Was James, not Peter, the head of the Church after Jesus?

06/09/2013 Comments (20)

Was St. James the Just the leader of the early Church--or was St. Peter?

Some claim that it was James, not Peter, who was the leader of the early Church after the time of Christ.

What evidence can they provide for this claim?

And what evidence is there against it?


Which James?

"James" was a common name in first century Judea, and there were several men named James who are mentioned in the New Testament.

Unfortunately, precisely how many Jameses there are many is not clear.

They are described different ways, and it is not clear whether a James described in one passage is the same as the James mentioned in another.

The James who assumed a prominent leadership role in the Jerusalem church after the time of Christ is known as “the brother of the...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, bible, catholic church, james, peter, pope

Is the Catholic Church the one true Church? (7 things to know and share)

06/05/2013 Comments (81)

Is the Catholic Church the one, true Church? Here are 7 things to know and share with others . . .

In today's brave new world of ecumenism, the Catholic Church no longer claims to be unique, right?

After all, Vatican II didn't say that the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church.

It merely said that the Church of Christ "subsists in" the Catholic Church.

So that means the Catholic Church no longer views itself as the "one true Church," right?

Not so fast . . .


1. The Source of the Issue

The source of the issue is found in Vatican II's dogmatic constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, where we read:

8. This Church [the Church of Christ] constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, catholicism, ecumenism, one true church, orthodoxy, protestantism

Did Pope Francis poke Protestants in the eye?

06/04/2013 Comments (75)

Did Pope Francis intentionally poke Protestants in the eye?

In a recent column, Presbyterian Bill Tammeus appeared to accuse Pope Francis of "intentionally offering a poke in the eye to people outside your faith tradition."

He asks if Pope Francis is "saying that I, as a Presbyterian, cannot follow Jesus outside of Catholicism? That's what he appears to be claiming, and I think it's a dicey position to highlight so early in his papacy."

Did Pope Francis "intentionally" poke Protestants in the eye? Did he say that Presbyterians cannot follow Jesus?

Or is Tammeus misreading the pope?

Here's the story . . .


Getting Started on the Wrong Foot

Tammeus begins:

Ever since the start of the Protestant Reformation nearly 500 years ago,...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism, francis, pope francis, protestant, protestantism, protestants

5 thoughts on the Worldwide Eucharistic Exposition

06/02/2013 Comments (14)

An image from the recent worldwide Eucharistic exposition.

This Sunday I went out for breakfast after Mass, which is something I very rarely do.

I almost never eat out, but I decided to do so as a way of celebrating the Lord's Day.

While I was waiting in the restaurant, I was reading Facebook and discovered that the planned worldwide, Eucharistic exposition was going on right then--a fact I had not previously known.

Here are a few thoughts on the event . . .


1) These are the days of miracle and wonder.

As I sat in the restaurant, I downloaded, for free, The Pope App from News.va (iOS version, Android version) to let me watch the event live and then was able to do so--to join countless people from all over the planet in a...READ MORE

Filed under adoration, eucharist, eucharistic, exposition, francis, pope francis, worldwide

It's My 20th Anniversary as an Apologist (Wanna Help Me Celebrate?)

05/31/2013 Comments (41)

"It was 20 years ago today . . . "

June 1 is a special day for me, and it has been for the last 20 years.

One reason is that it's the memorial day of St. Justin Martyr, who is one of the main patron saints of apologists.

As an apologist, that makes it special to me.

But there is another reason as well.

I didn't plan it this way, but my report-to-work day at Catholic Answers happened to be June 1.

It's a significant day to embark on a career of apologetics, and I've always regarded it as a gift of divine providence.

Since I started doing apologetics professionally on June 1, 1993, that makes June 1, 2013 my 20th anniversary in the field. (Professionally speaking, at least; I'd been doing apologetics informally...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, jimmy akin

How Does Forgiveness Work Before and After Christ?

05/29/2013 Comments (42)

If Jesus died on the cross in A.D. 33 and made forgiveness possible, how does that apply to people who lived before or after this event? (Like us!)

Jesus died on the Cross so that people could be forgiven their sins.

But if he died in A.D. 33, what about all the people who lived and died before that time? Were their sins forgiven?

And if their sins were forgiven, does that mean Jesus’ sacrifice applies to all of history?

If so, does that mean that we’ve been forgiven for all of our sins—past, present, and future—so that we don’t need to go to confession?

How does this all work?

Here’s the story . . .


The Bottom Line

It may seem unusual to put the bottom line at the top of a post, but I generally find it better to state things in a straightforward, literal manner and only then (if necessary) use analogies to help...READ MORE

Filed under atonement, cross, death, forgiveness, jesus, redemption, resurrection

Are Babies Atheists?

05/29/2013 Comments (45)

Are we all born atheists?

One of the most common topics in discussion between Christians and atheists is the question of what atheism actually is.

For a long time, the word has been defined as the view that there is no God--i.e., the claim "God does not exist."

More recently, some atheists have begun to define it differently.

According to them, atheism is simply a lack of belief in the existence of God. On this view, a person would be an atheist if he thought there was no God, thought it unlikely that there is a God, or didn't know if there is a God.

Simply not agreeing with the claim "There is a God" would make you an atheist.

Some atheists have claimed that this is the natural state of humanity. On...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, atheism, atheists

12 things to know and share about the Holy Trinity

05/26/2013 Comments (12)

The Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian Faith. Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

The Church teaches that the Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian Faith.

But how much do you know about this mystery?

What is its history?

What does it mean?

And how can it be proved?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .


1. Where does the word "Trinity" come from?

It comes from the Latin word trinitas, which means "three" or "triad." The Greek equivalent is triados.


2. When was it first used?

The first surviving use of the term (there may have been earlier uses that are now lost)  was around A.D. 170 by Theophilus of Antioch, who wrote:

In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity [Τριάδος],...READ MORE

Filed under holy trinity, liturgical year, liturgy, mystery, theology, trinity

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to Catholic Answers Magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."