TEN REASONS (Reason #2 The Sense of Holy Writ)

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 26, 2009

Another thing to incite me to the encounter, and to disparage in my eyes the poor forces of the enemy, is the habit of mind which they continually display in their exposition of the Scriptures, full of deceit, void of wisdom. As philosophers, you would seize these points at once. Therefore I have desired to have you for my audience. Suppose, for example, we ask our adversaries on what ground they have concocted that novel and sectarian opinion which banishes Christ from the Mystic Supper. If they name the Gospel, we meet them promptly. On our side are the words, “this is my body, this is my blood.”  This language seemed to Luther himself so forcible, that for all his strong desire to turn Zwinglian, thinking by that means to make it most awkward for the Pope, nevertheless he was caught and fast bound by this most open context, and gave in to it (Luther, epistol. ad Argent.), and confessed Christ truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament no less unwillingly than the demons of old, overcome by His miracles, cried aloud that He was Christ, the Son of God. Well then, the written text gives us the advantage: the dispute now turns on the sense of what is written. Let us examine this from the words in the context,  “my body which is given for you,” “my blood which hall be shed for many”. Still the explanation on Calvin’s side is most hard, on ours easy and quite plain.

What further? Compare the Scriptures, they say, one with another. By all means. The Gospels agree, Paul concurs. The words, the clauses, the whole sentence reverently repeat living bread, signal miracle, heavenly food, flesh, body, blood. There is nothing enigmatical, nothing befogged with a mist of words. Still our adversaries hold on and make no end of altercation. What are we to do? I presume, Antiquity should be heard; and what we, two parties suspect of one another, cannot settle, let it be settled by the decision of venerable ancient men of all past ages, as being nearer Christ and further removed from this contention. They cannot stand that, they protest that they are being betrayed, they appeal to the word of God pure and simple, they turn away from the comments of men. Treacherous and fatuous excuse. We urge the word of God, they darken the meaning of it. We appeal to the witness of the Saints as interpreters, they withstand them. In short their position is that there shall be no trial, unless you stand by the judgment of the accused party. And so they behave in every controversy which we start. On infused grace, on inherent justice, on the visible Church, on the necessity of Baptism, on Sacraments and Sacrifice, on the merits of the good, on hope and fear, on the difference of guilt in sins, on the authority of Peter, on the keys, on vows, on the evangelical counsels, on other such points, we Catholics have cited and discussed Scripture texts not a few, and of much weight, everywhere in books, in meetings, in churches, in the Divinity School: they have eluded them. We have brought to bear upon them the scholia of the ancients, Greek and Latin: they have refused them. What then is their refuge? Doctor Martin Luther, or else Philip (Melancthon), or anyhow Zwingle, or beyond doubt Calvin and Besa have faithfully laid down the facts. Can I suppose any of you to be so dull of sense as not to perceive this artifice when he is told of it? Wherefore I must confess how earnestly I long for the University Schools as a place where, with you looking on, I could call those carpet-knights out of their delicious retreats into the heat and dust of action, and break their power, not by any strength of my own,–for I am not comparable, not one per cent., with the rest of our people;–but by force of strong case and most certain truth.

Posted in Apologetics, Bible, Books, Philosophy | Leave a Comment »

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