Matthew is a husband, father, and pursuer of truth. He is a contributor to Epic Pew, Catholic Exchange, Managing editor at Catholic Stand, and runs a blog at thesimplecatholic.blog. He has earned an Masters in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and recently started pursuing his dream of being a freelance writer. In this episode Matthew discusses the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist and the biblical evidence to support it. We attempted to record this episode a couple times had some technology difficulties. I highly recommend you check out Matthew’s article on the Eucharist at https://thesimplecatholic.blog/2019/07/27/3-reasons-why-critically-reading-john-6-will-convert-protestants/
Keith Little joins me this week to discuss his faith journey and some aha moments that changed his life. We discuss his ministry “Biblical Principles for Growth”, and his upcoming podcast that launches on Aug 21 on Breadbox Media. Check out Keith’s website at www.biblicalpriciplesforgrowth.org to learn more.
The letters of Paul were among the first to be recognized in 90 ad and were being assembled in small collections. The four Gospels were decided on around the year 200. There were various canons proposed, but the Pauline letters and the four gospels seemed to have staying power. Other books such as Revelation and Hebrews were battled over.
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Throughout history there have been many attempts made to understand the Trinity. Some of these attempts were good and helped us advance our knowledge of the divine, but some fell to heresy in an effort to explain. Yes, the Trinity is a plurality of persons, but this does not contradict divine Oneness. The three persons of the Trinity have different operations as it is the Father who creates, the Son redeems, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies (CCC 235). Some try to explain this away with the heresy of Modalism which states that God operates under different modes, or manifestations, throughout history.
We can look into the pages of sacred scripture to show the plurality and Oneness on full display. At the baptism of Christ, we read of the newly baptized Christ, the voice of the Father speaking from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove (Matthew 3:13-17). Neither is the Trinity three gods, but tradition from the earliest days of Christianity, and scripture, teach Oneness. These heresies popped up to understand, and in some cases, to undermine divine revelation regarding the Trinity. As previously stated, the persons of the Trinity are united in purpose, have functions, and the ultimate goal of our redemption. They are the same substance, and as such each is wholly and truly God.
The following article is my guest post on The Simple Catholic blog. Visit The Simple Catholic blog at thesimplecatholic.blog for great content.
Within the theology of grace, we see a connection between the sacraments as instruments of grace, and Christ who is the instrument of grace. Opponents of the church argue that Christ is the sole mediator and cite 1 Timothy 2:5 as a prooftext. Regarding Christ being the only mediator between God and man the church agrees and has also taught it to be so. However, Christ can mediate in any way he desires since he is the second person of the blessed Trinity. Christ chose to mediate through the sacraments. Charles Journet describes this as, “Christ was to come as Mediator, to teach, to give his grace through the sacraments” (Journet 6.6).
It is important to make the distinction instruments of grace, and the instrument of grace. The two are quite different and the distinction is vital. The sacraments are instruments of grace because they were established by Christ to convey grace. He is the instrument through which the sacraments convey grace. St. Thomas Aquinas sums it up quite nicely when he writes, “The principal cause works by the power of its form, to which form the effect is likened; just as fire by its own heat makes something hot. In this way none but God can cause grace” (STIII, Q62, A1).
This is seen in all sacraments and in a profound way in the sacrament of reconciliation. In John 20:23 Jesus tells the disciples, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (NRSV). We go to the priest to confess our sins. We are not confessing our sins to a man, but a man who is acting in the person of Christ. It is not a man that is forgiving our sin, but Jesus is working through the priest to do so.
Reconciliation is a part of repentance, and the sinner shows his intention by word and deed. The absolving of sin done by the priest is the work of God who forgives sin (STIII, Q84, A1). This shows that the sacraments are instruments of grace, and that Christ is the cause. Christ is the instrument as he instituted the sacraments.
Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologia. Trans. Thomas Gornall. Blackfriars, St. Joseph, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1981. Accessed September 15, 2018.
Stevens, P.G. The Life of Grace. New York: Prentice Hall, 1963.
It is that time of year again. A time where millions of Christians the world over observe the season of Lent. Lent is a time of reflection and abstinence and teaches us that there are things more important than our carnal desires. Lent has been observed since the beginnings of the church and looks to the time that our Lord spend fasting in the desert before the start of his public ministry. St. Ignatius of Antioch in 110 AD said “Despise not the fast period of forty days, for it comprises an imitation of the conduct of the Lord”.
It is during this time of year that we hear of people giving up things. Some give up chocolate, social media, and coffee. Others give up something totally different. We give up these things to offer it up to God in prayer. Fasting without prayer is just dieting. If we are not praying and reading scripture then what are we doing? Chances are we are missing the point of what Lent is all about. A time of reflection, realigning priorities so God is in the forefront, and growing in love for Christ an our neighbor.
I urge you to not look at it as giving something up, but as taking something up. Use this forty day period to make a habit of a spiritual practice. If you are not currently praying on a daily basis you can give up 15 minutes of sleep or 15 minutes of your lunch break to pray. The same if you are not reading scripture. Adding these two practices to your day to day life will help you grow in your walk with Christ and remind you of what is important on a daily basis. Have a blessed Lent my friends.
The Bible is full of examples when it comes to leadership. As a Christian it would only make sense that there be a Bible devoted to the issue. After all, we are all leaders of some kind. Whether at work, home, or in our churches there are circumstances in which we are a leader. John Maxwell has been a pastor of a large church, and he is also one of the most sought after speakers and authors on the topic of leadership. His notes about leadership in this volume are second to none.
The Bible itself is the New King James translation of scripture. The translation itself is great, and the only qualm I have is that the deuterocanonical books are not included (I’m Catholic…what can I say). The notes in this Bible are amazing. As previously stated, Maxwell has notes and articles on leadership throughout this volume. He lists the 21 laws of leadership, 21 qualities of a leader, a detailed index that point to leadership issues, as well as over 100 biographical profiles. If you are a leader of any kind, and we all are, this is a great addition to your library…if only for the notes and articles alone.
[Note: This book was received free of charge from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.]