Choose a topic from Vol 3:


Reason proves God's existence
Primitive monotheism
Mystery of God's inner nature
Personality of God
Providence of God and the problem of evil


Immortal destiny of man
Can earth give true happiness?
Do human souls evolve?
Is transmigration possible?
Animal souls
Freedom of will
Free will and faith


Religion and God
The duty of prayer
The mysteries of religion
Can we believe in miracles?

The Religion of the Bible

Historical character of the Gospels
Canonical Books of the Bible
Original Manuscripts
Copyists' errors
Truth of the Bible
New Testament "contradictions"

The Christian Religion

Christianity alone true
Not the product of religious experience
Compared with Buddhism, Confucianism, Mahometanism, Bahaism, etc.,
Rejected by modern Jews
The demand for miracles
The necessity of faith
Difficulties not doubts
Proofs available
Dispositions of unbelievers

A Definite Christian Faith

One religion not as good as another
Changing one's religion
Catholic convictions and zeal
Religious controversy
The curse of bigotry
Towards a solution

The Problem of Reunion

Efforts at the reunion of the Churches
The Church of England as a "Bridge-Church"
Anglicans and the Greek Orthodox Church
The "Old Catholics" of Holland
Reunion Conferences
Catholic Unity
The Papacy as reunion center
Protestant hostility to Catholicism
The demands of charity

The Truth of Catholicism

Necessity of the Church
The true Church
Catholic claim absolute
A clerical hierarchy
Papal Supremacy
Temporal Power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Catholic attitude to converts
Indefectible Apostolicity
Necessity of becoming a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic belief in the Bible
Bible-reading and private interpretation
Value of Tradition and the "Fathers"
Guidance of the Church necessary

The Dogmas of the Catholic Church

Dogmatic certainty
Credal statements
Faith and reason
The voice of science
Fate of rationalists
The dogma of the Trinity
Creation and evolution
The existence of angels
Evil spirits or devils
Man's eternal destiny
The fact of sin
Nature and work of Christ
Mary, the mother of God
Grace and salvation
The sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
Man's death and judgment
Resurrection of the body
End of the World

Moral Teachings of the Catholic Church

Catholic intolerance
The Spanish Inquisition
Prohibition of Books
Liberty of worship
Forbidden Socieities
Church attendance
The New Psychology
Deterministic philosophy
Marriage Legislation
Birth Prevention
Monastic Life
Convent Life
Legal defense of murderers
Laywers and divorce proceedings
Judges in Divorce
Professional secrecy

The Church in Her Worship

Why build churches?
Glamor of ritual
The "Lord's Prayer"
Pagan derivations
Liturgical symbolism
Use of Latin
Intercession of Mary and the Saints

The Church and Social Welfare

The Church and Education
The Social Problem
Social Duty of the Church
Catholicism and Capitalism

New Testament "contradictions"

147. Are there not many such contradictory passages in the New Testament?

There are no real contradictions in Scripture. A superficial reading may find passages which appear to be contradictory, but an examination of text and context by one who has the requisite knowledge and training in Biblical scholarship removes all idea of conflict. There is not a single instance of alleged contradiction that has not proved capable of rational solution. Enemies of revealed religion could continue asking captious questions interminably, stating objections in two or three plausible sentences, leaving to us the minute research, laborious examination, and the thirty pages of explanation necessary to educate them up to the standard required for an understanding of the problems they raise. From the earliest years of Christianity, critics have thus attacked the Scriptures, and they will do so till the end of the world. But the Scriptures remain, and will remain, accepted by intelligent and expert men of good will as the inspired Word of God. These men are as conversant with the objections as those who make them; but they are aware, too, of their superficial character in the vast majority of cases, and they know how all such difficulties yield to further examination and research. There is scarcely need to point out the folly of the man who thinks that, because he does not see the solution of a difficulty at once, no solution is possible!

148. In Galatians I., 15-22, .St. Paul says he did not go to Jerusalem to see the Apostles, but into Arabia, and then back to Damascus. In Acts IX., 25-30, St. Luke says that he went from Damascus to Jerusalem, and there met the Apostles.

No contradiction occurs there. St. Luke merely omits the additional details given by St. Paul to the Galatians. In writing to them, St. Paul wished to impress upon them that he had received the Christian revelation from God quite independently of the other Apostles. He practically says, "Do not think for a moment that any human being taught me what I preach to you. After my conversion I did not consult others, and I did not even go to Jerusalem to see the Apostles. I went into Arabia, and thence returned to Damascus. Then, three years after my conversion, I went to Jerusalem to see Peter." You see, St. Paul does not deny that he went to Jerusalem. He merely says that three years elapsed before he did so. St. Luke simply omits reference to St. Paul's solitude in Arabia, and merely states for the purpose of his summary of events that he went from Damascus to Jerusalem. He does not say that he did so immediately after his conversion. If a man left England, spent three vears in Colombo, and then came on to Australia, a shorter account of his life could say, "He left England and went to Australia." By its omission of reference to Colombo, the shorter account would not contradict a longer one which included such reference.

149. In Galatians I., 22, St. Paul says that he was unknown by face to the whole of Judea. Yet in Acts XXVI., 20, he tells Agrippa that he preached unto all the country of Judea.

There is no contradiction there. When he wrote to the Galatians he was speaking of the time before he had preached throughout Judea. When he was speaking to Agrippa, he had already preached there. The fact that he preached there subsequently cannot alter the fact that he was unknown by sight to the people of Judea before he did so.

150. The Old Testament says that lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, yet St. Paul writes to the Romans, "If the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie, am I to be judged a sinner?"

St. Paul puts that question only to refute the suggestion. He puts the question in Rom. III., 7, but in the very next verse says, "We are slandered, as some affirm that we say let us do evil that good may come, whose damnation is just." In Eph. IV., 25, the same St. Paul writes, "Wherefore, putting away lying, speak ye the truth every man with his neighbor."

151. Christ praises marriage saying that, "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife." But St. Paul says, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman."

There is no contradiction in that. Our Lord says that, if a man does marry, he leaves father and mother in order to live with his wife. But He Himself counsels the renunciation of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Matt. XIX., 12. St. Paul therefore declares that one who chooses not to marry makes quite a good choice. The context shows, of course, that St. Paul had in mind not any merely selfish motives, but a choice based upon the idea of self-sacrifice, and a complete consecration of oneself to the love of God and the service of one's fellow men.

152. The Acts of the Apostles declare that women will prophesy, and speaks of a man's four daughters who did prophesy; yet St. Paul writes, "Suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."

St. Paul in no way contradicted what was written in the Acts. Personal prophetical gifts were bestowed by God upon both men and women in the first days of the Church. But there is no trace of suggestion that they necessarily conferred any judicial authority or administrative rights in the Church; and St. Paul is dealing precisely with such rights. Also there is no suggestion that the bestowal of prophetical gifts was to be a permanent feature in the Church; and St. Paul's subsequent legislation that women were not to teach publicly in the Churches contradicted no acquired rights of such women. Apart from all this, however, a woman could still receive the gift of prophecy from God without any conflict arising with St. Paul's legislation forbidding women to teach or usurp authority.

153. St. Paul says that the powers that be are ordained of God, and that we must not resist them. Yet the powers that were are blamed for condemning Christ.

St. Paul justifies legitimate authority acting within the limits of its proper jurisdiction, and in accordance with the demands of justice. There is no obligation to admit that legislators are right when they exceed their powers, and are manifestly unjust. To have power is one thing. To abuse that power is quite another. And the condemnation of Christ was a criminal abuse of power which it is impossible to justify.

154. Both St. Peter and St. Paul say that we must be subject to our masters; yet Christ said that one only is your master, and St. Paul himself says, "Be ye not servants of men."

There is no conflict here. Christ was not referring to ordinary relationships between masters and servants, but used the term "master" in the sense of "teacher'": and He declared that He only was the source of doctrine, and that all were to be taught by Him and to hand on His teachings. No one was to set himself up as an independent teacher in his own right. Such words certainly do not gainsay the necessity of obedience on the part of servants to the authority of masters in ordinary everyday affairs. The explanation of St. Paul's words, "Be ye not the servants of men," is given by St. Paul himself. He is speaking of our allegiance to Christ as Christians, and merely declares that that allegiance must never be abandoned in favor of men. We must regard our souls as belonging to Christ, and to no one else. But this does not exempt us from duties within their own proper limits to earthly employers and masters. In fact, St. Paul adds, "Let everyone remain in the condition of life wherein he was called, but abide therein with God." Servants of men will, therefore, remain servants of men; but once they have become Christians they will regard their duties as duties to be fulfilled for the love of God, and not as before, a matter of routine and with no spiritual motives whatever.

155. St. James says that the anger of man worketh not the righteousness of God, yet St. Paul says, "Be angry and sin not."

St. Paul warns us not to go to excess and commit sin when we have just reason for resentment and indignation. St. James is dealing precisely with that excess. Man's tendency to anger is implanted by God as part of our very nature, and is quite a good thing in itself. It braces us to ward off things that could be to our harm. Indignation and anger are certainly good when they help a girl to repel unwelcome advances on the part of some evil man. Far from being sinful, anger is then a preservative against sin. In such a case St. Paul's advice is sound. "Be angry, and sin not." Unfortunately, however, anger, like all other passions, tends to get out of hand. It easily becomes immoderate, and we get angry over trifling matters, or merely because we dislike people, and then it is true that the anger of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Anger then tends to vent itself upon others without just cause, and often without any restraint at all. There is no contradiction therefore between St. Paul, who urges us to make a good use only of our tendency to resentment of evil; and St. James, who warns us against bad temper and excessive irascibility.

156. St. Paul told the Ephesians that they were saved by faith, and not by works; whilst St. James says that by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone.

St. Paul's doctrine is that good works cannot contribute to a man's salvation before he is united with Christ by faith. Because the gift of faith is supernatural, no previous good works can deserve it. A man can ask the gift of faith from God, and if he receives it, it is the first step towards his salvation. St. James tells us that after a man has received the gift of faith he is expected to live up to it. The two passages show that both faith and a life of good works in accordance with faith are necessary if one is to be justified in God's sight. Such has ever been the Catholic doctrine, and it excludes the two extremes of rationalism and early Protestantism. For the rationalist says that natural goodness without faith is enough for any man; whilst the early Protestants attacked the Catholic doctrine that good works are necessary for salvation, and taught that salvation depends on faith alone. But I have said enough to show that there is no trace of contradiction between St. Paul and St. James in this matter.



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