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!

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. . . 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

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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

Does God *HATE* Sinners? Your Web Page and Canon Law

03/11/2012 Comments (4)

Does God *HATE* sinners? If not, why does the Bible seem to say he does? Why do other passages say he loves sinners? How are we to reconcile these statements? Just how biblical is the saying “Love the sinner but hate the sin”? Who said that? And what were they talking about? Does God “hate” anything at all? What does Catholic theology say about this?

How can you use the Internet to serve God without tripping on canon law? Do you need an imprimatur from your bishop to have a blog or a web site? How about a Facebook page? What if you talk about subjects like Scripture, the liturgy, catechesis, theology, devotions, or other religious subjects? Is the Internet the new Wild West, where anything...READ MORE

Filed under god; love; hate; sin; sinners; internet; canon law

Can Catholics Be Buried in Non-Catholic Cemeteries?

02/28/2012 Comments (31)

A reader writes:

As a practicing Catholic, can I be buried in a non-Catholic cemetery.  No one in my family is Catholic except me and I would like to be buried with my family.

It’s a logical question, and an understandable desire.

It’s a logical question because many Catholic parishes and dioceses have cemeteries, and it would seem natural—as a Catholic—to be buried in one of these.

It’s an understandable desire to want to be buried with one’s family, where after your death your loved ones may still visit your grave, take care of it, and remember you. It’s a way of maintaining a connection with those you have left behind.

I could imagine someone saying, “Well, if your family isn’t...READ MORE

Filed under burial, canon law, cemetery, family, funeral, non-catholic

Why Did Jesus Descend into HELL? And More!

02/27/2012 Comments (13)

Why does the Apostles Creed say that Jesus descended into Hell? Why would he do this? Wasn’t the Crucifixion enough? Did he have to suffer even more?

What did he do while he was “down there”? Did he preach to the dead? Which dead? Why? Do we have a second chance at salvation after death? What did the Church Fathers say about this? How about the teaching of the Church today?

Why does the Law of Moses say not to wear clothes made from two kinds of fibers? Can we wear cotton/polyesther blends? What’s the reason for this commandment? Who was bound by it? Does the commandment really forbid mixing any two types of fiber? Should we take this literally?

These are just some of the questions we...READ MORE

Filed under apostles creed, clothing, hell, jesus, jewish, jews, law of moses, old testament

Who Is the Highest Ranking Human Female in the Church?

02/22/2012 Comments (53)

A FB friend writes:

Totally serious with this question. With all the Dustup going on with HHS etc. and living in a “Liberal” diocese with it’s own collections of “Liberals” (or Insert Loons if you’d Like), We’ve gotten the Bishop’s Response, but where does one find the Highest Ranking HUMAN Female of the Church? I do realize who our Highest Ranking Female is, and I have prayed to her for helping me in my unbelief and confusion, but this is one of those questions when I heard it Really made me go Hmmmmmmm.

Unless someone has been baptizing female aliens, all females who are members of the Church are human females.

The highest ranking female is thus the highest ranking human female, who...READ MORE

Filed under church, contraception, female, hhs mandate, kathleen sebelius, obama, sebelius, women, women's ordination

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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."