Friday, January 22, 2010

Am I my brother's keeper?

Ezekiel 33:7-9
Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself.

YES, I AM!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Peter Kreeft coming to Grand Rapids

It is with great pleasure that I share with you that Peter Kreeft, one of my favorite theologians / philosophers, is coming to Grand Rapids Michigan on January 28th 7:30p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary. His talk titled Wisdom of Jesus, is sure to inspire and challenge us all. To learn more about his talk and this event, please visit our website.

I was first introduced to Peter Kreeft by way of C.S. Lewis. After looking online for more information on C.S. Lewis, I happened upon a couple of Peter Kreeft's talks where he comments on many of C.S. Lewis writings. While looking through all of the talks that are available on the Featured Audio section of his website, I noticed a talk on ecumenism. Since ecumenism is one of my passions, I listened to his talk Ecumenism without Compromise, and I have been hooked ever since.

Here is a couple of other talks of his that I have enjoyed:
Needless to say, I am very excited to see him live, and I hope that I get an opportunity to meet him face to face.

God bless you all...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Catholic Answers :- Open Forum for Non Catholics

I remember the time when I was not a Catholic, but I was taking steps (okay not steps, but leaps) learning more and more about the Catholic faith.  I had plenty of questions (still do), and I had a group of friends that had a lot of answers.  Some of the answers were perfect, others I found still wanting.

In search of Truth, I found a radio program called Catholic Answers Live.  It is a radio program where they bring in priests and lay apologists onto the show and they talk about various topics.  Every month, they do one show where the discriminate against their Catholic audience called Open Forum for Non Catholics.  They ask all of the Catholics not to call in and they devote a whole hour to fielding questions from Non-Catholics.  I have to admit, this is my favorite show of the month and I look forward to it.

Tim Staples, renowned Catholic Apologist and fellow convert to the faith, was the guest for January's Open Forum for Non Catholics.  His conversion story can be found in Surprised by the Truth, but more than that, he is someone that loves God and loves His Church.

If you are interested in listening to this month's episode, where Tim talks about the biblical precedence for Purgatory and the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, amongst other things, you can find it here.  If you are interested in listening to more Open Forum for Non Catholics, then feel free to use the search functionality on their website, which you will find here.  (Search for "non catholic" in the title if you are interested in more Open Forum for Non Catholics / Tough Questions from Non-Catholics)

Thanks and God bless...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Does the Bible teach abstinence from alcohol?

I had one of the best weekends.  A friend of mine that I grew up with, came to stay with my family this weekend.  I was very glad to hear that he is growing more and more in his faith.  It was very inspiring.

As a new Christian, he has a lot of questions.  One of his friends had told him that the Bible is against drinking alcohol.  His friend also told him that every reference in scripture where it talks about wine, is not fermented and pretty much amounts to grape juice.  For this reason, he abstains from alcohol altogether.

If someone believes that abstaining from alcohol brings them closer to God, I am all for it.  I think that sacrifice / fasting is one of the ways that we grow in our faith and get closer to God.  However, with that being said, I do not think that it is necessary to misinterpret scripture in order to support this practice.

In order to debunk this false interpretation of Scripture, we discussed many different verses - however, the most important verse that we found together was the following:

Luke 7:33-34
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." '

There are a couple of obvious things that we can gain from this verse.  Wine is alcoholic in scripture.  It is not just grape juice.  It must be, since they slandered Jesus saying that he was a drunkard.  Which of course leads us to our next fact.  Jesus drank wine.  Jesus drank alcohol.

There is plenty of support in scripture that we are not to drink alcohol in order to get drunk.  We should never let drinking get out of hand to where it impairs our judgement.  But it is completely in line with Scripture to drink alcohol.

God bless...