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58 minutes | May 10, 2019
100: All Good Things Must Come to an End
In the 100th episode of this podcast, I make a special announcement, plus I also share a talk I recently gave on the Four Last Things. Topics covered include: The origin of death What is death? The Christian and death The Particular Judgement The General Judgement Hell Purgatory Heaven
36 minutes | Apr 26, 2019
99: Sanctification Through Work
I recently gave a talk to a women’s group on the topic of “Sanctification Through Work.” We spend most of our lives working, whether it’s paid or not, and so we need to make sure work draws us closer to—rather than farther away from—God. I’m sharing the recording of the talk on this episode of Swimming Upstream. Topics covered: The Origin of Work What is Work? Suffering and Work Offering Work to God Our Offering Practical Applications
32 minutes | Apr 12, 2019
98: The Purpose of Marriage
I recently taught a class for my parish and the topic was marriage. I covered a number of areas related to the sacrament, but in particular I focused on the three purposes of marriage, and their corresponding importance. Topics covered: Origin of marriage Marriage defined Purpose of marriage Essential elements of marriage Christ elevates marriage to a sacrament Determining validity of a marriage
24 minutes | Apr 5, 2019
97: Fielding a Big “Team Catholic”
There’s a lot of in-fighting in the Catholic world, among traditional Catholics, among conservative Catholics, and particularly between traditional and conservative Catholics. In this episode, I go full Rodney King and ask, “Can we all just get along?” Topics covered: A desire to “Unite the Clans” “He that is not against us is for us.” Building Team Catholic Disagree on prudential matters, but united in common cause Not everyone is on the Team: Fr. James Martin and Cardinal Cupich Fr. Larry Richards and Bishop Robert Barron – are they part of the Team? Let’s field a big Team Catholic Resources: Traditional Catholics Unite the Clans with Michael Matt (Dr. Taylor Marshall #229)
27 minutes | Mar 22, 2019
96: What Kind of Catholic Are You?
In today’s Church, there are many different kinds of Catholics, with three main categories: liberal, conservative, and traditional. I take a look at these labels and what they mean in this episode of “Swimming Upstream”. Topics covered: The division in today’s Church. The problem with labels. The three kinds of Catholics. How they differ. A spectrum rather than a label. What kind of Catholic am I? Resources: Take the Online Quiz
27 minutes | Mar 8, 2019
95: The State of the Cryptocurrency Industry
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have left the public spotlight since their highs in late 2017. What is going on in the cryptocurrency industry these days? Is the promise of blockchain technology still possible? Or was it all hype? Topics covered: What is cryptocurrency? A brief primer. The three phases of cryptocurrency history. Will cryptocurrency be the money of the future? Are there other use cases for cryptocurrency? Resources: The Current State of Bitcoin (Nov 2017)
28 minutes | Mar 1, 2019
94: Fasting and Lent
With Lent approaching, it’s time to re-look at a traditional Christian practice that has been sadly forgotten: fasting. Why should Christians fast? Why don’t we fast? I’ll discuss the spiritual and physical benefits of fasting, as well as practical tips for actually doing it Topics covered: The Rise and Fall of Christian fasting How fasting helps one overcome other vices Failing at fasting How to succeed at fasting Resources: To Love Fasting (Article) The Miracle of Intermittent Fasting (Podcast) The Complete Guide to Fasting (Book) To Love Fasting: The Monastic Experience (Book)
61 minutes | Feb 22, 2019
93: What is the Church?
In today’s episode of Swimming Upstream, I’m sharing a recording of a recent class I taught on the subject of the Church. What is the Church? How do we distinguish the Church from other groups? How is it structured? And finally, is it necessary for salvation? Topics covered: The Church as the Mystical Body of Christ The Four Marks of the Church The Church as the Communion of Saints “Outside the Church There is No Salvation” The Structure of the Church The Indefectibility of the Church
31 minutes | Feb 15, 2019
92: Soon-To-Be-Saint John Henry Newman and His Most Important Teaching
This week it was announced that the Vatican approved a 2nd miracle attributed to Bl. John Henry Newman, which clears the way for him to be canonized a Saint of the Catholic Church. I have a devotion to this great man, and so I use this announcement as an opportunity to talk about his life and what I consider his most important teaching. Topics covered: What the Vatican’s announcement means The Life of Bl. John Henry Newman My devotion to Newman Newman’s important teaching: Development of Doctrine The tests for determining if a new teaching is a development or not The abuse of this teaching today Resources: Pope Francis approves canonization of John Henry Newman Does Doctrine Change? (Catholic Answers)
28 minutes | Feb 8, 2019
91: Why I’m Not Donating to My Diocesan Appeal
Like many Catholics across the country, I recently received my diocese’s “Annual Appeal” letter asking for donations to support its various ministries. Even though I’ve given in the past, I decided this year not to donate. Find out why in this episode of Swimming Upstream. Topics covered: What is a diocesan appeal? My note to the diocese Importance of charity How to reach bishops Choosing what to support Objections to not giving When do we say “enough is enough”? Resources: My note to the diocese telling them I’m not donating Diocese on a Diet: Reducing the Temporal Power of the Bishops
27 minutes | Feb 1, 2019
90: Is Time Travel Possible?
Shows like Doctor Who and Star Trek have made time travel a staple of science fiction. And we all dream about time travel as well: can I go back and pick the winning lottery numbers? Can I go forward to see how my life turns out? But is time travel even possible, not just scientifically, but philosophically? That’s what I explore in this episode of Swimming Upstream. Topics covered: Two potential barriers: science and philosophy Moving forward in time Moving backward in time Creating a “copy” of yourself when time-traveling The Grandfather paradox Creating a causal loop Where are the time travelers? Resources: Time Travel: Theories, Paradoxes & Possibilities
61 minutes | Jan 29, 2019
89: Creation and Origin
In this episode, I present a lecture I recently gave at my parish on the creation and origin of man. It’s obviously a controversial subject, and I tried to present what the Church allows and doesn’t allow to be believed, while focusing on how to interpret the Biblical account from Genesis 1. Topics Covered: The Context of the Creation Account in Genesis Comparing Creation Myths Two Questions to Answer in Genesis 1 One Possible Interpretation of Genesis 1 The Evolution Debate
30 minutes | Jan 25, 2019
88: The Government Shutdown: Is Government Itself Non-Essential?
The Government Shutdown continues, which means that all “non-essential” personnel are currently furloughed. But this raises the question: what functions of government are essential? In this episode, I take a closer look at anarcho-capitalism, which would answer: no government functions are essential. Topics Covered: The Shutdown – Is the Government Really Shut Down? Who is Non-Essential? The Five Functions of Government Arguments for Anarchy Asking Hard Questions About the Role of Government Resources: For a New Liberty by Murray Rothbard (Free Download) What is Anarcho-Capitalism? Libertarian Anarchy (Tom Woods Podcast)
33 minutes | Jan 18, 2019
87: How the Pro-Life Movement Made Me Catholic
Today is the March for Life and next week is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Although legalized abortion has been a tragedy beyond comprehension, God has brought good out of the pro-life movement, including my conversion to Catholicism. Topics Covered: Growing Up Evangelical Becoming Pro-Life Amid a Sea of Catholics Debating Protestantism/Catholicism An Existential Crisis: What if My Denomination Changes Its Teachings? The Catholic Church Doesn’t Change Three Takeaways for Evangelization from My Experience Resources: How the Pro-Life Movement Made Me Catholic (Catholic Answers) From Ignorance to Bliss: The Story of My Conversion to Catholicism The Journey Home: Former Methodist Becomes Catholic
30 minutes | Jan 11, 2019
86: When Scandal Hits Closer to Home
This week two institutions I admire—Opus Dei and the Franciscan University of Steubenville—were hit with separate scandals. This has led me to think about how we typically react to scandal and what our proper reaction should be. Topics discussed: Allegations against Fr. John McCloskey, a priest of Opus Dei Scandalous assignments at Franciscan University Assuming the worst vs. covering up the truth Being a “party Catholic” Putting human institutions above the Truth Resources: Opus Dei paid $977,000 to settle sexual misconduct claim against prominent Catholic priest Statement by Msgr. Thomas Bohlin, Vicar of Opus Dei in the United States Franciscan Univ Defends Use of Pornographic, Blasphemous Book (Church Militant) Statement by Fr. Sean Sheridan, President of Franciscan University
36 minutes | Jan 8, 2019
85: We Must Help the Poor. But How?
Helping the poor has in modern times become a “liberal” issue. But if you are a Christian, no matter your political leanings, you are obligated to help the poor. But what are the best ways to do that? Topics discussed: A Christian’s obligation to help the poor Spiritual poverty vs. material poverty How supporting capitalism helps the poor The best ways to support charitable organizations Should we give money to the guy on the street who asks us? Resources: Capitalism Makes the Poor Better Off (Tom Woods Show) 5 Statistics Showing How Capitalism Solves Poverty
32 minutes | Dec 28, 2018
84: Toward a Simpler 2019
It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions. In this episode, I discuss my own resolution to live a simpler 2019, which is something Pope Francis also called for in his recent Christmas Eve homily. Topics discussed: How much stuff we all accumulate Minimalism Catholic minimalism, a.k.a. Franciscanism Can you be a capitalist and anti-materialistic? 3 Tips for living a simpler 2019 Resources: Pope Francis condemns world of materialism and poverty
36 minutes | Dec 21, 2018
83: What Must I Do To Be Saved?
In a recent interview, Ben Shapiro asked Bishop Robert Barron, “I’m a Jew. I follow the Law. Can I go to Heaven?” Bishop Barron’s response has led to a vigorous debate as to what is necessary for salvation. I tackle this issue in this episode, outlining my main practical and theological criticisms of Bishop Barron’s answer. Resources: Bishop Robert Barron Has Misled Ben Shapiro The Old Evangelization (Book)
29 minutes | Dec 18, 2018
82: Gender Distinctions and the Liturgy
Today we face massive gender confusion in our culture. Men and women are said to be the exact same, and men can claim to be women, and women can claim to be men. I would argue that one of the best ways to combat this confusion can be found in how we celebrate the Mass. Resources: Ten Reasons to Attend the Latin Mass (Interview with Taylor Marshall)
55 minutes | Dec 14, 2018
81: The Five Meanings of Faith
Recently my pastor asked me to sub for him in our adult catechism class at our parish. The topic to be covered was “faith.” I decided to use the class to distinguish between the five different meanings of the word “faith”.
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