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Was Mother Teresa Really an Atheist?

As is now well known, Mother Teresa of Calcutta suffered severe spiritual afflictions through much of her remarkable life: “This terrible sense of loss – this untold darkness – this loneliness – this continual longing for God.” These first emerged in 2001, but were only fully disclosed with the 2007 publication of her private writings and correspondence in Come Be My Light, edited by Fr Brian Kolodiejchuk MC, the postulator of her cause for canonization. In these writings, Teresa... Read More

Doubting Jesus: A Catholic Biblical Scholar Responds to Skeptical Questions

A couple weeks ago, we launched an #AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Dr. Brant Pitre, who is one of today's premier Catholic biblical scholars. His latest book, The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ (Random House, 2016) seeks to debunk skeptical attitudes toward the Gospels put forward today by scholars such as Bart Ehrman. Hundred of questions poured in and Brant answered as many as he could, sometimes grouping them together where the topics overlapped. Today... Read More

Atheists: What Question Would You Ask a Catholic Biblical Scholar?

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Filed under AMA, The Bible

In a few days, Dr. Brant Pitre, one of today's premier Catholic biblical scholars, will release a new book titled The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ (Random House, 2016). It seeks to debunk many skeptical attitudes toward the Gospels put forward today by scholars such as Bart Ehrman. Here's a brief summary: For well over a hundred years now, many scholars have questioned the historical truth of the Gospels, claiming that they were originally anonymous.... Read More

Philosophy in the Eyes of Theologians: Friend or Foe? (Part 3 of 3)

NOTE: Today we conclude our three part series from Tamer Nashef on the relationship between philosophy and theology. Tamer's previous piece at Strange Notions, "I’m a Muslim But Here’s Why I Admire the Catholic Church", remains one of our all-time most popular posts.     The third and last segment of the essay will shed light on the brilliant theologians of the cathedral schools and 12th-century Renaissance. The theologians in question include Peter Abelard, Adelard of... Read More

Philosophy in the Eyes of Theologians: Friend or Foe? (Part 2 of 3)

NOTE: Today we continue our three part series from Tamer Nashef on the relationship between philosophy and theology. Tamer's previous piece at Strange Notions, "I’m a Muslim But Here’s Why I Admire the Catholic Church", remains one of our all-time most popular posts.     The first part of the essay set forth the attitude of the Christian theologians of Late Antiquity toward reason and pagan philosophy. We noted that they viewed reason and philosophy as “handmaidens”... Read More

Philosophy in the Eyes of Theologians: Friend or Foe? (Part 1 of 3)

NOTE: Today we begin a three part series from Tamer Nashef on the relationship between philosophy and theology. Tamer's previous piece at Strange Notions, titled "I’m a Muslim But Here’s Why I Admire the Catholic Church", remains one of our all-time most popular posts.     This three-part essay sets out to explore the complex yet fascinating relation between Christianity (particularly Catholicism) and faith on the one hand and reason and philosophy on the other. It is commonplace... Read More

Do the “Infancy Narratives” of Matthew and Luke Contradict Each Other?

What do atheist skeptics and liberal Scripture scholars have in common? They both love to find alleged “contradictions” in Scripture. Though there are many of these alleged “contradictions,” one of the favorites of both of these camps is one that you can expect to find being re-hashed again and again on the Internet:—especially now that we are approaching Christmas—the “contradictions” found in what are commonly referred to as “the infancy narratives” of St. Matthew... Read More

Does the Bible Affirm the Existence of Mythical Creatures?

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Filed under The Bible

One common argument against the inspiration or even the trustworthiness of the Bible is that it affirms the existence of mythical creatures. For example, atheist Jason Long says, “The cockatrice, unicorn, and dragon, are examples of mythical creatures in the Bible that fail to leave any reliable evidence for their existence.”1 Do these legendary animals prove the Bible itself is a collection of legends? No, because in most cases the Bible is affirming the existence of real animals.... Read More

Are Religious Kids Really Less Altruistic?

Heard about that scientific study which scientifically shows non-religious kids are scientifically more altruistic than unscientific religious kids? The Guardian summarized it thusly: “Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds: Religious belief appears to have negative influence on children’s altruism and judgments of others’ actions even as parents see them as ‘more empathetic’.” Scientifically speaking, this is crap. Here’s why. The scientific... Read More

Theism Without Religion and Atheism With It

“Religion” is typically considered as a “belief system” or a “structure of beliefs and practices concerning the divine.” It’s a recent development in the meaning of the word, and it would have been foreign to, say, Aquinas, for whom religion was a virtue. A virtue is the perfection of a power of the soul, or, in modern parlance, an excellence of the human person. We see a height of humanity in courageous actions, a greatness we are all capable of. We admire courage, not... Read More

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