Apologetic Desktop

Everytime I begin to research an apologetic topic, I bring up the same websites. To make things quicker, I developed a simple desktop page that has all my links together so I don’t have to search through my already over-crowded favorites bin. It’s at www.handsonapologetics.com/desktop.htm  and it is open for everyone to use.


If you have a favorite site that is either loaded with good apologetic info and/or is great it offers great searchability (if that’s a word), let me know and I’ll add it to the page.

 Serious Catholic apologists may want to bookmark this page on their computer or even make it their homepage. I did.

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Considering Ghost Hunters

For those who may never heard of Ghost Hunters, it is a reality program on the Sci-Fi Channel that features the exploits of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) who investigates possible hauntings. I probably should predicate this article with a few comments. You shouldn’t believe everything you see on TV. The material has been shot, edited and reassembled so as to keep the viewers attention. This article is going to assume that what is seen on TV reflects essentially what had occurred. What’s important is the actual evidence and since TAPS name is one the line I think it would be fair to assume that is has not be tampered. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. The other point is a warning. TAPS frequently oversteps the boundary of simply gathering empirical evidence to engaging in spiritism. While waving their electro-megnetic meters and snapping pictures, the investigators often call out, “Is there someone here with us? Could you show us some sign of your presence?” This essentially spiritism which is forbidden by the Church and Scripture. Therefore, I want to make it clear that I am not recommending this program.

This being said, I do wish to make apologists aware of Ghost Hunters because it is doing something not normally seen in the popular media. They are trying to find evidence for non-material entities. If evidence is found, it may be a good tool to use against materialism. Materialism is a philosophy that believes that all of existence is matter. They deny the existence of God, angels and any other non-material entities. Ghost Hunters aims straight at the heart of their claims.

Unfortunately, TAPS investigations rarely rise to the level of scientific investigation. However, there is one episode that comes close. It is the investigation of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The lighthouse has no exits except at the bottom and at the top (which was chain locked). There is a spiral staircase that winds up the inside of the lighthouse. TAPS placed a IR camera at the bottom facing the top and they also carried IR cameras as the investigators climbed the stairway. As they climbed, they claimed to hear talking on the top (which was not caught on audio). They then noticed a shadowy figure a couple of flights on top of them looking at them. When TAPS moved up, it moved up. When TAPS neared the top of the stairs they were struck by a blinding light. The top of the lighthouse is guarded by motion sensor detectors. What’s interesting is that they caught two shots of this figure. The investigators claim that the camera has recorded exactly what they experienced. It is opaque and it is moving, but the motion sensor never triggers until the investigators come near.

What’s interesting to me is not so much the evidence itself, but the unscientific dogmatism of materialists who have viewed the program. While these materialists often see themselves as cold and calculating men (and women) of science, they categorically refuse to accept the evidence as evidence worthy of further investigation. Instead, they attack the veracity of the producers or concoct untenable theses to explain away the evidence. They point out that the investigators go beyond the evidence by claiming that this figure is a dead person, which is true. But what about the evidence? Something is opaque, moving and yet has evaded the motion detector and the investigators who blocked the only way out. Isn’t this worthy of investigation? Against one obstinate materialist I said, “Fine! The producers could have done something with the video, but assuming that they didn’t isn’t this worthy of real scientific investigation?” The materialist answered no.

The great apologist Arnold Lunn ran into the same problem when he was an atheistic materialist. He experienced something while visiting a medium that he couldn’t explain. Arnold told his materialist friends of science about his experience and expected them to call for some sort of scientific investigation. Their response? They told him that what he experienced couldn’t have happened because nothing exists outside of the material world. Lunn was thrown for a loop by the irrational response of these rationalist and the unscientific attitude of these men of science. Lunn attributes this experience as the first steps towards theism and eventually the Catholic Church.

Blind dogmatism is alive and well outside the Church. Christians have taken their lumps in regards to some reactions to science. Perhaps the time as come to wake up these self-styled scientific moderns that they are acting more like the high priests of modernism rather than objective scientific investigators. Instead of considering the evidence from Ghost Hunters, they rule, without a trial, that it is heresy.

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Relevant Radio… How To Defend Your Faith

I’ll be on Relevant Radio’s new show, Searching The Word, tomorrow August 1st at 1pm (Central). Chuck Neff and I will be exploring what it takes to explain and defend the Catholic Faith. If your local Catholic radio station carries the Relevant Radio Network, please tune in. It should be a lot of fun!

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Great Weekend Meeting Great Ministries

I’m back from the Defending the Faith Conference at Steubenville, Ohio. If you haven’t attended this conference, I highly recommend it especially if you are just starting Catholic apologetics.

I would like to give a special thank you to Rob Corzine of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. The St. Paul Center is doing remarkable work in promoting good, sound, and exciting material on Scripture. I highly recommend their site which includes online classes on Scripture and many other goodies. The address is www.salvationhistory.com. Check it out.

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See You In Steuby…

Anyone going to the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Defending the Faith Conference this weekend? I have a lot of friends from around the U.S. and Canada who attend this conference regularly so I try to attend every year to see them. If you are going, I will be on campus Saturday. Please come by me and say hello. It would be good to meet you.

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Question From Caller: Did Jesus Know Greek?

Yesterday, I received a question from a caller on a comment that I had made regarding the language spoken in Jerusalem and surrounding areas.It has once been taught that the Jews in Judea spoke only Hebrew (and maybe a little Latin to communicate with their Roman occupiers) while the Jews of the Diaspora spoke Greek or Latin. From this oversimplification came the two-canon theory of the Old Testament canon. The two-canon theory claimed that Hebrew speaking Jews accepted as Scripture only books written in Hebrew, while the more liberal Greek-speaking Jews of the Diaspora (especially Alexandria) accepted books written in either Hebrew or Greek. As the theory goes, the Jews in Judea rejected the Deuterocanon because they were written in Greek, while the Jews of the Diaspora accepted it.

The theory had become so widely accepted that by the middle of the twentieth century, it seemed to be an incontestable fact until A.C. Sundberg in his Harvard dissertation dismantled the theory (Albert Sundberg Jr., The Old Testament of the Early Church. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964). By the time of Sundberg’s dissertation many of the assumptions of the two-canon theory have already been debunked. One of them was the distinction made between the Hebrew and Greek speaking Jews upon which the theory relied. Sundberg demonstrates, along with other recent works, that the first century Jerusalem was just as Hellenzed as any other major city in the ancient Middle East. From the discoveries of Greek inscriptions in ancient synagogues in Palestine and other evidence, scholars now believe that there was a very large portion of the population of Judea that knew Greek. Some have even suggested that a few of these synagogues may have used the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament that is often quoted in the New Testament) as their Bible for their Greek-speaking congregations. Therefore, contrary what one may find in the movie The Passion of the Christ, the Jews of Jesus’ day spoke Aramaic (Hebrew) and Greek. In regards to the canon, it now appears that the Jews of the Diaspora were not free-wheeling liberals when it came to the canon. A more likely scenario is that the Jews of the Diaspora followed the example set in Jerusalem for their canon, which contained books written in Hebrew and Greek.

The next time someone tells you that the Deuterocanon can’t be Scripture because the Jews in Jerusalem only knew Hebrew you can help them correct their antiquated understanding. You may also wish to peruse a couple of articles that I have in the Deuterocanon section of my website.

God Inspired Scripture Only In Hebrew

Were There Two Canons in Palestine and Alexandria?

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Welcome To Our New Blog

Hello all. Welcome to our new blog that will focus on hands on Catholic apologetics and evangelism in the modern world. It will also contain some random thoughts on the Faith and updates on what is going on around the U.S. as far as talks, conferences and so on. Please keep checking because its going to be a lot of fun.

If you haven’t seen our new website go to www.handsonapologetics.com and check it out for yourself.

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