IP#296 Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J. – God So Loved the World pt. 2 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

We continue with part 2 of our discussion with Fr. Spitzer….

For part 1 of our conversation visit here

In our conversation with Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., we enter into “God So Loved the World: Clues to Our Transcendent Fr.-Robert-SpitzerDestiny from the Revelation of Jesus“, which is the third installment of his “Happiness, Suffering, and Transcendence” series. Not only is Fr. Spitzer a brilliant theologian, but he has the heart of caring pastor who understands the needs of the questing minds of so many lost and wandering souls.  With an extraordinary grasp of philosophy, theology and cosmology, he is able to take complicated concepts and mix them with joy, beauty, and a grace-filled enthusiasm without doing damage to the subject matter.  In this volume, he addresses “What is LOVE”, “Who is LOVE”, and maybe in an even deeper way, “The why of LOVE”.  Of course we know, “God is Love”, but God as a Father?  God as a Son?  God as Holy Spirit?  How is the mind to grasp such penetrating Truth?  And more importantly, how is the heart to perceive this eternal divine mystery?

We were able to meet with Fr. Spitzer for this discussion at his offices located at the Magis Center in Garden Grove, CA.

God So Loved the WorldYou can find the book here

From the book description:

In this volume the brilliant Fr. Spitzer probes in detail the major question that if an intelligent Creator God – manifest in logical proofs, scientific evidence, and near death experiences – who is the source of our desire for the sacred, and the transcendental desires for truth, love, goodness, and beauty, would want to reveal himself to us personally and ultimately.

He then shows this is reasonable not only in light of our interior experience of a transcendent Reality, but also that a completely intelligent Reality is completely positive–implying its possession of a completely positive virtue – namely “love”, defined as agape.

This leads to the question whether God might be unconditionally loving, and if he is, whether he would want to make a personal appearance to us in a perfect act of empathy – face to face. After examining the rational evidence for this, he reviews all world religions to see if there is one that reveals such a God – an unconditionally loving God who would want to be with us in perfect empathy. This leads us to the extraordinary claim of Jesus Christ who taught that God is “Abba”, the unconditionally loving Father.

Jesus’ claims go further, saying that He is also unconditional love, and that his mission is to give us that love through an act of complete self-sacrifice. He also claims to be the exclusive Son of the Father, sent by God to save the world, and the one who possesses divine power and authority. The rest of the book does an in-depth examination of the evidence for Jesus’ unconditional love of sinners, his teachings, his miracles, and his rising from the dead. As well as the evidence for Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit that enabled his disciples to perform miracles in his name, and evidence for the presence of the Holy Spirit today.

IP#299 Dr. Rodney Stark – Bearing False Witness on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Dr. Rodney StarkOnce again, Dr. Rodney Stark, the author of the best-selling “The Rise of Christianity” brings clarity to history with his book “Bearing False Witness:  Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History“!  A professor of social science and co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, Dr. Stark is a master of research and source analysis.  With his eagle’s eye, he assess the landscape of history and systematically debunks anti-Catholic “myths” one after another.  Whether he is untying the knot of the “Spanish Inquisition” or placing in proper perspective the motivation and actions of the Church in the various Crusades, he never fails to place before his readers an engaging presentation of the “truth”.  He remains one of our all-time favorite guests and authors…take a listen!

Bearing False WitnessYou can find the book here

Rodney Stark gives the last acceptable prejudice a sound thrashing and clears up a lot of confused history along the way. Give this fine book to anyone you know who’s been subjected to ‘social studies.’” —George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

“Growing up Catholic in the United States is to hear a constant stream of stuff that, one’s experience shows, is just not true. Still I have always trusted that some unbiased non-Catholic scholar would one day look at the evidence (even its simple logic) again. Little did I imagine that this expected dispassionate historian would be so deeply informed, lucid, thorough, and blunt. Rodney Stark has done justice to neglected historical truth, and I am deeply grateful for his steady toughmindedness. His aim was to honor the truth, so now it remains for historians to look again, face his challenges, and come refreshed to their own verdicts.” —Michael Novak, winner of the Templeton Prize (1994), author of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

“A majestically argued, gorgeously written, and essential book by one of the truly indispensable minds of our time. Bearing False Witness is one more gift to history from Rodney Stark. It should in turn be given to and read by students and professors everywhere, whatever their beliefs.” —Mary Eberstadt, author of How the West Really Lost God and It’s Dangerous to Believe

IP#277 Steve Weidenkopf – The Glory of the Crusades on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

How can the Crusades be considered “glorious”?  That was the first question that popped up in my mind when I saw “The Glory of the Crusades” come across my desk.   Steve-WeidenkopfAs I found myself caught up in the history unfolding inside the pages of this incredible book, I found that author Steve Weidenkopf approached this subject in an incredibly balanced, engaging and thoughtful way.  By far one of the best books I have ever read on the subject.  Steve is a lecturer of Church History at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College and the creator and author of Epic: A Journey through Church History, an adult faith-formation program on the 2,000-year history of the Church.  Meticulous researched (just check out the end notes), with little hint of any political agenda, Steve lets history stand on its own solid clear footing.  Thank you Catholic Answers for this outstanding book!

The-Glory-of-the-CrusadesYou can find the book here

The Glory of the Crusades is valuable not only as history but also as a scholarly debunking of centuries of Protestant and Enlightenment distortion of the facts about the West s struggles against militant Islam. –Rev. C. John McCloskey Research fellow, Faith and Reason Institute

This excellent book employs decades of scholarly research to show average readers what medieval historians have long known that popular culture s image of the Crusades has nothing at all to do with the events themselves. Catholics who cringe at the mention of the Crusades will find in this work a surprising and inspiring story of faith. –Thomas F. Madden Director, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Saint Louis University

IP#87 James Hannam – The Genesis of Science on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

I love “The Genesis of Science:  How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution”! James Hannam has written a fascinating study of the Christian Middle Ages and its foundational importance to the science of our day.  He’s brought back the important contributions of half-forgotten thinkers.  James demonstrates how they were brought to such a state because of the political agendas of the last 500 years.  Why is this important?  Because it has everything to do with fundamental Truth, and what is ordered in the Universe.  And at the heart, it is faith in God which drives science and it’s healthy functioning in society and culture.  It was, and should be today, rooted in the Christian understanding of faith, reason, philosophy, theology and all the other things that round out the wholeness of the human person and the created world.  Fascinating stuff indeed!

Be sure to visit James’ website.

Click here to pick up a copy of the book

IP#226 Al Kresta – Dangers to the Faith on Inside the Pages part 2

Here is part 2 of our discussion:

With a pastor’s heart and eagle-eye accuracy,  the gifted Al Kresta addresses “Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st Century Al-KrestaOpponents” in his newest book published by Our Sunday Visitor.     The secular world has presented many twisted versions of the “Truth” over the years: from New Age thought to Isalm,  Scientism to Consumerism, Oprah and Shirley to Bart Erhman and Carl Sagan.  Al Kresta challenges the “opponents” of faith with Christ-like love and wisdom.  In the process, he teaches us all how to evangelize as a true disciple of Christ.  A must have work for all those who may have a seeking heart and a desire to grow in their faith and to share it with family, friends and all they may encounter. One of the best books offered in this Year of Faith….a modern classic that should be in every Catholic home!

Here is part 2 of our discussion:

Dangers-to-the-FaithYou can find the book here

Be sure to listen to “Kresta in the Afternoon” on the Ave Maria Radio Network

From the description:

Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st Century Opponents is the perfect springboard for discussing the new world in which the Catholic Church exists today. Learn how to better carry out the missionary mandate of the Church. The question isn’t whether you will be a witness to Christ, but whether you will be a faithful witness.

IP#182 Dr. Christopher Kaczor – The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church on Inside the Pages

“The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction about Catholicism”  by Dr. Christopher Kaczor is a Dr. Christopher Kaczor Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Churchmust have resource for Catholics!

The misconceptions about our faith are so prevalent in today’s society that is almost guaranteed that you will encounter at least one of these myths in daily conversations with friends, co-workers, and sadly to say, family members.  To have the peace of mind, in order to answer the objection, is invaluable, especially when we are called to the New Evangelization.  But even more than that, Dr. Kaczor helps us to give a reason for our hope…the presence of Jesus Christ and His saving grace and mercy found in our Roman Catholic faith.


Dr. Christopher Kaczor The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic ChurchYou can find the book here

The Seven Myths:

The Church Opposes Science: The Myth of Catholic Irrationality
The Church Opposes Freedom and Happiness: The Myth of Catholic Indifference to Earthly Welfare
The Church Hates Women: The Myth of Catholic Misogyny
Indifferent to Love, the Church Banned Contraception: The Myth of Opposition between Love and Procreation
The Church Hates Gays: The Myth of Catholic “Homophobia”
The Church Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Because of Bigotry: The Myth That There Is No Rational Basis for Limiting Marriage to One Man and One Woman
Priestly Celibacy Caused the Crisis of Sexual Abuse of Minors: The Myth of Priestly Pedophilia

“All of this book is full of clarity and charity, but two chapters are masterpieces, each worth ten times the price of the whole book. The chapter on contraception is the most simple, commonsensical, winsome and persuasive I have ever seen. It could have been written only by a very good and wise husband and father. The chapter on same-sex marriage has the clearest and the completest logic I have ever read on the subject.” —Peter Kreeft, Boston College

IP#161 Dr. Austen Ivereigh – How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice on Inside the Pages

I have read many fine Catholic Apologetic books over the years, but I have to say “How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice: Civil Responses to Catholic Hot Button Issues” is the BEST!  Dr. Austen Ivereigh, along with the Our Sunday Visitor Editor in Chief John Norton, have compiled the “must have” text for any and all Catholics who desire to respond to the call for the New Evangelization.  More than answers to just about any issue  that could come forward in a discussion about the Catholic Church and the faith we profess, their work encourages  us to respond with reason based on the fundamentals of Catholic Social Teaching and decorum befitting virtue driven discourse.  Once again, this is a MUST HAVE.  Check out Austen’s article in the OSV weekly entitled “How to Defend the Faith” for just a taste of what can be found in the book.

You can find the book here

From the book description (and it’s 100% accurate):

It is about winning friends, not arguments. It is about shedding light, not heat. It’s about reframing the argument so hearts can be opened and minds can be inspired. 

How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice is a new sort of apologetics. It is for those moments when you are thrust into the spotlight as the token Catholic whether the spotlight is simply at the office water cooler or whether it is front and center at the in-laws Thanksgiving celebration. How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice gives Catholics a fresh way of explaining the Church’s teaching on contentious issues humanly, compellingly, and succinctly.

But this book does not pretend to suggest it is as simple as memorizing a speech. Every conversation is different. Every day’s news cycle will bring new arguments and new challenges. Instead, it is a book about what the issues really are and where the criticisms are coming from so you can understand and communicate effectively. 

It is the fruit of a group of speakers and experts brought together by a single idea: to make sure that Catholics and the Church were represented properly in the media when Pope Benedict came to visit the UK in 2010. Their original and thoughtful approach helped make that visit a triumph and now it can be expanded for a much broader use.

Whether read in groups or alone, studied in schools or parishes, How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice offers the same thorough briefings on hot topics and the same top tips for effective communication which helped make the project such a success.

 

IP#143 Stephanie Mann – Supremacy and Survival on Inside the Pages

The wonderfully intrepid Stephanie Mann joins us once again to discuss “Supremacy and Survival:  How Catholic Endured the English Reformation”.  The lessons of the past have much to teach us today, especially those experienced in England during the times of the Tudors and Stuarts.  Religious liberty was the issue then, and is the issue today in many places throughout the world…even in the U.S.  It’s not just about freedom of speech, it’s about the freedom of religion.  What will they be writing about 500 years from now about the Catholics in America?  Interesting…

You can find the book here

Click here to go to Stephanie’s fantastic blog “Supremacy and Survival

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