Normally, in each episode we take one listener question. But today, we've devoted the entire episode to questions from listeners like you. Bishop Barron answers several questions, rapid fire, on many different topics.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:57 - What stood out to Bishop Barron in the Pope's new exhortation?
  • 3:31 - How to respond to people who see Catholicism as inherently violent and dangerous?
  • 8:06 - What are some book recommendations for a beginner in philosophy?
  • 11:56 - How has being fluent in multiple languages helped you in ministry?
  • 15:03 - What should we make of violent passages in the Bible, like those in the Psalms?
  • 18:20 - Does making Christ our center require us sacrificing our intellect?
  • 21:39 - How do you maintain humility in light of success?
  • 24:40 - What books has Bishop Barron been reading lately?

Bonus Resources

What does God want me to do with my life? And how can I discern God's will for my day-to-day decisions? We all ask these questions and today Bishop Barron offers his advice. A listener also asks how Bishop Barron discerned his own call to the priesthood.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:30 - Bishop Barron's recent Confirmations
  • 1:39 - The most difficult part about celebrating Confirmations
  • 2:31 - How do we discern our vocation or state in life?
  • 6:08 - How to specifically discern the priesthood or religious life?
  • 10:33 - Encouragement for people afraid of discerning the wrong path
  • 13:20 - How to discern God's will in day-to-day decisions
  • 18:42 - The role of circumstances in discernment
  • 22:47 - Question from listener: how did Bishop Barron discern his call to the priesthood?

Bonus Resources

How did God use a little-known seminary professor to launch a worldwide evangelization ministry? Bishop Barron shares the story behind his Word on Fire ministry, including the many twists and turns along the way. A Protestant listener who is interested in Catholicism asks for some good book recommendations.

Topics Discussed

  • 1:14 - Bishop Barron's education at CUA and the Institut Catholique de Paris
  • 5:00 -  Cardinal George's influence on Word on Fire
  • 6:39 - How do we "evangelize the culture"?
  • 8:13 - Early homilies on the radio and Internet
  • 10:19 - Bishop Barron posts first video on YouTube
  • 13:38 - Reaching people online who would never enter a church
  • 16:32 - Where did the idea for the CATHOLICISM series come from?
  • 21:31 - How the CATHOLICISM series aired on PBS
  • 23:22 - The new follow-up film series, CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players
  • 25:28 - The influence of Mother Angelica on Bishop Barron's work
  • 27:50 - Question from listener: what are some good books for someone curious about Catholicism?

Bonus Resources

WordOnFire.org Through the Years

WOF-2001

WordOnFire.org circa 2001

  WOF-2005

WordOnFire.org circa 2005

  WOF-2010

WordOnFire.org circa 2010

  WOF-2016

WordOnFire.org circa 2016

During this Easter season, when Christians around the world celebrate the rising of Jesus from the dead, Bishop Barron looks reflects on the evidence for this extraordinary event and what it means for us today. A listener asks, in response to a previous episode, how to teach our kids about God without watering down the faith.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:24 - Bishop Barron's first Easter as a bishop
  • 1:19 - Why the resurrection of Jesus is the central claim of Christianity
  • 4:35 - Why did Jesus keep his resurrection shrouded a bit in mystery
  • 6:44 - The difference between resurrection, reincarnation, and resuscitation
  • 9:29 - Why did Jesus retain the wounds of crucifixion after he rose from the dead?
  • 11:47 - Alternative theories proposed by resurrection skeptics
  • 13:54 - Can the resurrection of Jesus be reduced to a symbol or metaphor?
  • 17:50 - What's the ultimate meaning of the resurrection?
  • 19:13 - How should we proclaim the Good News of the resurrection today?
  • 20:48 - The significance of Christianity being rooted in history
  • 23:13 - Question from listener: how best to pass on the faith to kids

Bonus Resources

Today we discuss a viral video from Bill Nye the Science Guy, a pop-science leader, who wonders whether philosophy can provide any real answers to the questions of life. A listener asks whether Bishop Barron would accept an invitation to appear on HBO's "Real Time" with religious skeptic Bill Maher.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:16 - Bishop Barron updates us on recent talks/events
  • 1:41 - Viral Bill Nye the Science YouTube video on science and philosophy
  • 3:42 - Is philosophy really dragging behind science or, worse, is it dead?
  • 8:19 - Does philosophy ever provide answers that overturn common sense?
  • 8:58 - Bill Nye's most interesting philosophical questions
  • 12:03 - Does truth require consensus in either science or philosophy?
  • 14:17 - David Hume and hyper-skepticism
  • 15:44 - How skepticism toward philosophy erodes the foundation of science
  • 19:31 - Bill Nye comments on René Descartes
  • 21:13 - The problem of dismissing philosophy without understanding it
  • 23:34 - Bill Nye's shift from philosophy's ability to net you a job
  • 28:55 - Question from listener: Would Bishop Barron accept an invitation to appear on Bill Maher's show?

Bonus Resources

Today we're sharing the second part of a talk Bishop Barron recently gave titled "Against the YouTube Heresies." (If you missed the first part, be sure to listen to it first!) Modeled after St. Irenaeus' classic work from the second century, Against the Heresies, Bishop Barron identifies the most common objections people have to Christianity today, especially on the Internet, and then shows us how to respond. Enjoy! (Note: You can now pre-order Bishop Barron's newest book, Vibrant Paradoxes: The Both/And of Catholicism. For a limited time, when you pre-order the book, we'll also send you a FREE CD containing reflections from Bishop Barron on the Resurrection. So be sure to pre-order your copy today!)

Bonus Resources

Today we're sharing the first part of a talk Bishop Barron recently gave titled "Against the YouTube Heresies." Modeled after St. Irenaeus' classic work from the second century, Against the Heresies, Bishop Barron identifies the most common objections people have to Christianity today, especially on the Internet, and then shows us how to respond. You'll hear the first half of the talk in this episode, and the second half in the next episode. Enjoy! (Note: You can now pre-order Bishop Barron's newest book, Vibrant Paradoxes: The Both/And of Catholicism. For a limited time, when you pre-order the book, we'll also send you a FREE CD containing reflections from Bishop Barron on the Resurrection. So be sure to pre-order your copy today!)

Bonus Resources

This week, Baker Academic released a new hardcover edition of Bishop Barron's book, The Priority of Christ: Toward a Postliberal Catholicism. Bishop Barron discusses the book's main ideas including the problem with liberalism, how Jesus Christ is the proper foundation of knowledge and ethics, and how the saints unveil the good life. A listener asks about Jesus' words from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Note: For a limited time, get "The Priority of Christ" at a huge discount through Word on Fire by visiting http://WordOnFire.org/priority.)

Topics Discussed

  • 0:21 –Why did Bishop Barron write The Priority of Christ?
  • 4:20 –Cardinal George on liberal Christianity
  • 6:14 –What is theological liberalism?
  • 7:24 – "Beige Catholicism" and the effects of liberalism
  • 9:00 – How does Christ become the priority in the realm of knowledge?
  • 12:34 – The difference between Christian epistemology and other forms
  • 15:38 – The non-competitive transcendence of God
  • 19:38 – The two non-competitive natures of Jesus Christ
  • 20:51 – Why use saints to illustrate ethics?
  • 25:17 – The four woman saints who exhibit elevated virtue
  • 29:58 – Bishop Barron's evangelical purpose for his book
  • 31:30 – Question from listener: What did Jesus mean when he said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Bonus Resources

Bishop Barron recounts his time at the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress held from February 25-28, 2016. He shares about his talk on 1 and 2 Samuel, having breakfast with philosopher-priest Fr. Robert Spitzer, and the best approaches to evangelization. A listener asks about the nature of sin and whether it's a privation of the good or something real and substantial.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:17 –What is the L.A. Congress?
  • 3:00 - What's it like meeting people who have been helped by Word on Fire?
  • 4:52 - Bishop Barron's talk at the L.A. Congres on 1/2 Samuel
  • 8:18 - Spotlight and reading the sexual abuse crisis through a Biblical lens
  • 11:33 - Having breakfast with Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
  • 15:40 - The Augustinian appeal to "happiness" in evangelization
  • 22:08 - Which evangelization approaches work best?
  • 24:02 - Question from listener: What is the nature of sin?

Bonus Resources

As we move deep into Lent, the liturgical season of “going into the desert”, Bishop Barron explains why these 40 days are needed and meaningful. He unveils the season's biblical basis and offers practical advice on celebrating it well. A listener asks how to respond to secular critics of Mother Teresa, such as the late atheist polemicist, Christopher Hitchens.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:25 – Update on Bishop Barron's Spanish lessons
  • 1:58 - Why are people drawn to Ash Wednesday and Lent?
  • 3:57 - What's the purpose of Lent and where did it come from?
  • 5:34 - What significance do the "40 days" have?
  • 6:02 - Desert people throughout the Bible
  • 10:03 - First temptation of Jesus in the desert
  • 13:01 - Second temptation of Jesus in the desert
  • 16:25 - Third temptation of Jesus in the desert
  • 20:15 - The persistence of spiritual warfare
  • 21:48 - Practical recommendations for Lent
  • 25:23 - Great books to read during Lent
  • 27:03 - Bishop Barron's favorite "life of Christ" books
  • 28:28 - Question from listener: how to respond to critics of Mother Teresa?

Bonus Resources