One Poor Approach to Private Revelation: Dogmatic Atheistic Faith

Friday, January 24, 2014 1:01 AM Comments (49)

As we saw last time, a relatively small but significant number of modern people answer the question "Do miracles ever really happen?" with Emile Zola’s firm and utterly irrational negative. This is due, not to “the facts,” but to their faith—come hell or high water—in a rigid and unthinking naturalism. The atheistic materialist like Zola rejects the possibility of Marian apparitions, divine healing, and such things because he rejects the possibility of all supernatural occurrences, no matter what evidence is presented to his senses. The hilarious thing about this is that the atheistic materialist with the invincible immunity to facts in front of his very eyes usually pats himself on the...READ MORE

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Private Revelation: Two Stories and Two Basic Types

Monday, January 20, 2014 1:01 AM Comments (18)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
—Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V

Nineteenth-century France turned out splendid atheists. There was nothing half-baked about a nineteenth-century French atheist. When he left the Catholic faith, he didn’t shilly-shally around with Protestantism or the religious methadone treatment called Unitarianism. He went straight for hard-boiled materialism that declared the supernatural to be bunk.

One such man was Alexis Carrel, a nineteenth-century doctor who won the Nobel prize in Medicine in 1912. Raised a Catholic, Carrel had, by 1900, rejected all supernatural belief and become a committed atheistic...READ MORE

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Supernature and Nature Are Not Opposites

Friday, January 17, 2014 1:01 AM Comments (28)

Last time we talked about the fact tnat Truth does not contradict Truth and that the same God who creates also redeems. For that reason, Catholics have nothing to fear from the exploration of the physical world. It is also why Catholics should be the last to assume that the God who made an orderly Creation cannot alter or suspend the course of Nature with miracles. He is, after all, God. So I see no reason why denial of the miraculous follows from acknowledgement of the natural order and the sciences, any more than I see why Shakespeare, imposing a metrical form on himself and his characters, might not choose for his own artistic reasons to switch from iambic pentameter to prose when he...READ MORE

Filed under natural revelation

Truth Cannot Contradict Truth

Monday, January 13, 2014 1:01 AM Comments (55)

As I mentioned last time in this space, it’s a strange time to be alive when an explanation of St. Thomas’ argument for the existence of God is attacked—by Catholics—as an assault on the Faith. But that is what I frequently found during the Natural Revelation discussion in November. On the central question—whether God exists and is Creator—I agree with the ID guys and not with atheists. I even made clear that I thought the basic intuition of some kind of design in nature was something that ID guys got right. So you’d think that whatever else may be the case, the argument I was making for God as Creator would, on the whole, be welcomed by the ID guys in my combox even though we disagree on...READ MORE

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Ruminating on the Natural Revelation Argument

Friday, January 10, 2014 1:01 AM Comments (18)

So back in November, I thought I would try my hand at giving a sort of quick and dirty overview of natural revelation: what we can tell about God by looking around at stuff. It wasn’t meant to be a full treatment, of course, but it sketched out a bit of what we are talking about when we say, with Paul in Romans 1:20, that creation points to the Creator.

The series generated the usual controversy one expects, of course. Since its primary point is simply “God exists” the primary audience of interlocutors attracted to such an argument are the people who say “No he doesn’t.” And so various atheists showed up, some to converse, many to blaspheme and do the internet atheist equivalent of...READ MORE

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A Reader is Interested in Apologetics and Defending the Faith

Monday, January 06, 2014 1:01 AM Comments (21)

He writes:

I am currently reading your book By What Authority: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition. I'm only about four chapters in, but what I've read so far about "modernist" Christians (which today I believe we refer to as progressive Christians) and the Jesus Seminar has really stuck with me.

Before going any further, I want to tell you that I am also a Catholic convert. I come from a Southern Baptist family (although in recent years my father has become Episcopalian and my mother has joined some fringe non-denom church.) Feeling lost and spiritually empty for most of my life, I eventually found my way to Rome. I have never felt the presence of God in my life like I...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

An American Reader Writes from Austria

Friday, January 03, 2014 1:01 AM Comments (15)

Curious about the take you and your readers might have on this.

I'm in Austria at the moment. Last night, I was chatting with a friend who mentioned she's going to mass in December. After doing a double-take, it turns out she isn't actually a Christmas/Easter Catholic, but rather that she's going to the Vienna Boys' Choir, which regularly performs some of the more famous masses (e.g., Mozart) at the local cathedral.

I'm OK this far in; I heard Tallis' Spem in Alium performed in Seattle's St. James for example (and that's not even technically Catholic music!). Both the music and the venue were meant to evoke the glory of God.

My discomfort settled in when she mentioned...READ MORE

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Just a Bit of Merrymaking for Christmas!

Friday, December 27, 2013 1:01 AM Comments (3)

And remember: if you find that too much hollandaise sauce is hurting your teeth over the 12 days, dentists recommend that you have them replaced with chrome-plated dentures because....

 

 

 

wait for it.....

 

 

 

THERE'S NO PLATE LIKE CHROME FOR THE HOLLANDAISE!!!!

Ah me!  I am so funny!  So, so funny!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Filed under season's greetings

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About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.