boy-reading-bibleI was just going through the Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines. I find the book very helpful in many respects but was struck by the deceptive “factual” statement about the list of books in the New Testament.

On page 17, under the heading “How We Got the Bible: Ten Key Points,” it says, “The books of the Bible were collected and arranged and recognized as inspired sacred authority by councils of rabbis and councils of church leaders based on careful guidelines.”


Then I am curious about a few things. First, who were these “church leaders”? Were they Protestant professors or pastors? Or, might they be the councils of the Bishops of the Catholic Church? Hum! The same guys who said the Eucharist is the Real Body and Blood of Jesus — and that one is born again through water baptism?

Second, who were these rabbis? Might they be the mythical “Council of Jamnia” which even Protestant scholars admit did not decide the books of the Bible — the very rabbis debunked by Jesus in favor of the Church’s authority?

Third, if we accept the authority of the Bible Alone — where in the Bible does it say that there will be inspired writings added to the already existing Old Testament? Where does it give us the list of New Testament books or the criteria for knowing what books should or should not be included? And even if it did, wouldn’t that be circular reasoning?

Fourth, and why did it take almost 400 years for these rabbis and church leaders to figure out which books belonged in the new collection of books added to the old collection of books?

Fifth, what were the “careful guidelines” that were used in making this determination? Where can we find this mythical list? :-)

The fact is, Protestants don’t want to admit it, but the problem of the canon of Scripture is the Achilles Heel of Protestantism and one of the reasons I joined the Catholic Church!

If you want to learn more on this, check out my list of 36 “Questions for ‘Bible Christians‘”. For other free resources, visit here.


With Pope Francis’ approval, the Vatican has restated its ruling that men with “homosexual tendencies” cannot be admitted to Catholic seminaries.
In a new document titled “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy offers extensive guidelines for priestly formation including a section devoted to “Persons with Homosexual Tendencies.”

2571E981-F994-416E-98BB-D83B3075AC60-276-00000002BF8E4C4E_tmpThe document, dated December 8, draws extensively from a 2005 text issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stating that men “who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’” are ineligible for the Catholic priesthood.

Such persons “find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women,” the text states. “One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”

  • For the whole report click here.

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A Southern Baptist writes:

I am a Southern  Baptist who has a lot of respect for the Catholic faith. The Immaculate Conception is a hard concept for me. Does it also include the belief that Mary never sinned? How does that pass muster with Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God?” It seems like Paul would have noted the one exception here in Mary if that were the case.

 From my limited studies, I think Catholics have a very good argument on their position regarding the Eucharist. But wasn’t it several centuries before this concept of Mary arose in the Church?

 Dear Friend: yours is a good question. From the early centuries Mary was considered the All Holy One and considered as without sin. Rom 3:23 is a general statement but does not mention exceptions to the rule. For example, Jesus was a man without sin, therefore an exception. 

 The New Adam (Jesus) is without sin. From the 1st century Mary has been viewed as the New Eve. It would be appropriate, actually proper, that the New Eve be without sin also. 

 Those who die before the age of reason, or who are mentally deficient are also exceptions. Job could even be called an exception if you take God’s report of him literally (Job 1:8).

 Romans is also discussing that it is not only the Gentiles that have sinned but also the Jews. All can be a collective of peoples. “You Jews think you are righteous because you are of Abraham? You think only  the Gentiles are in sin. No, all have sinned, Gentile and Jew alike”

 This is born out in Psalm 14 from where Rom 3:9 (parallel passage to Rom 3:23) is quoted. Here is says, Psalm 14:2–3 “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one.”

 Yet immediately following we find that God has his righteous. Psalm 14:5–6 “There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. You would confound the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.”

As a Baptist I used to use the Bible often for proof-texts and sound bites. Scripture is much more subtle than that. It is our tradition, whether Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, etc., that guides us in our approach to Scripture. The real question is, which tradition will you allow to direct your interpretation and study? I chose the tradition that was practiced from the first century until today – which is Catholic.

Wish I had more time. I warn you (tongue in cheek) that if you want to stay Baptist you are asking dangerous questions and dancing very close to the fire :-)

 You will find helpful writings on this matter here, especially the short explanation of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption.


Comments and Farewells from Mexico…Invite to our Next Mexico-Guadalupe Pilgrimage

December 7, 2016

We had a thousand compliments and no complaints. Hope you enjoy the short video with comments and a summary of the pilgrimage. Join us in 2018 with Jesse Romero on our next “Catholic Heritage of Mexico!”

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Gondola Rides, Folksy Marketplace, Indian Chapel, Exotic Birds at Lunch – our last day

December 6, 2016

Enjoy our last day of Mexico Adventures. Homily in tiny Indian chapel in middle of the marketplace click here.

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Guadalupe All Day! Wow! Day 8 in Mexico

December 5, 2016

Join  us as we tour the whole shrine and grounds of Guadalupe along with a special Mass in front of the Tilma of Our Lady. Amazing climb to the top of Tepeyac Hill where Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego. For the homily in front of the image of Guadalupe, click here.

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Aztec Sacrifices, Indian Dances, Cathedral Bells, Diego Rivera and more

December 5, 2016

Today we visited the Aztec Temple in the heart of Mexico City next door to the Catholic Cathedral. Tens of thousands of humans were brutally sacrificed and even eaten. I gave a talk (see earlier video) contrasting the sacrifice of Christ and that of the Aztecs – and abortion. Mass at the exquisite and meaningful […]

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Mass at with Our Lady at Guadalupe!

December 5, 2016

Most of our group in front of the Shrine of Guadalupe after we had Mass in front of the Tilma Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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Aztecs, Human Sacrifice, Abortion & the Catholic Faith

December 4, 2016

 Today we visited the Aztec Temple in Mexico City. The cathedral of Mexico City was built right next to the 500 year temple. I did a lot of study on the Aztecs and their massive human sacrifices and cannibalism. I realized there was a great tie-in with the Catholic faith, the sacrifice of Christ and […]

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Petition to the Holy Father for Clarification. I Signed Today with over 800,000 other Catholics

December 4, 2016

I received and signed this petition today… On the eve of the Ordinary Synod on the Family held in Rome in October 2015, we delivered to the Holy See a “Filial Petition to His Holiness on the Future of the Family” signed by 879,451 persons, including eight cardinals and 203 archbishops and bishops, asking for […]

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1st Baptismal Font and Pulpit in Americas, Eating Ant Eggs in a Cave, Climbing Pyramids to Moon & Sun and more

December 3, 2016

An amazing day in Mexico. We renewed our baptisms in the first baptismal font ever in the Americas. We also saw the first pulpit where the gospel was first preached in the Western Hemisphere. We ate in the belly of a cave and part of our dinner was ant eggs and larva. Then we climbed […]

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Everything on Sale on Steve Ray’s Web Store! Enjoy!

December 3, 2016

Save 20% On Your Entire Order! We are happy to announce a 20% site-wide sale on all products on our web store. For a limited time, spend $20 and get 20% off your entire order. This offer is valid for through Dec. 31, 2016. Start Shopping

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The Dangerous Road of Papal Silence

December 3, 2016

From The Catholic Thing, a brilliant daily article. Fr. Mark Pilon notes that the pope’s refusal to answer four cardinals dubia about Amoris Laetitia is splintering the faith. It’s not schism.Yet. The letter of the four Cardinals to Pope Francis, and the decision to go public with this document certainly constitute a stunning affair in […]

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All Day in Puebla Mexico

December 2, 2016

Cathedral, Mass at Tomb of Incorruptible, cooking class and much more. For homily at Incorruptible click here.

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Seven Dangers to Human Virtue and Civilization

December 2, 2016

Wealth without work Pleasure without conscience Knowledge without character Business without ethics Science without humanity Religion without sacrifice Politics without principle

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Join Us Driving Across Mexico from San Miguel to Puebla

December 1, 2016

Join us on this fun drive across Mexico to the beautiful city of Puebla. For our homily from Fr. Mark at San Francesco in San Miguel click here.

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