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.”
Christianity Today has a web article noting (and quoting from) our recent discussion of John Paul II’s practice of self-mortification.
The piece—written by an Evangelical—is noteworthy in that it doesn’t just lash out against the concept. (No pun intended! Honest! Didn’t even notice that until later!) Indeed, it devotes a significant amount of attention to understanding the practice from a Catholic perspective.
Though ultimately the author sees self-flagellation as “misguided,” he acknowledges and recommends the practice of self-denial, including fasting.
(So . . . why is self-flagellation “misguided” whereas fasting is to be recommended? As long as you don’t permanently injure your body with either—and both can be done in ways that do permanent damage—why is one more misguided than the other?)
In any event, I’d like to kudos CT and the author of the piece—Collin Hansen—for seeking to explore the issue in a fair-minded way!