095: Making Sense of the Dark Passages of the Bible

Featuring Curtis Mitch

Have you ever read something in the Bible and thought, “Yikes! That doesn’t sound like a loving God!”

There are a lot of difficult events (not to mention direct instructions from God) that cause 21st century Christians a lot of angst.

Of particular note is the extreme violence ordered by God against seemingly innocent people. So what gives? How does this square with the love taught by Christ and His Church?

To provide some answers, I brought in Curtis Mitch. He’s one of the sharpest biblical minds in the Catholic Church. (For the last 20 years he’s been writing the commentary in the best-selling Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.)

He’s got serious Scripture skills and I love having him on the show.

Among other things, we’ll discuss:

  • Why the Israelites engaged in the violent conquest of Canaan (killing everyone and everything…Yeah, I told you this one wasn’t easy)
  • What is herem warfare and why did God order it
  • The whole point of the Promised Land
  • The extremely dire consequences of idolatry
  • How to reconcile the violence of the Old Testament with the love taught by Christ
  • What lessons we can learn from the Israelites for our spiritual life

This might be the most difficult topic we’ve ever addressed. But it’s a necessary one to address if we’re going to proclaim the truth of God in the world (not to mention grow in our understanding and faith).

Blessings,

Matthew

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094: Unlocking Catholic Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Featuring Dr. John Bergsma

Discovered in 1946 by a guy throwing rocks into a cave, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been called “the greatest archeological find of the 20th century.”

And they’re totally Catholic!

Join Matthew Leonard and scrolls expert Dr. John Bergsma as they unlock some very illuminating secrets from these famous scrolls.

It’s a conversation that may help fill in some cracks you didn’t even realize were there.

Among other things they’ll cover:

  • What the Scrolls teach us about the Eucharist
  • The mysterious Essenes and Christ’s relationship to them
  • Why Matthew, Mark, and Luke say the Last Supper was on a different day than the Gospel of John…and how to reconcile that difference
  • Why in the world John the Baptist lived in the wilderness eating weird stuff and wearing animal skins
  • How the Scrolls shed light on what books make up the Bible (or don’t)

This is a jam-packed interview that will help you see the story of Scripture in a whole new way!

God bless!

Matthew

Other Art of Catholic podcasts featuring Dr. Bergsma:

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If you’ve ever wanted to deepen your life of prayer and actually make some progress in avoiding vice and growing in virtue, look no further.” Dr. Brant Pitre – Renowned theologian & best-selling author

090: Salvation – What Every Catholic Needs to Understand

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The infection has gone deep.

Case in point…Several years ago I was at a very orthodox Catholic conference on the West Coast. Great talks. Great people. Great event.

Then the wheels came off.

During the homily at Mass, the priest gave a completely anti-Catholic homily. He didn’t do it on purpose, but it was anti-Catholic nonetheless.

I was flabbergasted.

I turned to a friend seated next to me, and asked, “Are you hearing what I’m hearing?” He nodded, just as frustrated as I was.

Later, we proceeded to have a conversation about one of the most misunderstood topics in Christianity – salvation.

That friend with whom I spoke so many years ago, Dr. Michael Barber, is my guest on this episode of the Art of Catholic. He wrote a book on this very topic (Salvation: What Every Catholic Needs to Know). And we’re about to continue that discussion begun so many years ago.

We’re going to discuss:

  • The major difference between Catholic and Protestant views on salvation
  • How exactly the Cross is a revelation of love
  • Why the Cross was even necessary
  • The role of good works in salvation
  • The strange relationship between economics and salvation
  • The big difference between salvation and redemption
  • The controversy over the statement – “There is no salvation outside the Church”

This is one of those meaty episodes for which the Art of Catholic is well-known. And you’re going to love it!

God bless!

Matthew

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