8 things to know and share about Pentecost

05/18/2013 Comments (10)

Where did the feast of Pentecost come from? What happened on it? And what does it mean for us today? Here are 8 things to know and share . . .

The original day of Pentecost saw dramatic events that are important to the life of the Church.

But where did the feast of Pentecost come from?

How can we understand what happened on it?

And what does it mean for us today?

Here are 8 things to know and share about it . . .


1. What does the name "Pentecost" mean?

It comes from the Greek word for "fiftieth" (pentecoste). The reason is that Pentecost is the fiftieth day (Greek, pentecoste hemera) after Easter Sunday (on the Christian calendar).

This name came into use in the late Old Testament period and was inherited by the authors of the New Testament.


2. What else is this feast known as?

In the Old Testament, it...READ MORE

Filed under holy spirit, liturgical year, pentecost

Pope Francis and lying to save life

05/15/2013 Comments (420)

In World War II, some people lied to protect Jewish individuals and save their lives. Was this right? Here's some information you might want to be aware of involving Pope Francis.

Back during World War II, some people lied to save Jewish lives.

More recently, Lila Rose has used undercover tactics to expose Planned Parenthood.

At issue is the question of whether it is ever okay to lie, particularly when you're trying to save lives.

We live in a violent world, and the issue keeps coming up in human history.

Here is some information you might want to be aware of involving Pope Francis.


On the One Hand

Before we get to the Pope Francis material, we should note that there is a strong view in the history of Catholic thought that says lying of any kind, for any reason, is always wrong.

This view has been endorsed by some of the biggest names in Catholic...READ MORE

Filed under jews, lila rose, lying, lying for jesus, nazis, planned parenthood, pope francis

What do baby names tell us about the reliability of the Gospels?

05/15/2013 Comments (8)

What do baby names tell us about the reliability of the Gospels?

Suppose, one day, you're reading a historical account of life in Alaska in the 1920s and one of the main characters in the account is named Sting.

"That's surprising," you think.

Suppose that Sting is portrayed as married to a woman named Oprah.

"That's improbable," you recognize.

Then you read that Sting has a brother named Spock.

You say to yourself: "Okay. Something is wrong here."

What is it? And what does all this have to do with the gospels?

You might be surprised, but the names of the figures mentioned in the gospels actually provide evidence that they're true.

Here's the story . . .


The basic problem

Fundamentally, the problem in our starting example is...READ MORE

Filed under accuracy, apologetics, bible, gospels, historical reliability

9 things to know and share about the "Third Secret" of Fatima

05/12/2013 Comments (57)

The "Third Secret" of Fatima is the most famous private revelation of the 20th century. Here are 9 things to know and share with friends about it . . .

The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima are famous for the three-part "secret" they conveyed.

Of these, the "third secret" is the most famous, because it was kept confidential at the Vatican for many years.

Only a few popes and a select few others read it--until the year 2000, when Pope John Paul II published it for the whole world to read.

Here are 9 things to know and share with friends about it . . .


NOTE: We've already looked at the apparitions at Fatima in general and at the first two parts of the secret. For information on that, you should click here.


1) What is the third part of the secret or "third secret"?

Here is what Sr. Lucia wrote:

After the two parts...READ MORE

Filed under apparition, fatima, marty, private revelation, secret of fatima, third secret, third secret of fatima

9 things to know and share about Fatima

05/11/2013 Comments (108)

On May 13, 1917, the three "little shepherds" received a powerful revelation from Our Lady of Fatima. Here are 9 things to know and share with friends . . .

May 13 is the optional memorial of Our Lady of Fatima.

Fatima is the most prominent approved apparition of the 20th century.

It became famous the world over, particular for its three-part "secret."

Here are 9 things to know and share with friends . . .


1) What happened at Fatima, Portugal?

A young shepherd girl, Lucia dos Santos, said that she experienced supernatural visitations as early as 1915, two years before the famous appearances of the Virgin Mary.

In 1917, she and two of her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, were working as shepherds tending their families’ flocks. On May 13, 1917, the three children saw an apparition of Our Lady. She told them, among other...READ MORE

Filed under apparition, apparitions, fatima, our lady of fatima, private revelation, secret of fatima, secrets of fatima, third secret, third secret of fatima

Did Dinosaurs Die Before the Fall?

05/09/2013 Comments (53)

Did animals die before the Fall of Man?

St. Paul tells us:

"For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:21-22). 

Does this mean that there was no death--of any kind--before the Fall of Man?

Would that mean that no animals, plants, or microbes died?

What about animals that are carnivores?

Were lions vegetarians? How about alligators? Or sharks?

How about carnivores like Tyrannosaurus Rex?

Let's take a look at the subject . . .


A Key Concept

To set the stage, I need to introduce a key concept: entropy.

Entropy is a very important concept in the sciences. Put simply, entropy is the tendency of...READ MORE

Filed under adam, adam and eve, apologetics, death, fall, fall of man, science

7 things Pope Francis wants you to know about Jesus' Ascension

05/08/2013 Comments (10)

Recently Pope Francis explained Jesus' mysterious Ascension into heaven. Here are 7 things he wants you to know about it.

Whether your diocese celebrates the Ascension of Christ on Thursday or Sunday, the time is upon us.

Recently, Pope Francis gave an explanation of the Ascension, what it means, and how it affects our lives.

Here are 7 things he wants you to know.


1) Your Holiness, what is a good starting point for understanding the Ascension?

[Pope Francis:] Let us start from the moment when Jesus decided to make his last pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

St Luke notes: “When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51).

While he was “going up” to the Holy City, where his own “exodus” from this life was to occur, Jesus already saw the destination,...READ MORE

Filed under ascension, liturgical year, pope francis

The Name of the Doctor

05/05/2013 Comments (20)

They're about to reveal Doctor Who's name. Here are some thoughts . . .

We're just about up to the final episode of the current season of Doctor Who.

The title of the episode is "The Name of the Doctor," and it promises to reveal the Doctor's actual name, something that has never been revealed in the 50-year history of the show.

We'll apparently learn the Doctor's name--and why he's kept is secret all this time--at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, when "The Name of the Doctor" airs on BBC America (or a few hours earlier, if you're in the U.K.).

Here are a few thoughts . . .

(BTW, apologies to those who aren't familiar with Doctor Who; what follows is speculation about a major event in the show, and it presupposes some knowledge of what's been happening.)


Filed under doctor who, pop culture, science fiction, television

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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."