Scott Hahn and Emily Stimpson Chapman have written a marvelous and timely book, Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of Death and the Resurrection of the Body. It not only explains the Christian meaning of death, and of the afterlife, but also the importance Christianity places on the body. The logic of relics and of the Sacraments makes profound sense when we understand them in this context. They ground their discussion, not only in light of contemporary Church teaching, but also in the teachings of the Church Fathers and of the Bible. Death is a reality we all have to face—it’s the one certitude everyone is prepared to admit, but so few are prepared to embrace. Hope to Die goes a long way in helping us prepare well for that moment, not only by helping us understand it better, but as importantly, in encouraging us to live so as to prepare ourselves for that final moment, which we do not know when will come. Instead of fearing that moment, this book encourages hope, and explains why, in some sense, what comes after death, should be something for which we yearn. They situate Church teaching on death, the body, the resurrection, heaven, etc., in the pages of Scripture, showing the organic growth as the Tradition continues to reflect on these important matters, and apply them in our changing contexts over time. They show how the body itself is a sort of sacrament; it has spiritual significance. They cover a host of related topics including Christian burials, funerals, death, judgement, the bodily resurrection, Catholic devotions including relics, and the Eucharist. My favorite chapter, I think, was chapter 9, on what heaven will be like, and how our lives will finally make sense, as will the lives of others, and all of human history. We should spend our whole lives lovingly preparing for the next, when everything in our life that seemed a mystery will finally make sense as we lovingly contemplate God’s fatherly providence with Him, the author of our lives and of human history. This is a book you will want to read, and reread over and over again during key moments of your life. It is available for pre-order here: https://stpaulcenter.com/product/hope-to-die-the-christian-meaning-of-death-and-the-resurrection-of-the-body/?fbclid=IwAR0eKnf4ZO2FWeLLeS6v7gLzQSyPpHz2uRerNw_6HgMFyW-FUsx_FSqBX8o
My Catholic Apologetics Resources has been published by the Principium Institute, and is available in both Kindle for $2.99, and in Paperback for $6.99. It has come out just in time for Lent, for those interested in beefing up on their apologetics reading during Lent. The book is a lengthy bibliography, organized both topically and by reading level. Spanning 219 pages, this resources lists important sources on a variety of topics: baptism, communion of saints, confession, Crusades, Eucharist, existence of God, Inquisition, Jesus’ resurrection, Mary, papacy, purgatory, reformation, reliability of the New Testament, reliability of the Old Testament, and a number of other topics.
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.
Dr. Michael Barber interviewed Dr. Jeff Morrow on The Sacred Page radio show for a Catholic radio station. The interview pertained to his conversion to Catholicism and also his research on the political roots of modern biblical criticism.