The first words out of Jesus’ mouth—and the central theme of his preaching—concerned the Kingdom of God. As we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, Bishop Barron explores three dimensions of his unique kingship.

A listener asks if God is love, and love is an act of the will, is God reducible to will?

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This week, Bishop Barron answers questions from listeners all over the world. These include:

  • If animals have distinct personalities, then why does the Church teach they don’t have souls?
  • What is being conveyed by identifying Jesus as the New Adam and Mary as the New Eve?
  • Do you believe we have a predestined “purpose”?
  • What can we say about the love of God to someone who has lost an infant to disease, or a parent to suicide?
  • If evil is a privation of good (non-being), how can demons be pure non-being?
  • Why do some people say, after they die, they wish to see God “face to face”? What does this mean?
  • Does the Incarnation bring about the fulfillment of nature, or is Jesus’ divinity something supernaturally added to an already-complete human nature?

If you have a question, be sure to send it in via AskBishopBarron.com.

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What did St. Ignatius mean when he counseled followers to “discern the spirits”? How do we do this? Bishop Barron unpacks the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and offers practical tips on how to discern God’s will in your life.

A listener asks how to discern whether God is calling him to marriage or the priesthood.

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Today we discuss the second half of Joe Rogan’s interview with atheist Richard Dawkins about Dawkins’ new book, Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide. (If you missed the first half, check out last week’s episode!)

A listener asks whether Bishop Barron has considered making Word on Fire into a religious order.

Links

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Joe Rogan, host of the one of the world’s most popular podcasts, recently interviewed Richard Dawkins about Dawkins’ new book, Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide. It’s a follow-up book to Dawkins’ bestselling The God Delusion, although this one is aimed at younger readers. The Rogan/Dawkins interview went immediately viral, drawing over a million views within 48 hours.

Today, Bishop Barron and Brandon Vogt talk through the first half of the interview, responding to arguments raised against God and religion.
(Check back next week for our discussion of the second half!)

A listener asks whether Bishop Barron has considered making Word on Fire into a religious order.

Links

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Surveys show 61% of people sleep with their phones and 75% grab their phones as soon as they wake up. We’re addicted to our smartphones. In this episode, Bishop Barron reflects on this problem (including his own smartphone use), offering guidance from some of the greatest saints and spiritual masters in the Catholic tradition.

A listener asks whether saints feel emotions in heaven, such as feeling sad when friends or family on earth struggle with sin.

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Last month, Bishop Barron visited Reddit for another #AMA (ask me anything). Over 15,000 comments poured in from young skeptics around the world, making it the third most-commented on #AMA of the year, and the ninth most popular in Reddit history. Today, Bishop Barron reflects on the experience and four main patterns of questions he noticed.

A listener asks for a concrete example of mercy mocking justice.

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How do we make sense of all the names, groups, and movements surrounding the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)? What are the key things to know, and how have they shaped today’s Catholic Church? Bishop Barron explains.

A listener asks why secular philosophy departments tend to discount Scholasticism in favor of modern philosophy.

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A recent article in The Atlantic claimed “A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked”. It focused on an experiment during the 1980s that seems to show our brain “decides” on our behavior before we actually make particular choices. Many believed this confirmed we don’t have free will, that all our thoughts and behaviors are determined.

But is this the case? Is free will just an illusion? Bishop Barron explains some of the classic arguments for free will and its relationship to God and Christianity.

A listener asks why in Catholicism pride is a deadly sin, but Aristotle describes it as a virtue.

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This week, we share the second half of a talk from Bishop Barron on John Henry Newman’s book The Grammar of Assent. We shared the first half last week, so be sure to listen to that first.

The Grammar of Assent concerns question about how we come to believe in God, and is widely considered Newman’s most important text.

Also, it’s a timely topic, since John Henry Newman will be canonized in just a couple weeks, on October 13. Bishop Barron will be attending the canonization, then a few days later will deliver a talk at Oxford University on “John Henry Newman and the New Evangelization.” That talk, which we’re planning to livestream, will focus primarily on The Grammar of Assent.

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!