Are Christians Forbidden to Consume Blood?

11/18/2012 Comments (46)

Many people like their steak "rare and bloody." Is that a problem? Is it okay to consume animal blood?

A common objection to the Catholic faith is the idea that the Bible forbids the drinking of blood, yet Catholics claim to drink the blood of Christ in the Eucharist.

It's true that the Old Testament forbids consuming blood, but what is the status of this requirement for Christians?

Soon we will look at drinking Christ's blood specifically, but here let's look at the Old Testament prohibition on consuming animal blood . . .


Animal Blood as Food

Neither Christianity nor Judaism are vegetarian religions. Both acknowledge the possibility of eating animals. Biblical Judaism even mandates it, with the requirement of consuming the Passover lamb.

But what parts of an animal are okay...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, blood, dietary laws, food, jehovah's witnesses, law of moses, noah, transfusions

Is It Okay to Force a Woman You've Captured to Marry You?

11/15/2012 Comments (11)

Suppose you've captured a woman in wartime. Is it okay to force her to marry you?

Sometimes atheists claim that God endorses rape because Deuteronomy says it's okay to force women you've captured in wartime to marry you.

Is that true?

Let's look at the issue . . .


Captive Brides

(NOTE: This post is part of a series on the "dark passages" of the Bible. Click here to see all of the posts in the series.)

Several years ago I was in an art museum with the children of a family I'm friends with.

We were in the classical art section when, suddenly, the four-year old at my knee asked, "Where are those men taking those women?"

I bent down to look at the painting that was oddly hung at her eye-level (!) and realized it was a depiction of an event from early...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, atheism, bible, dark passages, moral theology

Should Babies Be Denied Baptism Just Because It's Advent?

11/13/2012 Comments (22)

Should babies be denied baptism just because it's Advent?

You sometimes hear about people being asked to delay receiving the sacraments because they are not performed at certain times of year--like Advent or Lent or Holy Week or Good Friday or other days.

There are a few restrictions on the times when sacraments can be celebrated, but not as many as people think.

Recently I was asked whether it's possible for babies to be baptized during Advent, which is almost upon us.

Here's the story . . .


No Baptisms Till January???

A Facebook friend writes:

My son and his wife were told that their baby (born at the beginning of October) can't be baptized until January because there are no baptisms during Advent. Is there a Church rule that...READ MORE

Filed under advent, babies, baptism, infant, infants, lent, sacraments

Is the Bible Pro-Choice?

11/09/2012 Comments (37)

Does the Bible imply that you can kill this child?

Recently I've been encountering claims that the Bible is "pro-choice," meaning pro-abortion.

I've been asked more than once how to respond to this claim.

Here's how . . .


Jezebel Speaks

The best way to respond to a claim will depend on the specific form the claim takes and the arguments used in favor of it, but we need to start somewhere, so let's use this article from the blog Jezebel.

In case you're not familiar with Jezebel (I wasn't), according to Wikipedia,

Jezebel is a blog aimed at women's interests, under the tagline "Celebrity, Sex, Fashion. Without Airbrushing." It is one of several blogs owned by Gawker Media.

In a piece titled "Conservative Christians...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, bible, pro-choice, pro-life, prochoice, prolife, scripture

Does God Expect Women to Marry Their Rapists?

11/08/2012 Comments (11)

Did God really expect women to marry their rapists?

In a recent post we looked at several places in the Old Testament that have been claimed to show that "God approves of rape" and thus he is a moral monster.

Now let's look at a potentially more inflammatory charge: that God actually expects women to marry their rapists.

Is this true?


An Unmarried Virgin

(NOTE: This post is part of a series on the "dark passages" of the Bible. Click here to see all of the posts in the series.)

In the previous post we looked at what Deuteronomy had to say about the cases of women who were legally married and were then raped. Deuteronomy then turned to the situation of legally unmarried women:

Deuteronomy 22

[28] "If a man meets a virgin...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, atheism, bible, dark passages, moral law, rape, skepticism

Does God Approve of Rape? (Dark Passages)

10/29/2012 Comments (43)

What difference would it make whether a rape happened in a city or in the country?

A charge made by some atheists is that the Bible supports rape and that the God of the Bible is therefore a moral monster.

There are a number of passages they appeal to, attempting to document this claim, but do they really support the charge that is being made?

Let's look at the matter . . .


What Does God Think of Rape?

(NOTE: This post is part of a series on the "dark passages" of the Bible. Click here to see all of the posts in the series.)

The claim that God has a favorable attitude toward rape is implausible on its face.

In all of the Bible passages that are cited to show this, the people involved are either married or unmarried. To rape a married woman would be...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, bible, dark passages, god, rape

Talking about rape: What pro-life politicians desperately need to know

10/26/2012 Comments (71)

Ethel Waters was conceived by rape. Should she have been killed by abortion?

Recently  a couple of pro-life political candidates have made dramatic, embarrassing statements about rape.

The first was Todd Akin of Missouri (no relation, as far as I know), who referred to the odds that a woman will have a baby if she has been subjected to "legitimate rape."


More recently, Richard Mourdock of Indiana seemed to suggest that sometimes "God intended" rape.


It's clear that some pro-life politicians need to learn better how to talk about this subject. So let's take a look at it and see what lessons there are . . .


"Legitimate Rape"???

First, I know nothing about either Akin or Mourdock except what has been reported about their comments on...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, election, elections, ethel waters, politicians, politics, pro-abortion, pro-life, rape, richard mourdock

Did Matthew *Invent* A Prophecy About Jesus?

10/23/2012 Comments (28)

The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth

Matthew 2:23 says that Jesus was raised in Nazareth "that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He shall be called a Nazarene.'"

But this statement does not appear in anywhere in the Old Testament.

Does this mean that Matthew just invented the prophecy?

Recently a Muslim author responded to me by claiming just this.

Let's look into the matter . . .


The Background

Recently I made a video posing the question "Did the New Testament Authors Feel Free to Make Stuff Up?" (click here to watch it).

I looked at several lines of evidence showing that they did not feel free to simply invent material about Jesus, unlike the authors of the Gnostic gospels that were...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, bible, gospels, islam, jesus, matthew

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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."