Why Are There Unicorns in the Bible?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 12:08 PM Comments (22)
If you read some older English translations of the Bible, like the Catholic Douay-Rheims (pub. 1609) or the Protestant King James (pub. 1611) you come across some passages that seem a bit mysterious. For example in the Douay-Rheims, in Psalms 91:11 we read:

But my horn shall be exalted like that of the unicorn.

In the equivalent verse in the King James (Ps. 92:10) we read:

But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn.

In reading such passages, you might think, what on earth does that mean? In these cases, the horn is being used as a symbol of strength or vigor. The Psalmist is saying that thanks to God, I'm going to be given a lot of strength and vigor, so praise God.

Fine, but...READ MORE

Filed under bible, douay-rheims, king james version, scripture, unicorn, unicorns

Science: People Who Believe in Heaven More Likely to Commit Crime?

Monday, June 25, 2012 9:47 PM Comments (28)

That seems to be the implication of this story by CBS News, which is headlined:

Study Finds People Who Believe In Heaven Commit More Crimes

I guess we should all stop believing in heaven in order to have a more orderly society.

Okay. Let's phone the Pope and give him the bad news, tell him he can start closing churches and winding down that whole new evangelization thing.

It seems the whole 2,000 year experiment has produced undesirable results, and it's time to close up shop.

Or . . . wait.

Maybe, just maybe, there's another possibility.

Could it be that this is just a misleadingly headlined news story from a press that doesn't understand how to report either religion or...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, heaven, hell, morality, religion, religion in public life, science

"To Be Absent from the Body Is to be Present with the Lord"?

Sunday, June 24, 2012 2:25 PM Comments (6)

There is a common argument used against the idea of purgatory in some circles which goes like this: "St. Paul says that 'to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord' (2 Cor. 5:8). It's that simple: If you're a Christian and you aren't in your body then you are with Jesus in heaven. There is no room for purgatory in St. Paul's view. Purgatory is just a Catholic fable--a 'man made tradition.'"

Is this true?

It turns out that if you examine what St. Paul really said, the whole argument is based on a misquotation. St. Paul said nothing of the kind.

Furthermore, if you look elsewhere in St. Paul's writings--to the very same church he was addressing in his "absent from the...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, bible, corinthians, paul, purgatory

Unbroken Chain of Apostolic Succession (Plus: Bible Software)

Saturday, June 16, 2012 8:39 PM Comments (17)

In this episode of the program I answer two questions regarding apostolic succession and whether, in fact, we have an unbroken chain going back to the apostles.

The first question comes from Marci in Mexico, who wonders about the effect that various practices have on the liceity (lawfulness) and validity of episcopal consecrations.

The second question comes from a gentleman who asks about a particular figure from the 1500s--Cardinal Scipione Rebiba--who has a very unusual property: 91% of all modern Catholic bishops trace their episcopal lineage back to him, and we're not entirely sure who consecrated Rebiba.

What are the implications of that for apostolic succession?

In the...READ MORE

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Sr. Keehan Turns on Obama?

Saturday, June 16, 2012 7:21 AM Comments (61)

The news broke Friday that Sr. Carol Keehan of the Catholic Healthcare Association (CHA) has broken with the Obama administration's plan to force abortion drugs and contraception on religious institutions such as Catholic hospitals and universities that offer medical insurance.

The dramatic move was announced in a 5-page letter (PDF here) signed by Keehan and two CHA board members.

The move is momentous because Keehan famously broke with the U.S. bishops to endorse the original passage of the administration's Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") and then broke with them again to endorse the Department of Health and Human Services abortion drug and contraception mandate, providing...READ MORE

Filed under barack obama, carol keehan, catholic healthcare association, cha, contraception, hhs, hhs abortion mandate, hhs contraceptive mandate, hhs mandate, obama

Would God Really Send Someone to Hell?

Sunday, June 10, 2012 1:40 PM Comments (63)

If God is all-good and all-loving, how could he send someone to hell?

At first glance, it seems that he would not.

But God is infinitely higher than we are, and our finite minds can only grasp a tiny bit of his infinite mystery.

Therefore, we need to check our intuitions about what God would or would not do against what we know. In particular, we need to check them against what God himself has told us in his word.

In this video, I take on the question of whether God would really send someone to hell, and I show that we must reject the simple answer, "No, God would never do that."

But we also see that the matter isn't as simple as saying that God "sends" people to hell.

Drawing...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, catechism of the catholic church, hell, john paul ii

Something Wondrous This Way Comes

Wednesday, June 06, 2012 9:24 PM Comments (23)

Author Ray Bradbury has died in Los Angeles at the age of 91.

Bradbury is often referred to as a science fiction author, though he wrote much more broadly than that, including works of fantasy, mystery, and horror.

His titles include some of the best-known in the history of speculative fiction, including:

He worked in both short story and novel form. Many of his stories ended up in film or television form, including episodes of the Twilight Zone and his own Ray Bradbury Theater anthology series.

He is credited by some for...READ MORE

Filed under fantasy, horror, mystery, ray bradbury, science fiction

God's Infinite Mercy

Saturday, June 02, 2012 10:19 AM Comments (9)

At some point in their lives, virtually everyone has wondered whether they can be forgiven for what they've done. The good news is, they can!

But sometimes the doubts linger, particularly for people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and particularly in connection with certain passages in the Bible, such as some in the book of Hebrews that deal with the subject of apostasy -- the complete rejection of the Christian faith.

Passages like these:

Hebrews 6:4-6

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have...READ MORE

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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 a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."