Recently, Bishop Barron watched several YouTube conversations between Sam Harris, a well-known atheist, and Dr. Jordan Peterson, one of today's most prominent and beguiling intellectuals today. We've talked in past episodes about Dr. Peterson's reliance on Carl Jung, and his archetypal reading of the Bible, but today we explore Dr. Peterson's similarities to Immanuel Kant, especially when it comes to the question of God. A listener asks why a Hindu should become Christian if Hinduism seems to have a more peaceful history.
The recent confrontation between a grinning young high school student and a Native American elder has led to much anger and vitriol, especially on social media. But as Bishop Barron suggests, it also exemplified the "scapegoating mechanism" described by philosopher René Girard. How do we avoid this scapegoating? How can we bring more light to the online world? Bishop Barron has some advice. A listener asks whether our memories will transfer to Heaven.
In this episode, Bishop Barron discusses a recent New York Times article by David Brooks titled "The Morality of Selfism: The Gospel of Saint You." It's a tongue-in-cheek affirmation of a culture that puts tremendous emphasis on self, self-care, and self-display. Bishop Barron explores some of the dangerous outcomes of such a culture. A listener asks whether it's helpful or troubling that the Catholic tradition includes so many definitions of God.
Ross Douthat recently published an op-ed in the New York Times titled "The Return of Paganism." He argues that maybe there actually is a genuinely post-Christian future for America, one that mixes pantheism with civic religion. Bishop Barron and Brandon Vogt discuss the article. A listener asks why God needed a second coming of Christ and couldn't have accomplished everything during his first coming.
Bishop Barron takes listener questions from all over the world, including:
- What are examples of popular films that convey the Gospel without being preachy or poorly produced?
- Which beings have souls, and where do we draw the line?
- If prayer doesn't change God's mind, then when we get what we pray for, would we have gotten it anyways?
- How can laypeople encourage priests to do more evangelization?
- Since there's no time in heaven, when I die, will the rest of my family already be there even if they’re not dead yet?
- How do you defend the faith through social media when so few people are willing to engage serious arguments?
- How can Catholic laypeople determine which Church leaders to follow and imitate?
- Are we at a spiritual disadvantage without deep friendships in our lives? Are there any virtues of loneliness?
According to data from BibleGateway.com and YouVersion, the popular Bible app, the most popular Bible verse of 2018 was Isaiah 41:10: "Do not fear." Bishop Barron looks at several other verses that cracked the list and reveals the right (and wrong) ways to understand them. A listener asks for clarification on Bishop Barron's comments about the salvation of Jews on Ben Shapiro's interview show.
A recent Christianity Today article titled, “Christian, What Do You Believe? Probably a Heresy About Jesus, Says Survey” explores a State of Theology survey conducted in the United States by LifeWay Research, based on interviews with 3,000 Americans. Bishop Barron discusses the alarming results. A listener asks what it feels like for Bishop Barron to act in persona Christi capitis.
How should Christians use social media? How can we escape its dangers (venomous rhetoric, echo chambers, etc.) and instead use these tools well? Bishop Barron offers his advice and shares how he personally uses these tools. A listener asks whether Bishop Barron is now part of the Intellectual Dark Web after speaking with Ben Shapiro and Dave Rubin.
On Christmas Eve, the night before the great Solemnity of the Nativity of Jesus, Bishop Barron talks about the Incarnation. What do we mean by this? What do people often get wrong about the Incarnation? And how is the Incarnation extended throughout space and time? A listener asks about Buddha's famous maxim, "Life is suffering." NOTE: Click here to support Bishop Barron's Word on Fire ministry as we move into 2019 >> wordonfireshow.com/giving
According to Bishop Barron, we need more religious argument, not less. But how do we talk about religion productively? In today's episode he offers several practical tips along with the fallacies you'll want to avoid. A listener asks how to engage relativistic friends. NOTE: Click here to get Bishop Barron's newest book, Arguing Religion >> wordonfireshow.com/religion