The Passion of the Christ: Do You Need to Watch It?

04/06/2012 Comments (42)

Some Christians watch The Passion of the Christ as a Good Friday spiritual exercise. Others wonder if they should but are hesitant to do so because of the intense nature of the film's depiction of Christ's sufferings. Some have even been told that they have an obligation to watch the film.

A recent caller to Catholic Answers Live fell into the latter category. She said that she had been told that she needed to watch this every Lent in order to be a good Catholic.

To some that claim would come as a bit of a surprise. How on earth did people manage to be good Catholics before Mel Gibson released the film--just a few years ago? Or perhaps the pope has added a new precept of the Church so...READ MORE

Filed under film, good friday, lent, mel gibson, movies, passion of the christ, scrupulosity, spiritual exercise, the passion of the christ

Is Easter Pagan?

04/04/2012 Comments (25)

You often hear that Easter is "a pagan holiday." This claim is made, variously, by some Christian Fundamentalists (who want to do away with or re-brand Easter), by some atheists (who want to undermine Christianity), and by some neo-pagans (who want to undermine Christianity and claim Easter for their own).

People advancing this argument will argue that rabbits, eggs, and other symbols associated with Easter are fertility symbols--and we all know that fertility symbols are a dead giveaway for paganism, right?

They'll also say that the very name "Easter" is itself a giveaway--that it's derived from the Mesopotamian goddess "Ishtar." (Hear how her name even sounds like "Easter"?)

Or...READ MORE

Filed under atheists, easter, fundamentalism, goddess, holidays, neo-pagans, pagan, paganism, pagans

Our Resurrection & the Fate of the World

03/31/2012 Comments (1)

Did Elijah go to heaven before the gates of heaven were officially open?

If Jesus and Mary have their bodies in heaven, do all the saints have bodies in heaven—right now?

Does time exist for human souls in the afterlife?

When will the resurrection of the dead occur? At the moment of death or the end of the world—or is there a difference between the two?

What does the Magisterium of the Church say about all this?

When God creates the new heaven and the new earth, will he renew and renovate the current world or will he create an entirely new one from nothing (ex nihilo)?

These are just some of the questions we address on this week’s episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast!

Click Play to...READ MORE

Filed under resurrection, eschatology, end of the world, revelation, revelations

Jimmy Carter: Bible Scholar?

03/26/2012 Comments (91)

Former President Jimmy Carter has a new Bible!

One he wrote himself!

Partly!

The publishing house Zondervan has produced a new study Bible titled the NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter.

Get yours today!

Or don’t. Actually, let’s go with that: Don’t. Definitely don’t.

Not if you want Bible commentary from someone who knows what he’s talking about.

Carter can’t even display minimal coherence regarding biblical interpretation in friendly interviews designed to promote his . . . er . . . book.

Consider the veritable storm of nonsense he unleashed in this interview with the Huffington Post.

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: Thank you so much for...READ MORE

Filed under jimmy carter; bible

The Gates of Heaven & Hell; Evangelizing Muslims

03/24/2012 Comments (15)

Where did we get the phrase “pearly gates”? Why are heaven and hell depicted as if they have “gates.” What role did gates play in the ancient world? Where do battering rams come from?

What did Jesus mean when he said that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church?

If the gates of heaven were opened on Easter Sunday (or thereabouts) then when were the gates of hell opened?

What resources could you offer a Muslim to show him the truth of the Catholic faith?

These are just some of the questions we address on this week’s episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast!

Click Play to listen . . .

or you can . . .

Subscribe_with_itunes CLICK HERE!

. . . or subscribe another way (one of many ways!) at ...READ MORE

Filed under heaven; hell; bible; pearly gates; gates of hell; evangelization; muslims; islam

New Marriage Mockery: Bride Marries Self

03/22/2012 Comments (31)

According to something on Yahoo called “Shine,”

Last week, Nadine Schweigert married herself in a symbolic wedding ceremony. The 36-year-old divorced mom of three wore blue satin and clutched a bouquet of white roses as she walked down the aisle before a gathering of 45 friends and family members in Fargo, North Dakota.

She vowed to “to enjoy inhabiting my own life and to relish a lifelong love affair with my beautiful self,” reports Fargo’s InForum newspaper . After the ring was exchanged with the bride and her inner-groom, guests were encouraged to “blow kisses at the world,” and later, eat cake.

Schweigert, who followed the ceremony with a solo honeymoon in New Orleans, claims the...READ MORE

Filed under

Obama Administration Partially Caves on Abortion/Contraception Mandate

03/16/2012 Comments (76)

From the National Catholic *Reporter* (not Register):

Taking a conciliatory tone and asking for a wide range of public comment, the Obama administration announced this afternoon new accommodations on a controversial mandate requiring contraceptive coverage in health care plans.

Coming after a month of continued opposition from the U.S. bishops to the mandate, which was first revised in early February to exempt certain religious organizations, today’s announced changes from the Department of Health and Human Services make a number of concessions, including allowing religious organizations that self-insure to be made exempt.

Also raised is the possibility that the definition given for...READ MORE

Filed under obama; contraception; mandate; sebelius; hhs; health and human services; religious freedom

Was Jesus UGLY?

03/12/2012 Comments (32)

A high school theology teacher writes:

I had a student ask me quite blunty “was Jesus ugly?” He cited some early Fathers quoting Isaiah 53:2, and gave me several other sources that expanded on this topic as well. From what I understand and have read, the verse from Isaiah seems to (me anyways) point towards Jesus at his Passion and Death - the Suffering Servant. Am I on the right track or have you heard anything on this?

Let’s start by looking at the text in question. It is part of the fourth “Servant Song” in Isaiah, which runs from 52:13-53:12. Here’s the verse in context:

Isaiah 52:13–53:12

13 Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high....READ MORE

Filed under jesus; isaiah; prophecy; bible

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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."