Are Protestants Heretics? Are Catholics?

Are Protestants heretics? Edward T. Oakes, S.J., looks at that question from a Catholic point of view here. I wish a prominent Protestant theologian would ask and answer the reverse question–Are Catholics heretics?–with as much clarity and grace. Continue reading Are Protestants Heretics? Are Catholics?

The Life Appeared (1 John 1:1-3)

Listen to The Daily Word online.   According to 1 John 1:1-3, the foundation of the Christian faith is eyewitness testimony about Jesus Christ. But what did the eyewitnesses see: the mere facts of Jesus’ ministry or their spiritual significance?   Let’s read 1 John 1:1-3 again for an answer to this question.   That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and … Continue reading The Life Appeared (1 John 1:1-3)

Heard, Seen, Looked at, and Touched (John 1:1-3)

Listen to The Daily Word online.   Is the Christian faith built upon eyewitness testimony, or is it a decades-later invention of people who never saw or heard Jesus?   Several years ago, Dan Brown published The Da Vinci Code, a novel whose climax is the revelation that Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and bore children. Despite the fact that The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction, many readers took its claims about Jesus and Mary Magdalene literally. Such readers doubted that the whole truth about Jesus could be found in the New Testament Gospels or the creeds … Continue reading Heard, Seen, Looked at, and Touched (John 1:1-3)


According this article, a Chuch of England parish is planning to use U2 songs in place of hymns at its service of Holy Communion. Additionally, there will be lights and video and–my favorite–space for the congregation "to dance and wave their hands." The purpose of this "U2-charist" is to draw attention to the Millennium Development Goals. Funny, I thought the Eucharist was supposed to draw attention to Christ. Of course, the first "U2-charist" was held somewhere in America. Oy! Continue reading U2-charist?

Six Questions about 1 John

Listen to The Daily Word online.   Today begin a devotional study of 1 John. To introduce this New Testament book, I will answer six questions: Who wrote 1 John? What kind of book is it? When was it written? Where was it written to? Why was it written? And how does it apply to us today? [1]   First, who wrote 1 John? Formally speaking, 1 John is anonymous. But internal evidence indicates that the author was an eyewitness of Jesus Christ (1:1, 3; 4:14; 5:6-7). Additionally, the authoritative way he addresses his readers indicates that he was a … Continue reading Six Questions about 1 John

Our Worst Ex-President?

Jimmy Carter was not our best president, but is he our worst ex-president? Joshua Muravchik marshalls the evidence for that conclusion in an essay in February’s Commentary magazine. Make sure to read the entire thing. What struck me in particular was Carter’s consistent anti-Israel-ism, for which Muravchik provides chapter and verse. Criticism of Israel is, of course, entirely within the bounds of acceptable political discourse, but according to Muravchik’s account, Carter’s criticism of Israel is both hypocritical (in that he does not voice similar criticisms of Arab abuses) and borderline anti-Semitic. And that, as Muravchik notes, is ironic: "It is … Continue reading Our Worst Ex-President?

American Fascists? Hardly!

I am a denizen of bookstores. One of the first things I did when I moved to my new church was to figure out where Barnes & Noble and Borders were. I go there as often as possible, usually just to browse. (I like to look at the book in a store, then order it online, where it’s much cheaper.) Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a spike in books about the impending threat of theocracy in America. Many writers loathe–abominate, even–the influence of conservative Christians in American politics, especially the Republican party. I’ve skimmed a few of these … Continue reading American Fascists? Hardly!

What Is the Church For? (Jonah 4:11)

Listen to The Daily Word online.   Today, I’d like to conclude our little study of the book of Jonah by asking a question: What is the church for?   As I read the book of Jonah, I see three answers to this question, two of which are wrong. The church is for the condemnation of outsiders, the comfort of insiders, or a deep and abiding concern for the lost. Let’s quickly take a look at each answer.   The first wrong answer is that the church is for the condemnation of outsiders. Having read Jonah, you might actually think … Continue reading What Is the Church For? (Jonah 4:11)

Spiritual Priorities (Jonah 4:5-11)

Listen to The Daily Word online.   In Jonah 4:5-11, God uses an unpredictable plant to teach Jonah an important lesson about spiritual priorities.   Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, … Continue reading Spiritual Priorities (Jonah 4:5-11)