Pelagianism and Apologetics for Today

Pelagianism is a heresy that began in the 4th century, denying original sin and the necessity of grace. Pelagianism bares the name of moralist and theologian, Pelagius. While little is actually known about Pelagius we can come to understand his teachings from letters and books by his opponents: Augustine, Jerome, and others. It is thought that Pelagius is from Britain or Ireland although he spent much of his adult life in Rome and Palestine. Although he wasn’t a priest he was viewed as a learned and holy man. As a theologian he was concerned with man’s nature, relationship to God, and his moral obligation. Pelagius was well versed in Greek and Latin. He was well read in regard to the works of Augustine, Jerome, Rufinus, and Origen. In fact, it was from Augustine’s book Free Choice (written between 388-395) that Pelagius got many of his ideas and thoughts regarding free will and the nature of man. Pelagius was a strong opponent of the Manicheans, arguing with Augustine against their determinism and fatalism, while in Rome from 380-411 AD. After the destruction of Rome in 410 he briefly stopped in Northern Africa. From there he went to Palestine where his views were more accepted, until confrontations arose with Jerome. Jerome saw Pelagius’ beliefs as extensions of those of Origen and Rufinus. Jerome argued vehemently against Pelagius concerning his viewpoints of man’s capacity of sinlessness apart from Christ.

The Crises of Saints–Crisis Magazine

We don’t have to go very far to recognize that there are abundant crises in our world today. We find crises of various proportions in every corner of the globe and in virtually all sectors of society. Check the news online, read the various blogs, twitter feeds, social media, or turn on the radio or TV, and you are guaranteed to be inundated with crises of every sort: crises in the world, crises in the Church, crises in the culture. We don’t even have to turn to news outlets to discover contemporary crises, we find them in the families around us, and in our own families……..

Source: The Crises of Saints–Crisis Magazine

The Ongoing Dictatorship of Relativism -Crisis Magazine

On March 22, 2013, Pope Francis addressed the Diplomatic Corps with a warning against the “tyranny of relativism.” He then explained his selection of the name Francis as in part stemming from St. Francis’ battle for peace, a peace which Pope Francis underscored was impossible without Truth. The necessary struggle for truth not only remains …

Source: The Ongoing Dictatorship of Relativism – Crisis Magazine

July 22-24, 2015: Applied Biblical Studies Conference

A picture of a group of us from a previous ABSC conference
A picture of a group of us from a previous ABSC conference

This July 22-24, 2015, you are not going to want to miss the Applied Biblical Studies Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville! It promises to be one of the most incredible conferences they’ve hosted, with a stellar line up of speakers. The conference theme this year is, “The Joy of the Gospel: Paul’s Letter

Scott Hahn
Scott Hahn

to the Philippians.” The event will kick off Weds. evening, the 22nd, with Scott Hahn overview of Philippians. His is just one of the many exciting talks that we’ll get to hear throughout the conference. We’ll hear about: Philippians 1 from Michael Barber; Philippians 2 as well as a second talk on the Eucharist from Brant Pitre; Philippians 3 as well as a second talk on Pope Francis from Edward Sri; Philippians 4 from John Bergsma; the joy of the Lord as our strength from Kimberly Hahn; recent scholarly discussions on Paul from Fr. Pablo Gadenz; a talk on Mary in the Old

New Book on the Life of Alvaro del Portillo, to-be beatified September of 2014

Venerable Alvaro del Portillo
Venerable Alvaro del Portillo

A dear friend of mine, and colleague at Seton Hall University, John Coverdale, has just published a wonderful book on the life of Alvaro del Portillo, who will be beatified this September, 2014. Coverdale got to know del Portillo while they were both living in Rome just before, during, and just after, the Second Vatican Council, in the 1960s. A historian of Spain in the early part of the 20th century, and a biographer of St. Josemaria and also of Fr. Joseph Muzquiz (who was ordained a priest alongside del Portillo), Coverdale (now a law professor) is well placed to write this inspiring biography.

A consummate historian (Coverdale earned his Ph.D. in history from the U. of Wisconsin

Organic Family Planning

NFP is 100% natural, has no artificial preservatives, is completely organic and is the only green option!

Organic CertifiedIn my working with couples preparing to be married I have discovered that while many of them know that the Church is “against” birth control, pre-maritial sex, and cohabitation, they have no idea why. They hear the Church saying, “No, no, no” but are not taught what the Church is for and what the Church is saying, “Yes, yes, yes” to. The couples seem to believe the Church is out of touch and out to lunch on these issues. And they certainly have never heard that within marriage there is an alternative that embraces the openness to life, and allows the couple to be a discerning, co-creator with God.  This alternative is called Natural Family Planning (NFP).

However, one of the many reasons I give, as a male working with couples, is that Natural Family Planning is pro-women.  It respects the femininity of the female and does not ask her to be something she is not.  In articulating my point, I have changed the name from “Natural Family Planning” to “Organic Family Planning.”  I even joke that my wife and I are “Organic Certified” and I have thoughts of producing t-shirts to wear to that effect.

Superheroes or Saints?

For a while now, my three year old son has been telling us that when he grows up he wants to be a superhero. Recently, my five year old daughter asked me if superheroes are real. We spoke a little about how the Saints are the real superheroes. After that conversation it struck me how true that is: the Saints are the real superheroes.

Many of the superheroes we know and love from comic books, movies, and t.v., are people like Batman or Superman, who, most of the time, live ordinary lives without performing the superhero actions their hidden life selves are known for. They tend to dress, work, and speak as would anyone else in their specific state in life, in their line of work, in their economic status, etc. Unbeknownst to their neighbors and friends, they possess superhero abilities.

Love and Truth