Great Apologetics Articles


*Click on the article titles to go to the full post.

Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

Paul’s use of hyperbole does not change the fact that baptism is an essential aspect of the gospel and thus necessary for salvation

  • The Catholic Church teaches that baptism is “necessary for salvation” (CCC 1257). Some Protestants like to use 1 Corinthians 1:17 to claim that this teaching contradicts the Bible. Paul writes, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” Those who appeal to this verse argue that Paul dissociates baptism from the gospel. And if baptism is not part of the gospel, it can’t be necessary for salvation.
  • First, the challenge confuses the duty…
  • Apparently, the Corinthians were adopting religious affiliations…
  • A second way to meet the challenge…
  • Finally, we can meet this challenge by …
  • This tells us that, for Paul…

Twenty One Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura

By Joel Peters

  • What is Sola Scriptura?
  • 1. The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura is not taught anywhere in the Bible
  • 2. The Bible Indicates that In Addition to the Written Word, we are to accept Oral Tradition
  • 3. The Bible Calls the Church and not the Bible the “Pillar and Ground of the Truth.”
  • 4. Christ tells us to submit to the Authority of the Church
  • 5 Scripture itself states that it is insufficient of itself as a teacher, but rather needs an interpreter.
  • 6. The first Christians did not have a Bible
  • 7. The Church produced the Bible not vice-versa
  • 8. The idea of the Scripture’s Authority existing apart from the authority of the Teacher Church is utterly foreign to the Early Church.
  • 9. Heresiarchs and heretical movements based their doctrines on Scripture interpreted apart from Tradition and the Magisterium.
  • 10. The Canon of the Bible was not settled until the 4th Century.

For details, Scripture passages, the rest of the reasons, etc., click on the article title above.

If Jesus Started the Catholic Church, Where Does the Bible Say “Catholic”?

  • John Henry – Jul 11
  • Many people, including Catholics, might be surprised to find that they can open any authentic version of the Bible and find where Jesus created the Catholic Church!
  • Jesus gave his Church a mission … and that is what gives the Church her identity.

God Chooses to Use Human Intermediaries

“Why confess your sins to a priest when you can just confess them straight to God?”

At one time or another, most Catholics have heard this objection from their Protestant friends. They may have even heard it from a fellow Catholic who doesn’t understand the importance of the sacrament of reconciliation (or confession).

But when these critics are asked to provide biblical evidence for the claim that we should confess our sins only in private prayer to God, they often come up empty-handed save for one verse: 1 John 1:9. Consider a comment that Franklin Graham, the influential son of the famous Rev. Billy Graham, made made on his Facebook page regarding priests being able to forgive sins:

  • Agree to disagree
  • I confess
  • This may even be John’s primary meaning, since both 1 John 1:9 and 1 John 2:23 contain the same Greek verb, homologe, that is translated “confess.”
  • Scholarly support
  • Confessing sins to one another
  • 24/7 confession?
  • ConclusionThe Bible does not teach that the norm for seeking reconciliation with God and his Church is private, unconditional forgiveness of sins. At the very least, 1 John 1:9 does not teach this doctrine. Instead, 1 John 1:9 uses the Greek word homologeō, which always refers to a person publicly confessing something he believes.

How to Defend the Deuterocanonicals

Did the Catholic Church add seven books to the Old Testament?

  • Why did the Catholic Church add seven books—1 and 2 Maccabees, Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, Tobit, and Judith—to the Old Testament? John forbids this: “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book” (Rev. 22:18).
  • Since the Jews were “entrusted with the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:2), shouldn’t we have the same Old Testament canon as they do?
  • But the seven deuterocanonical books were added at the Council of Trent (1546) in order to justify Catholic doctrinal inventions.
  • Well, if the New Testament never quotes from these seven books, doesn’t that indicate that they were not considered to be inspired?
  • But the book of Judith says that Nebuchadnezzar was king of the Assyrians, when he was really king of the Babylonians. If a book has errors, it can’t be inspired.
  • Which translation did the first Christians use? 
  • Didn’t Jerome and Augustine disagree about the deuterocanonical books? 

Our Life, Our Sweetness, and Our Hope

By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC (Aug 3, 2018)

  • What does it mean to say that Mary is our life?
  • How is Mary our sweetness?
  • How is that sweetness and mercy tied together in her?
  • How is Mary our hope?

Hail Mary, Conceived Without Sin

  • Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
  • First John 1:8 adds, “If any man says he has no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him.”
  • These texts could not be clearer for millions of Protestants: “How could anyone believe Mary was free from all sin in light of these Scripture passages?
  • What’s more, Mary herself said, ‘My soul rejoices in God my savior’ in Luke 1:47. She clearly understood herself to be a sinner if she admits to needing a savior.”
  • But what about “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) and “if any man says he has no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him” (1 John 1:8)? Wouldn’t “all” and “any man” include Mary?
  • On the surface, this sounds reasonable. But this way of thinking carried to its logical conclusion would list Jesus Christ in the company of sinners as well. No faithful Christian would dare say that.
  • Yet no Christian can deny the plain texts of Scripture declaring Christ’s full humanity either. Thus, to take 1 John 1:8 in a strict, literal sense would apply “any man” to Jesus as well.
  • The truth is Jesus Christ was an exception to Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8. And the Bible tells us he was in Hebrews 4:15: “Christ was tempted in all points even as we are and yet he was without sin.”
  • The question now is: Are there any other exceptions to this rule? Yes—millions of them.

The Mystery of the Our Father’s Ending

So, why is the Catholic version of the Lord’s Prayer different from the Protestant version? Not many people understand the difference. This short article explains what happened. And there’s a bit of a fun twist at the end… 

  • Catholics conclude with “deliver us from evil,” whereas most Protestants, following Matthew 6:13 in the King James Version, go on to say something like, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
  • Are Catholics leaving out this phrase from Jesus’ prayer, or are Protestants adding to it?

Judge Not?

  • As an apologist at Catholic Answers I often get calls and e-mails from people dealing with the immoral behavior of others who are close to them. They are unsure of what, if any, action they can or should take in the matter.
  • First, let’s look at the full context of Jesus’ words:
  • Jesus then explains how to judge rightly:
  • He instructed his disciples what to do if someone sins against them:
  • It is not possible to follow Jesus’ instructions without being “judgmental” of another’s behavior.
  • There is a big difference between judging another’s behavior and judging the eternal state of his soul.


Mary, Mother Of God

428-800s, with remnants to today

Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople

Principal Errors

Nestorius rejected the traditional doctrine of the Incarnation by implicitly denying the hypostatic union of human and divine natures in the one divine person of Jesus. This denial was characterized notably by the rejection of the title “Theotokos” (“God bearer” or “Mother of God”) for the mother of Jesus. He claimed that Mary was the mother of Christ’s human nature but not the mother of God and concluded that only Jesus the man suffered and died on the cross.

  • History
  • Orthodox Response
  • Modern Parallels

Eucharistic Miracles: Evidence of the Real Presence

The doctrine of transubstantiation, the teaching that bread and wine are converted into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, is difficult. When Christ first told his followers of it, many rejected him. But Jesus did not clarify his statement or correct their misunderstanding. He simply repeated his command to the disciples at the Last Supper. Some Christians today still have trouble accepting this teaching.
  • Bloodstained Cloths
  • A Bright Light
  • The Face of the Christ Child
  • Parting the Waters
  • The Miracle of Mass

Poorly Versed

  • …the division of the Bible into numbered chapters and verses was not an original part of inspired Scripture
  • Growing up in a Fundamentalist
  • …chopping off God’s message in the middle by extracting verses from Scripture and interpreting them in isolation from the text
  • …individual Bible verses must be interpreted within the overall message of the chapter and book – but also in relation to other passages of Scripture that bear upon the same subject
  • …“For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
  • …“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
  • One day I read the twenty-third chapter of Matthew straight through from beginning to end.
  • We missed the message that our Lord was entrusting his flock to Peter.
  • The Catholic Church has never allowed its members to be victimized by the process of extracting, chopping off, and interpreting in isolation.

The Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Church Fathers believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was exempt from the curse of Eve and from all sin. While the doctrine of original sin did undergo development (and thus the dogma of the Immaculate Conception), the Fathers of the Church believed that Mary was sinless. Below are some examples:

  • Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me {ante A.D. 235).
  • Origen, Homily 1 {A.D. 244)
  • Ephraem, Nisibene Hymns 27:8 {A.D. 370)
  • Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin 71:216 {ante AD 373)
  • Ambrose, Sermon 22, 30 {A.D. 388)
  • Augustine, Nature and Grace 4, 36 {A.D.415)
  • Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 {ante A.D. 446)
  • Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily 6, 11{ante A.D. 446)
  • Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 {A.D. 449)
  • Jacob of Sarug {ante A.D. 521)
  • Theotokos of Livias, Panegyric for the feast of the Assumption 5:6 {ante A.D. 650)
  • Andrew of Crete, Sermon 1 On the Birth of Mary {A.D. 733)
  • Germanus of Constantinople, Marracci in S. Germani Mariali {ante A.D. 733)
  • John of Damascus, Homily 1 {ante A.D. 749)


…And that’s part of what makes Catholics ‘Bible Christians’

Are Catholics Bible Christians?

The introductory rite

The Confiteor

The Liturgy of the Word

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

The words of institution

Is this theological construct biblical?

What does Christ offer to the Father in the heavenly sanctuary as high priest?

It is offered both at weddings and funerals. In most places, it is available every day. But on Sunday, it is an obligation to attend.

We are speaking of what Catholics call the Mass, aka the Eucharist or the divine liturgy. For Catholics, there is no other religious service more important. But the majority of baptized Catholics around the world simply don’t see the need to attend.

The sacrifice that transcends time

Instinctively, those who believe in God know that they owe him worship. After all, we’ve received everything from him. So we ought to give him thanks and offer him a pleasing sacrifice

Really present in priest and people

It is true that God is present everywhere, including when we pray to him alone or when two or three of us gather in his name. However, 

We encounter Jesus, the living Word

Third, the Lord is present in the Eucharist in the Word of God. Some describe the Protestant Church as the church of the Bible and the Catholic Church as the church of 

This is my body, my blood

The final and most special way that the Lord is present in the Eucharist is in his Body and Blood, present to us under the sig

The feast of faith

The Eucharist is a meal. It’s the Lord’s Supper as well as a holy sacrifice. Christ becomes present so that we can not only see him under the appearances of bread and wine but also receive him into ourselves. Very tangibly, he becomes our food

While this is not, strictly speaking, an article on any apologetic subject, I thought it might be of interest. So, here you go…

Will the Real Vatican II Please Stand Up?

Sacrosanctum Concilium—The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

The liturgy is no doubt the most neuralgic area of post-conciliar life. It is here that we are treated to some of the most egregious examples of ecclesial mythology. One of the first myths foisted on the laity is that Vatican II taught that Christ is as present in the liturgical assembly as he is in the eucharistic species. Here’s what the Council Fathers really said:

Inter Mirifica—Decree on the Means of Social Communication

Snide remarks about Catholic media outlets being reduced to “house organs” notwithstanding, the Council certainly envisioned our commitment to establishing Catholic media as tools of evangelization:

Lumen Gentium—Dogmatic Constitution on the Church

Catholics have been instructed by some theologians not to take too seriously the “institutional” Church, inasmuch as Vatican II did away with the Catholic hierarchical model. The conciliar bishops, in contrast, seem to provide a rather strenuous theological basis for a traditional ecclesiology:

Unitatis Redintegratio—Decree on Ecumenism

We saw earlier that the bishops at Vatican II, in their Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, did not hesitate to give “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” about who the Church is and how she sees herself. An equally forceful declaration finds its way into their Decree on Ecumenism:

Perfectae Caritatis—Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life

Abandoning traditional apostolates, moving out of religious houses, eschewing authority systems, discarding identifiable garb—all these have contributed to this downward spiral. Leaders of this new vision of religious life regularly appeal to Vatican II for justification for their campaign.

Not a single item of such an agenda can find even a hint of support in the Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life;

Optatam Totius—Decree on the Training of Priests

“Students who follow the venerable tradition of celibacy according to the holy and fixed laws of their own rite are to be educated to this state with great care. For renouncing thereby the companionship of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matt. 19:12), they embrace the Lord with an undivided love altogether befitting the new covenant, bear witness to the resurrection of the world to come (cf. Luke 20:36), and obtain a most suitable aid for the continual exercise of that perfect charity whereby they can become all things to all men in their priestly ministry. Let them deeply realize how gratefully that state ought to be received, not, indeed, only as commanded by ecclesiastical law, but as a precious gift of God for which they should humbly pray” (OT 10)…

Gravissimum Educationis—Declaration on Christian Education

Some Catholics argue that Catholic schools are a relic of “ghetto Catholicism,” while some parents maintain that they can legitimately homeschool their children when Catholic schools are available. Both camps bump up against an eminently clear and unnuanced norm: “The Council also reminds Catholic parents of the duty of entrusting their children to Catholic schools wherever and whenever it is possible and of supporting these schools to the best of their ability and of cooperating with them for the education of their children” (GE 8)…

Dei Verbum—Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation

Along with the above problem comes a hermeneutic of suspicion that what Scripture seems to teach it really doesn’t, especially if it flies in the face of “modern” concerns or positions. The Council Fathers took aim at this mentality, particularly when it undermines the historicity of the Gospels:

Apostolicam Actuositatem—Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People

Vatican II is often dubbed “the Council of the laity,” and with good reason. Its calls for lay involvement would have gladdened the heart of someone like Cardinal Newman who, when asked what he thought was the role of the laity in the Church, responded, “We’d look rather silly without them, wouldn’t we?” But just what did the Council have in mind?

First of all, it is important to get the terminology straight. Not once does a conciliar document refer to any work of the laity as a ministry

Dignitatis Humanae—Declaration on Religious Liberty

One of the most contentious documents for some “traditionalists” is the Decree on Religious Liberty. Yet in this decree one finds another clear statement about the uniqueness of the Catholic Church, as well as the necessity for all men to conform themselves to the truth about God. Thus, while “liberals” crow about the document’s (rightful) emphasis on the inviolability of conscience and “conservatives” decry what they see as the fostering of religious indifferentism, we find the following assertions, which sound an awful lot like the immemorial position of the Church on these matters:

Ad Gentes Divinitus—Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity

In grammar school, when we were taught to be “mission-minded,” it was taken as a given of Catholic life. That truth was powerfully reinforced at Vatican II: “The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature” (GD 2). That truth became so lost in post-conciliar revisionism that, 25 years later, Pope John Paul II had to devote an entire encyclical (Redemptoris Missio) to what had been previously considered a truism…

Stake Your Claim

It is nothing but diabolical that the teachings of this Council should be hijacked by “left” or by “right”—and it is high time for the record to be set straight. So, if you:

Born Again – The Bible Way

“Have you been born again, my friend?” Thousands of Catholics have been asked this question by well-meaning Fundamentalists or Evangelicals. Of course, by “born again” the Protestant usually means: “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior through the recitation of ‘the sinner’s prayer?”” How is a Catholic to respond?

The simple Catholic response is: “Yes, I have been born again—when I was baptized.” In fact, Jesus’ famous “born again” discourse of John 3:3-5, which is where we find the words “born again” in Scripture, teaches us about the essential nature of baptism:

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicode’mus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Amniotic Fluid vs. Baptismal Water

John 1:31-34

John 2:1-11

John 3:22

John 4:1-2

Washing of Water by the Word

The Catholic Response

I Peter 3:20-21

Romans 6:3-4

Galatians 3:27

I Cor. 12:13

Why the Good Thief Doesn’t Justify Protestant Doctrines

The Catholic Church has always looked to the good thief as an example par excellence of conversion (see Luke 23:39-43). This is why he is called good. But for some Protestants, the good thief, traditionally named St. Dismas, is good for a different reason than his last-minute conversion.

It would seem that his story justifies doctrines held by many Protestants. For example, Dismas was saved without baptism, which at first glance could give reason to believe that baptism is not necessary for salvation.

Another doctrine held by many Protestants that the narrative seems to justify is that works are not necessary for salvation. I remember several years ago, while I was sitting in the optometrist’s chair with the big tech-y glasses on, my doctor attempted to persuade me that the good thief didn’t do any good works to receive his reward of salvation, he simply had faith. My doctor was trying to use Dismas’s story to justify his belief that we’re justified by faith alone.

Finally, on the surface, the story of Dismas appears to justify the Protestant rejection of purgatory. How could purgatory exist, so the argument goes, when Jesus told Dismas he would be with him in heaven on that day?

Saved without baptism

Saved without works

No pit stop necessary 


Calling Priests “Father”

The other day I received a rather lengthy email from a fellow responding to a chapter in my book, Nuts and Bolts – A Practical How-To Guide for Explaining and Defending the CatholicFaithspecifically responding to my defense of calling priests “father.”

Score One Up For the Protestants

An Earthy Argument

The Catholic Response

What Does the Bible Say?

The context of Matthew 23 emphasizes the sin of pride among the scribes and Pharisees. They loved to be called “teacher”, “father”, or “Rabbi,” but their pride pointed men to themselves rather than to God the Father from whom they received true fatherhood and in whom their fatherhood subsisted. Outside of God the Father, there are no fathers at all in the true sense of the term. But in God, we have all sorts of true “fathers.”

Ultimately, Jesus is condemning the usurpation of the fatherhood of God in Matthew’s Gospel, not the proper participation in that fatherhood.

Baptism Saves You

Even though I was brought up in a devoutly Evangelical home, I wasn’t baptized until I was 21 years old. We attended an independent Bible church with an essentially Baptist theology, and the irony about this Baptist theology is that it actually de-emphasized baptism. What mattered was being “born again” or “saved,” if we had responded to an altar call and “accepted Jesus into our hearts.” This personal experience was all that was necessary to assure us of eternal salvation. Baptism and communion (while they were not dispensed with altogether) remained unnecessary symbols of our inner faith.
Travel the Romans Road
Born of Water and the Spirit
Is It Enough to Believe and Confess?
Baptism of Blood, Baptism of Desire
Incorporate It

Why Did Christ Die?

Many people only know the  traditional Protestant answer
Consider Calvin’s explanation:
Not surprisingly, many people approach this doctrine with a kind of horror
Biblical language about God’s wrath can only be understood metaphorically
Secondly, the Church rejects the idea of vicarious punishment
The key is to consider Christ’s death in light of the incarnation
Christ’s whole life was also one of self-emptying
In this sense, Christ’s sacrifice was of infinite merit
Catholics do not deny that the crucifixion was a sacrifice, nor that it was substitutionary


Moses and Aaron with the Ten Commandments: Creechurch Lane Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, London (1674), painted by Aron de Chaves [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

This is a critique of an anti-Catholic article, entitled, “Catholic Religion Purposely takes out one of God’s Ten Commandments.” It listed alternate numbering of the Ten Commandments as follows:

First Commandment [Catholic] I, the LORD, am your God…You shall not have other gods besides me.

First Commandment [KJV] I am the LORD thy God…Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Second Commandment [Catholic] You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.

Second Commandment [KJV] Second Commandment [KJV]
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. [bolding in original]

*Followed by the rest of the commandments and then commentary explanation.

The Bible itself does not lay out with precision, the numbering of the Commandments.

Christian groups have differed through the centuries, as to numbering.

There is a difference in the enumeration in the different Churches.

Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, and the Lutherans (no Catholics, they) are in on the “Romish” conspiracy to subvert the Ten Commandments. 

Ah; how the plot thickens now!

Catholic’s “Extra Books” in their Bible? Part III

Here’s a wonderful apologetic article wrote by Mr. Mark Shea [5 Myths about 7 Books] that dealt on these an untenable standards:

Myth 2

Christ and the Apostles frequently quoted Old Testament Scripture as their authority, but they never quoted from the deuterocanonical books, nor did they even mention them. Clearly, if these books were part of Scripture, the Lord would have cited them.

Myth 3

The deuterocanonical books contain historical, geographical, and moral errors, so they can’t be inspired Scripture.

Myth 4

The deuterocanonical books themselves deny that they are inspired Scripture.

Did Fulton Sheen Prophesy About These Times?

Joseph Pronechen

Continuing With Our Times
Looking on the Horizon
Prophetic Recommendations
More Necessities

Does Christ Die Again at Mass?

One of the most unfortunate misunderstandings about the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist is that it consists of sacrificing Jesus Christ again – that at every Mass Christ is continually killed, continually suffering, continually dying, day in and day out. This misconception is partially due to the malice of certain detractors, and partially to an honest confusion over the relation of the Mass to the Sacrifice of the Cross. The Catholic Church does teach that the Eucharist is truly a sacrifice, and that it is truly our Lord Jesus Christ; therefore it is not too much of a stretch for those unfamiliar with Catholic teaching to wrongly assume that we believe our Lord is being killed at every Mass. While it is beyond the scope of this article to give a comprehensive treatment of the theology of the Eucharist, let us at least lay this bugbear to rest by showing that the Church does not and has never taught that Christ is sacrificed again in the Mass, as well as elucidate the true Catholic teaching on this particular point.

The Sacrifice of the Mass and Calvary

Historical Development


May 01, 2013

The idea that Jesus of Nazareth is a fictional character, like Batman, is a fringe view among historians. This view, commonly called mythicism, was first argued seriously by the quirky nineteenth-century German critic Bruno Bauer. Karl Marx was one of Bauer’s students, and after mythicism became popularized by Arthur Drew’s 1909 book The Christ Myth, this view became the de facto belief among communists. The Soviet Union mandated the teaching of mythicism in public schools and banned materials that attempted to refute it (Leslie Houlden, Jesus: The Complete Guide, 729).

But scholars, both religious and nonreligious, outside the former USSR reject mythicism. John Dominic Crossan, who co-founded the skeptical Jesus Seminar, denies that Jesus rose from the dead but not that he was an historical person. He writes, “That [Jesus] was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be” (Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, 145).

The mythicists

Do your homework

Jewish evidence for Jesus

Roman evidence for Jesus

Christian evidence for Jesus

Remsburg’s list

Paul’s mysterious silence

“Dying and rising” copycats

One of the great deceptions of our time is that serious sin is only a remote possibility for most people
We must be more serious and mature
Simply listing mortal sins is not sufficient
Nevertheless, the Lord, in love, wants to warn us urgently of the sins that exclude us from Heaven
Rather than continue with a lot of commentary, I’d like to post five biblical lists
  • Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were (1 Cor 6:9-10). (List #1)

Finally, here is a general warning from the Lord:

 Jesus was no Stoic, indifferent to suffering or to sin. He hated sin because he loved sinful mankind, and that love implied a complete rejection of sin: “Be holy,” he says to us, even as our Father in heaven is holy. Remember the terrible judgment that threatens the final church to be warned in Revelation, the church at Laodicea: “So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.” Jesus demands more than intellectual assent. He demands love, and love, from the kinds of creatures we are, will call our passions into play. “I come to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled!” he cries. “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!” He does not come to bring peace, the false peace that is a lull while the prince of this world herds men like sheep into hell. No, he comes to bring a sword. And you cannot swing a sword unless you are passionate about it.

Are You Saved? A Catholic Response to a Common Protestant Question

 Paul Thigpen July 5, 2017


“Are you saved?”  “Well, I’m doing what the Apostle Paul tells us to do in the Bible: I’m ‘working out’ my salvation day by day” (see Phil 2:12).

What Is Salvation? According to the Catholic understanding of salvation, rooted in Scripture, we aren’t just saved from sin. We’re saved for eternal life with God.

Shipwreck Survivors. Meanwhile, we also must recognize the sobering possibility that — God forbid — we could choose someday to jump overboard again.

The Bible is Catholic

The Written Word

Oral Transmission of the Word

The Right to Interpret

The aim of the Rosary

Protestants sometimes charge Catholics with “vain repetition”

So what is “vain repetition?”

That’s what Jesus means in the second half of Matthew 6:7

The Rosary is not an emptying out but a filling up

This Eastern form of meditation is actually not only vain, but spiritually dangerous

The Rosary is powerful and transformative 

Are We Gods?

November 01, 2012

A common question we get here at Catholic Answers concerns paragraph 460 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4): “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God” (St. Iranaeus, adv. haeres 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939). “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God” (St. Athanasius, De inc., 54, 3: PG 25, 192B). “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc., 57:1-4).

Only one God

A mistranslation

Still, no heresy

“Gods” by proxy

Concluding thoughts

Why I Am Not Eastern Orthodox

April 01, 2005

At a certain point in my life it became clear that I could not remain a typical American Evangelical. But where would I end up? One option I considered was becoming Eastern Orthodox. 

For an Evangelical discovering more traditional forms of Christianity, accepting certain Catholic beliefs (purgatory, indulgences, papal infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, etc.) is very difficult. 

Word Fights
The Papacy
Fractured Unity

How Do We Counter the Charge That the Addition of “Filioque” Was an Illicit Alteration of the Creed?


Some Eastern Orthodox claim that the Catholic Church is under anathema because it added the word filioque (“and the Son”) to the Nicene Creed after the declaration that the Spirit proceeds from the Father. This was illicit, they say, because the Council of Ephesus condemned anyone who composes a new creed. How should we reply?

Why I Didn’t Convert to Eastern Orthodoxy

October 01, 2008

I am probably a rather unusual convert to Catholicism, in that my spiritual journey to Rome involved both the other major world divisions of Christianity—Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Not Quite “Catholic”

Does Orthodoxy Make Sense?

Proposition 1: Infallibility is to be recognized in the solemn doctrinal decisions of ecumenical councils. 

An Insufficient Proposal

Proposition 2: Infallibility is to be recognized in the solemn doctrinal decisions of those councils which are not only papally confirmed as ecumenical, but which are also subsequently accepted as such by the whole Church. 

A Murky Question of Membership

Proposition 3: Infallibility is to be recognized in the solemn doctrinal decisions of those councils which are not only papally confirmed as ecumenical, but which are also subsequently accepted as such by the whole community of those Christians who adhere to true doctrine. 

Proposition 4: Christians can come to know with certainty what is true doctrine by recognizing the solemn doctrinal decisions of those councils which are not only papally confirmed as ecumenical, but which are also subsequently accepted as such by the whole community of those Christians who adhere to true doctrine. 

A Problem at the Root

 May 31, 2018
The Visitation.jpg
The phrase Mother of God is not in Scripture, but…
“Not so fast,” say many of our Protestant friends
So how is kurios is being used in regard to Christ
The parallels are unmistakable. Elizabeth and the Gospel author (plus the unborn John the Baptist!), inspired by the Holy Spirit, recognize that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant and bearer of the fulfillment of all that the old ark contained: not a mere man but divinity in the flesh, alive within her. She is the Mother of God.

IN SEARCH OF “THE GREAT APOSTASY” A Catholic Response to Mormon Claims

By Patrick Madrid

SINCE ITS BEGINNING in 1830, the Mormon Church has denied any continuous historical connection with Christianity. Mormonism’s founder Joseph Smith, claimed that in 1820 God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in the woods near his home in Palmyra, New York. Jesus said that for the proceeding 1700 years (give or take a century — Mormonism can’t say exactly) the world had been living in the darkness of a total apostasy from the gospel. This was the answer to a question young Smith had been pondering. “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of these sects was right, that I might know which to join. . . .I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all these sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong), and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me [Jesus] said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that their professors were all corrupt” Smith convinced his credulous followers, most of them simple rural folk, that he’d been chosen, in what Mormons have come to call the First Vision, to be the first post-apostasy p…

Communion under Both Kinds

Communion under Both Kinds




Peter’s Authority More Solid Than a Rock

 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

May 01, 2010

God Is My Rock

The King’s Delegate

The Good Shepherd

The Vicar of Christ

A Successive Ministry

Debunking Conspiracy Theories About the Church

November 02, 2017

How do I approach a Protestant who “really” believes the conspiracy theories against the Church?

Devil’s actual devotees consider the Church their real and main enemy precisely because Jesus founded the Catholic Church

Satanists perversely partake of Jesus in the Eucharist in their blasphemous “Black Masses”

Anti-Catholicism makes the strangest of bedfellows.

The True Meaning of that Famous Verse

March 09, 2018
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For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, 
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish 
but might have eternal life.

— John 3:16

What is the deepest meaning of these words

Now this is a very deep reality

This love is the source of the great security and consolation

Testing a Biblical Objection to Purgatory

March 06, 2018


“Where’s purgatory in the Bible?” Protestants ask this all the time.Any Catholic who is familiar with apologetics knows to answer with 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:

But for Protestants it’s not so clear

It’s true that when Paul speaks of “the Day”

The time horizon indeed does seem to shift

Now that we know there is such a thing

Pope Benedict XVI points out in Spe Salvi

What does the word Catholic mean?
How did the Church get the name “Catholic?”
When did the Church get the name Catholic?

Until we have real feet

JPII Consecration.jpg

“By what authority do I pick and choose among the miracles underlying the faith?  “I will take the Virgin Birth, a bit of water-to-wine, and feeding the multitude.  Yes, give me a few healing miracles. Of course, I must take the Resurrection.  No, thank you; hold the Eucharist, but give me a small bowl of symbolism please.”  I was in Christianity’s cafeteria line, picking and choosing among what had been negated and denied for the last 500 years.”

The spiritual is more solid

Drama of salvation history

More not less

Prophet, Priest and King

Do you too want to leave?

Any Friend of God’s Is a Friend of Mine

Patrick Madrid.jpg  By Patrick Madrid

“Me and Jesus” Christianity is not biblical

The Church is Christ’s body

Jesus has only one body

Not separated by death

Christians bound in charity

We can only ask Christians here below to pray for us?

Two common Protestant objections

God’s friends are our friends

The “one mediator” argument 


Praying straight to God 

Boettner’s argument

Boettner ignores the Bible

Not all prayer is worship

What about multiple prayers? 

The “necromancy” argument 

Disputed Books of the Bible? A Quick Guide to a Big Topic (With Resources)!

Written By
Genevieve Perkins


1. Where did your canon come from?

2. Did someone add books? (Or did someone else subtract them?)

3. Why did Martin Luther remove these books?

4. What about St. Jerome?

5. What about the Hebrew Bible and Jewish belief?

The Septuagint was a Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, which was translated for Jews when the Greeks had Hellenized much of the area.

The Catholic canon was approved at councils of the Early Church and by saints.

6. Are there New Testament references to the deuterocanonical books?

7. What difference does language make?

And not just language, but translation!

The Deuterocanonical Books


1 Maccabees

2 Maccabees

The Book of Wisdom



Additional Resources

What Is the Answer to Suffering?

February 14, 2018


Since 1670, when they were first published, Blaise Pascal’s Penséeshave proven to be extraordinarily influential upon the minds of Christians and non-Christians alike. Avery Dulles noted, “Few if any apologetical works have brought so many unbelievers on the way to faith.”

Beginning with suffering

The fear factor

Conversion is a journey

A gospel-based approach

The Priesthood Is Both Ministerial and Universal

Tim Staples addresses the weakness of the claim that the verse in John 20 means ‘have already been forgiven’. Also the distinction between universal and ministerial priesthood.

March 01, 2010

One Mediator, Two Priesthoods

So I Send You

Tense Matters

Not Just Anyone

The Perfect Future

To put it simply: God’s power being released “from heaven” is contingent upon a future event of Peter and his successors acting on earth. That, in a nutshell, could be a dictionary definition of priest.

January 15, 2018
the keys to the Kingdom
Papal Primacy
A Sensible Office
Assisted, Not Inspired
Peter the Pitiful
Peter’s Faith Did Not Fail

Jesus Isn’t Your Buddy

January 25, 2018
Jesus buddy.jpg
In recent decades, “personal relationship” theology
But this image of Jesus as a friend is not based in Scripture
Saint Paul does not present Jesus as a “friend” either
Colossians 1:12-20 (Wednesday, Evening Prayer)
Philippians 2:6-11 (Sunday, Evening Prayer I)
Ephesians 1:3-10 (Monday, Evening Prayer)
The type of language Paul uses for Christ is, unfortunately, foreign to our ears

What If Protestants Are Right About the Eucharist?

Joe Heschmeyer  January 16, 2018
At first, it seems like such a revelation
Take, for example, the church at Smyrna
And this is the way that Christians
So why is this important?
This isn’t just about rejecting the Church’s teaching authority

Doctrine: Why We Can’t Crack

Doctrine - why we cant crack

The Apostle Paul was so confident that he was a living and real extension of Christ in the world that Paul could go so far as to say under inspiration of the Holy Ghost

Jesus is the head of the Mystical Body of Christ, but “Christ” includes the whole body of every baptized member

Because I very much believe deep in my heart: God is always faithful

Why James Says Faith Without Works Is Dead

December 27, 2017
faith without works.jpg
A salvific context
The exemplary case of father Abraham
Our Protestants friends are correct
The main point for James is that our works “complete” our faith and keep it alive.

Why ‘Mother of God’ Matters

January 01, 2018
Mother Of God Matters.jpg
The Catechism says of Mary:
This Adoptionist heresy manifests itself
Other Protestants say that “Mother of God”

More Bible Clues for the Priesthood


Priestly ranks

Who is the rebellious Korah?

Old and new priestly prerogatives

Let the light shine

We must read the New in light of the Old, and the Old in light of the New.

Looking for the Historical Jesus—Again

December 14, 2017

The Facebook Challenge

1. Pliny the Younger

2. Tacitus

3. Flavius Josephus

Topic 19: The Eucharist (I)

The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Paschal mystery, making present his unique sacrifice in the liturgy of the Church.

Summaries of Catholic Teaching
Opus Dei - Topic 19: The Eucharist (I)

1. Sacramental nature of the Holy Eucharist.

1.1. What is the Eucharist?

1.2 Names given to this sacrament

1.3 The Eucharist in the sacramental order of the Church

2. The promise of the Eucharist and its institution by Christ

2.1 The promise

2.2 Institution of the sacrament and its Paschal context

2.3 Meaning and content of the Lord’s command

3. Liturgical celebration of the Eucharist

3.1 The fundamental structure of the celebration

Did God Command Jephthah to Burn His Daughter?

Did the Church Chain Up the Bible?

December 04, 2017
The notion that the Church restricts access to Scripture
It is widely believed that Luther was first to translate the Bible into German
The sixth century was witness to…
The Real Story

Defending Catholicism: Confession

Scriptural Basis for Confession – Where is Confession in the Bible?

Objection #1: Only God can forgive sin.

Objection 1A: Do I have to confess my sins to a priest? A priest is just a man – what power does he have to forgive sin?

Objection #2. The Bible says that if I believe that Jesus is Lord, I’ll be saved. Doesn’t the need for Confession mean Christ’s work was lacking in some way?

Objection #3: Why do I have to go to a priest for confession instead of going straight to God? After all, the Bible says that “there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

Objection #4: Confession is nothing more than a permission slip to keep sinning. Since people keep sinning even after going to Confession, doesn’t that mean it doesn’t work?

Sadly, this is not an uncommon tactic
Unfortunately, slavery returned to European society
Yet despite the many papal condemnations of slavery
November 30, 2017
So Long “Solas”
The Ancient, Catholic Church
The Old Testament Canon
The Perpetual Virginity of Mary
Baptismal Regeneration
The Annunciation and Virgin Birth
Jesus and Miracles
Jesus as Prophet
The Divine Nature
So, we can find some common ground
Why aren’t more Christians rich?
Why wasn’t Jesus rich?
The poor can be rich
Where does the Bible say we are not purified of sin after death?
Where does the Bible say we should make Jesus our personal Lord and Savior?
Where does the Bible say all revelation ceased after the apostolic age?

Words and Works

Fide, not Sola Fide

It seems as plain as can be…
Many Christians wrongly think the word baptism…
Perhaps a deeper look
Luke’s account
Before and after
We can admit that there is a mystery
The Church’s understanding of the papal ministry
A second kind of evidence
A final line of evidence
Jesus prays in John 17:21

Value, Dignity, and the Christian Worldview

Naturalism, Value, and Dignity

The Problem of “Equal” Value

October 04, 2017

Reception and the Sense of the Faithful

Clarifying the “Sense of the Faithful”

The ITC on Reception

Conditions for the Sense of the Faithful

Opinion Polls and the Sense of the Faithful

What constitutes grave sin; how to know if I may receive Eucharist?

August 22, 2011 by

Understanding “Grave Matter”

Sins vs Mistakes

Why Communion and Mortal Sin Don’t Go Together


Where does this verse appear in Scripture?


Who is the serpent?

Who is the serpent’s seed?


“Give us this day our supernatural bread.”
Working in the Fourth Century A.D., St. Jerome translated the Bible from Greek into Latin, creating the Vulgate Bible. St. Jerome translated epiousios as “supersubstantial.” What’s also interesting is where St. Jerome was working: Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ. Do you know what “Bethlehem” means in Hebrew? “House of bread“.
Forgiveness in the age to come
Paying your dues
A temporary prison
A Maccabean milieu

Real Presence Challenges Science

Patti Armstrong  Jul. 6, 2016

Miraculous Findings

No Exceptions Allowed

“The fact that these transformations have occurred in a Christian context cannot be avoided,” he said. “And neither can the fact that they confirm the original and enduring doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.”

April 28, 2013
Exodus 20:4 is part of the first commandment that begins in verse 3 and stretches through part of verse five:
By lifting out part of the first commandment appearing to prohibit the making of “any likeness of anything,” not only do you have God contradicting himself in later commanding the making of statues, but you also end up making the first two commandments repetitive.
Though the commandments are said to be “ten” in Exodus 34:28, they are not numbered by the inspired authors of Sacred Scripture. If you count the “you shall nots” along with the two positive commandments of keeping holy the Sabbath and honoring father and mother, you end up with 13 commandments.

Flowery, poetic language that is not intrinsically literal in nature or intent.

Interpreting the words in context (especially a Christological context).

To speak of a human being as participating in “saving” others is perfectly biblical:

1 Corinthians 9:22

1 Timothy 4:16

Philippians 2:12b-13

2 Corinthians 4:15

Ephesians 3:2

12 Early Church Quotes That Will Challenge Protestants

Here are 12 quotes from the Early Church that leave Protestants grasping at straws to explain them away. Read all 12. These are not obscure men or obscure writings. They are saints who are firmly within the mainstream of Christian history. Another 12 quotes could have been selected just as well. If a Protestant disagrees, he must ask himself, how were these guys all so clueless and why did later generations of Christians revere them so much? There must be Christian writers from the same period who were “in the right” about these topics, so can you find them?
The Promises of the Contraception Advocates
The concerns and predictions of Pope Paul VI
The divorce rate did not decline; it skyrocketed
Abortion rates did not decline; they skyrocketed as well
Women’s dignity
As for preventing/reducing STDs and AIDS
Add to this list of effects
Declining birth rates
Conclusion: Time will prove where wisdom lies. What have we learned over these decades of contraception? First, we have learned that it is a huge failure in meeting its promises; it has backfired, making things worse rather than better. Marriage, families, and children have all taken a huge hit. Bad behavior has been encouraged and all the bad consequences that flow from it are flourishing. Most people seem largely uninterested in this data. Hearts have become numb and minds have gone to sleep. I hope that you will consider this information thoughtfully and share it with others. Time has proven where wisdom lies. It is time to admit the obvious.









Situational Ethics