It is common today to hear secularists and modernists charge Christianity—particularly the Catholic Church—with destroying cultures by imposing a new and foreign lifestyle on societies and conquered peoples.1 It is lamentable that some members of the Church—including popes—have committed egregious actions against beneficial cultural customs.2 However, this is only one side of the story. The Church is also responsible for the preservation of ancient cultures which would have otherwise faded into oblivion. Continue reading
The heartwrenching situation of the European judicial system determining the fate of Charlie Gard has captured international attention and a petition has been launched for his parents to exercise their right to make medical decisions for their son. It is a shame this abuse of judicial power receives less attention than the media’s fixation on political opponents. Calls have flooded the Vatican asking the Pope to intervene and the Pontifical Academy for Life issued a statement two days. The statement is disappointing, to say the least, and one writer notes that it is frightening that the Catholic Church is not taking a firmer stance for Charlie’s life. Continue reading
My rating: 4 out of 5
Nijay Gupta. Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2011 (ISBN 978-1-60899-769-5) viii + 156 pp., Pb. $21.00. Available on Amazon HERE.
Pursuing a Ph.D. in biblical studies can be a daunting and mystifying experience that leaves potential students confused about the process. Nijay Gupta’s book Prepare, Succeed, Advance provides an overview of the journey to a Ph.D. bringing encouragement and clarity to prospective students. Continue reading
Today the Church celebrates the apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes.1 The visionary, Bernadette Soubirous, was fourteen at the time of the apparitions in 1858. On July 7th, 1866, she arrived at Nevers, France,to join the congregation of the Sisters of Charity. She was twenty-two at the time and was accepted as a postulant on July 29th at their mother house, St. Gildard, in Nevers. She remained at St. Gildard until her death thirteen years later in 1879. Continue reading
Today marks the 420th anniversary of the twenty-six Japanese martyrs of Nagasaki in 1597 under the Tokugawa shogunate. Shūsaku Endō’s novel, Silence, takes place during the shogunate’s persecution of Christians in the 1640s when many Japanese Christians died for the faith. The controversial nature of the novel and the film has yielded negative reviews which claim the message of Endō’s work is the justification of apostasy and positive reviews which praise the moral ambiguity inherent in the novel devoid of clear black and white solutions.1 Both interpretations are valid for a surface level reading of Silence but there is a depth to the novel missed in many interpretations.2 Continue reading