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The Science of Miracles

What happens when an atheist doctor and historian is given access to the Vatican’s Secret Archives to investigate miracle claims? Just such a thing happened in the early 2000s, and both the story behind it, and the doctor’s conclusions, are worth recounting. Dr. Jacalyn Duffin, a hematologist (M.D.) and historian (Ph.D.), was the Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine at Queen’s University from 1988 until 2017, and she’s served as both the President of the American Association... Read More

Hell and God’s Goodness

Although this article will address the content of certain theological doctrines, it is written from a purely philosophical perspective. This is the same method used consistently in my book, Origin of the Human Species, in which I examine how evolutionary theory comports with divine revelation and philosophy. What characterizes philosophical analysis of theological doctrine is that reason alone is the method employed. Thus, while the philosopher as such cannot say whether the Trinity... Read More

Is Religion Just a Social Construct?

One of the arguments against religion is that it’s a social construction – that is, that religion (particularly, belief in an interventionist or “moralistic” god, meaning a god interested in human affairs and morality) is something invented by society, in order to regulate its citizenry. One of the best arguments in favor of this is that more developed societies have more developed religious systems, and are more likely to believe in a god who cares about morality: Source This... Read More

The Top 5 Problems with Contemporary Christian Apologetics

I spend a lot of time criticizing contemporary Christian apologetics. Since I am myself a Christian apologist, that might seem a bit strange. But it is, in fact, simply a practical outworking of my commitment to what I call the 50/50 Rule: 50/50 rule: devote as much time to (a) defending the beliefs of your opponents and critiquing your own beliefs as you devote to (b) critiquing the beliefs of your opponents and defending your own beliefs.... Read More

Answering the “Confusing Revelation” Objection to Christianity

I was five years old, sitting in the back of our Oldsmobile when my mom turned around and told me that I needed to choose between Jesus and the devil. Whoa, sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?! Looking back, I probably wouldn’t have presented the decision quite like that. (My mom probably would agree.) But be that as it may, those were the options presented to me. And the decision I made that day initiated a journey into Christian faith which has continued now for forty years. What’s So... Read More

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

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