Were the early Christians persecuted? In this episode, we begin our new series on martyrdom in the history of early Christianity. In this episode, we discuss the evidence provided by the Roman historian Tacitus.
The Importance of Tradition for Catholic Interpretations of the Bible – Catholic Approach to the Bible Series – CHS 83
How important is tradition for Catholic interpretations of the Bible? In this episode, I provide my first response to a recent book written about the value of Reformation principles for the interpretation of the Bible.
In the Second Vatican Council’s Unitatis Redintegratio (Restoration of Unity – The Decree on Ecumenism 21 Nov 1964), the Council fathers spoke of the shared heritage among all Christians. The Council fathers wrote as follows: “On the other hand, Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage
Was the Council of Trent the First Ecumenical Council to Canonize the Deuterocanonical Books?
In general introductions to the history of the Bible or in books critical of Catholic Christianity, the claim is often made that the Council of Trent was the first ecumenical Council to canonize the Deuterocanonical books. This claim is made
Helping the Next Generation Keep the Faith – Why Study the Catholic Heritage Series
Recent sociological research done by Christian Smith indicates that a high percentage of teens from all US Christian denominations are quickly abandoning Christianity altogether. In a decades long study, Dr. Smith discovered that the religious faith of most US Christian teens is that of therapeutic, moralistic Deism.
Augustine remains among the most well-known Fathers of the early Church. But, how did Augustine’s writings become known to a wider audience after his death? In this episode, we will explore how Augustine’s writings survived in to sixth century Italy through the work of Cassiodorus. Augustine had an initial audience among Italy’s Christians.
The Truth is Known Only to a Few People – The Gnostic Character of Recent Criticism of Pope Francis Series
One of the salient characteristics of recent criticisms of Pope Francis is the insistence that this awareness is only enjoyed by a few people. Recent English-speaking critics of Francis across the globe have argued that knowledge about Francis and his true agenda was only seen by a few vigilant Catholics since the beginning of his pontificate. As the months and weeks go by,
Every Sunday, various Christian groups (Catholic, Orthodox and certain Protestants) recite a creed which encapsulates some of the central tenets of their faith. In this episode we talk about the practical benefits of reciting the creed on the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed or the Apostles’ Creed on a weekly basis.
What did early Christians think about the Scriptures? In this episode, I reflect upon a comment left in class by my former instructor, the late Manlio Simonetti, who stated that in the early church, the Scriptures enjoyed a primacy of place in early Christian
Why is counterargument important for discerning the truth? In this episode, we talk about the importance of critically evaluating not only the ideas of others, but also one’s own ideas. We encourage our audience to examine the various media they consume and ask themselves
What did medieval theologians think about a diversity of theological ideas on the eve of the Reformation? In this episode, we will explore the phenomenon of theological pluralism on the eve of the Reformation.
In the recent past, certain US and Canadian lay Catholics have taken to criticizing Pope Francis. Among their various and numerous criticisms, they often insert a personal testimony about their initial reaction to his election. They note that when they first saw him step out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, they immediately experienced some uncertainty.
There are strong parallels in the ways current Catholic critics are evaluating the words and deeds of Pope Francis to the way earlier scholarship on the papacy evaluated the words and deeds of his predecessors.
What did early Christians of the greater church think about the relationship between Scripture, tradition and the authority the church. In this episode, we argue that early Christians of the greater church believed that apostolic session was the glue connecting the early post-apostolic church to the apostles and ultimately to Christ. The teaching of apostolic succession states that the authority the apostles passes down to their legitimately appointed successors in the very churches they founded.
Ambrose of Milan played a very important role in Augustine’s conversion. When Augustine met Ambrose, he was in a difficult position: he was no longer intellectually committed to Manicheism but he had not yet overcome some of the major philosophical and theological challenges which the movement had posed to him.
Evaluating Secondary Sources – How to Study the Catholic Heritage Series
How does one discern good from poor quality materials online or in printed materials? In this episode, we talk about the important roles that the gatekeepers, that is, acquisitions editors, play in ensuring the high-quality the materials they publish. We contrast the rigor of the peer review process
Who was St. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine? In this episode, we take a look at the life and work of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) who was arguably the most learned Catholic theologian and apologist of the sixteenth century.
How can Catholics become better students of the Catholic Heritage? In this episode, we discuss the importance of considering the genre of a document. Not all documents are the same. Authors in the Catholic heritage have composed letters, poems, theological treatises,
A recent trend has emerged among certain lay Catholics with substantial online internet followings. In their social media feeds and various media productions, they are making various claims about Pope Francis and US Catholic bishops on the authority of their unnamed “sources.”
My Recent Trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro North Carolina
The month of February marks African American History month. I recently visited the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, in order to better understand the history of the Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s) in the Southeast. In this episode, I briefly discuss the
Identifying the Commitments of the Author – How to Study the Catholic Heritage Series
How does one properly interpret the records of the Catholic heritage? In this episode we discuss the aspect of examining the stated or unstated commitments of any author, especially secondary source authors such as contemporary scholars. What authors believe about the Life Questions, we believe,
What is the best translation of the Bible in the year 2019? In this episode, we briefly discuss some of the best translations of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament. Among other things, we note that students of the Bible should
Did Catholicism exist before the reign of the Emperor Constantine (r. 306-337 AD)? Various historians and other scholars claim that Catholicism, as we would recognize it today, did not exist before the reign of either Constantine or his later successor, the Emperor Theodosius I (r. 379 -395). In this episode, we look at
Catholic laity have recently begun to use Gnostic rhetoric in their criticism’s of Pope Francis. In this episode, we provide a brief overview on Gnosticism’s origins, tenets and conflicts with the bishops of the early Church.
How does one properly interpret the records of the Catholic heritage? In this episode we discuss the aspect of expecting the unexpected from the sources. By expecting surprises, by not assuming the author’s position and by avoiding assumptions, readers can obtain a more accurate sense of a given author’s meaning at the time of composition.
Is media coverage of Pope Francis’s words fair? In this episode we discussed the various factors that go into the ways the media handles Pope Francis’s words. We consider such factors as the ability of journalist to grab an audience’s attention,
How does one properly interpret the records of the Catholic heritage? In this episode we discuss the aspect of considering the author’s objectives. By taking a closer look at the actual text, it central aims, context and purpose, readers can obtain a more accurate sense of the author’s meaning.
Certain Catholics express much hostility toward the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). One such objection posits that the Second Vatican Council was entirely focused on pastoral matters and not Catholic doctrine. For this reason, those who use this argument often maintain that the statements of the Second Vatican Council as well as its actions can be simply disregarded. In this episode, we talk
At the moment of his death, Augustine’s North Africa was being quickly overrun by Vandal forces.
When students and scholars study church history, what are their chief objectives?
How does one begin to study Catholic history and theology in greater detail? In this episode, we discuss the role of the primary sources in the study of the Catholic heritage.
Did Philo reject the Deuterocanonical books? In this episode, we discuss some of the historical, textual
Oftentimes, people say that they do not like history because just do not do history. In this episode, we question the notion whether the doing of history is in fact optional.
Was There a Canon of Scripture in North Africa before 393?
Did the North African Church possess a canon of Scripture before 393? In this episode, we discuss
Does Quotation Equal Canonicity? Pt 3
What are the implications of the fact that quotation does not equal canonicity? In this episode, we will explore the full consequences of concluding that
How does one locate the primary sources of the Catholic heritage? In this episode, we take a few minutes to talk about the ways in which we can find the primary sources.
Does Quotation Equal Canonicity? Pt 1
Does quotation equal canonicity? Certain Protestant scholars and apologists have frequently appealed to the principle that quotation equals canonicity. In other words, when such Christian authors as Polycarp, Ignatius and Clement of Rome appealed to the statements of Scripture, they were recognizing, at least implicitly, the canonical status of these books.
What Have I Learned from My 2018 Work on the Catholic Heritage Show?
What have I learned from my 2018 work on the Catholic Heritage Show? In this episode we will talk about the three major lessons I have learned is a direct result of my work in the Catholic Heritage Show.
In this bonus episode we explore one of the key components for the study of Church history, namely, context.
What Does Incarnation Mean in Christianity
What does the term “incarnation” mean in Christianity? In this episode, we are going to briefly review the history of the Christian doctrine of the incarnation.
The Canon of Scripture and Christian Unity
What is the relationship between the canon of Scripture and the Unity of Christians? Among other things, we discuss Martin Luther’s early 1519 Leipzig debate with the Catholic theologian and scholar, Johannes Eck.
How Unique Was Augustine in Resolving Conflicting Canonical Lists?
How unique were Augustine’s statements about conflicting canons of Scripture? In this bonus episode,
Some Reflections on the Current Crisis in the Catholic Church
What does one make of the recent scandals in the Catholic Church? In this episode, we talk about Dr. Estrada’s thoughts concerning the recent criticisms that have been leveled against Pope Francis.
Who Does Heresy and Orthodoxy Mean?
What do the words “heresy” and “orthodoxy” mean? In this episode, we talk about these two critical terms in the study of the Catholic Heritage in general and the early Christianity in particular.
Jesus, the Apostles, the First-Century Church and the Canon
In this episode, we answer a listener’s question who asks: Could one establish the canon by solely examining the testimonies of Jesus, the Apostles and the first-century Church?
The Canon of Scripture and How Christians Know Anything About Christianity
What is the relationship between the canon of Scripture, the Church’s authority and what the ways Christians are able to know anything about Christian revelation?
Examples of Fraternal Correction in Church History
What are some examples of fraternal correction down through church history? In this episode, we will review a couple examples of fraternal correction at key points in the history of the Church.
The Principle of Fraternal Correction and Its Biblical Bases
On what grounds should one go about seeking to correct a fellow Catholic Christian?