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Updated: 5 hours 47 min ago

Making sense of the Old Testament God

07/17/2017 - 2:08pm

In Priestly Atonement, by the Numbers, when I mentioned the apparently harsh measures (such as plagues) which God took to make sure the Israelites did His will, I acknowledged how “difficult it may be for us to grasp the importance of teaching the Israelites in this particular way”. Some readers responded by asking whether I could make God’s ways under the Old Covenant easier to understand. I can only do my best.

Priestly Atonement, by the Numbers

07/14/2017 - 10:01am

As I continue this excursion through the somewhat trying Biblical books of Leviticus, Numbers and eventually Deuteronomy, one of the most important concepts in Numbers that I’d like to introduce is that of atonement. The idea of atonement is absent in Genesis, makes a slight appearance in Exodus, develops in Leviticus (a priestly book) and attains its Old Testament glory in Numbers. Given that atonement lies at the very heart of the New Covenant, there are spiritual benefits to seeing how it develops in the Old.

The problem with doctrinal obscurity

06/28/2017 - 1:21pm

The most important thing I read while on vacation this month was Phil Lawler’s June 23rd commentary, “A papal commission reconsidering Humanae Vitae? No, but...”. This is not because Phil proved anything, but because he raised exactly the right question: What is going on, under Pope Francis, with the Pontifical Academy for Life and the John Paul II Institute in Rome?

Original Sin: What is it really and why does it matter?

05/16/2017 - 10:12am

I had a very interesting exchange over the weekend with a man who raised two important questions: First, does the Church teach that the human soul is created at conception? Second, how does the soul contract original sin from Adam? A great deal can go wrong in considering both of these questions.

How can the laity renew the Church?

05/02/2017 - 12:12pm

In March and April I suggested that what the business world calls rightsizing is absolutely critical to the renewal of the Church. My point was that if the Church does not learn once again to exclude those who, within her own ranks, have rejected her official teachings on faith and morals, then she is doomed at best to spiritual lethargy. But I also pointed out that the laity have provided the chief impetus for renewal in the Church for the past fifty years, which means that those most active in this quest have no ecclesiastical authority.