Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #39

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

First, a note to Cassandra: your email is not merely “filler” for my inbox. Emails like yours are why I do what I do. Thank you for sharing that with me and, even though it’s a few weeks early…Welcome Home!

Next week I will be out of town for 3 days during the work week. Which means there may not be a newsletter next week. I will try to get one out, but I cannot guarantee that I will have the time to make it happen. So, if it’s not out next week, it will definitely get out the following week.

Below is a quote from Cardinal Newman about what divides and unites Christians. It is particularly relevant in regards to Matt’s claims that one can have unity without doctrinal unity:

“What brings any Christians together is the revelation and acceptance of the truth….disobedience and protesting against the truth is what brought division of Christ’s Church in the first place!” John Cardinal Newman

And, a quote from St. Augustine regarding the Eucharist…in other words, how the early Church believed in regards to the Eucharist:

“Recognize in this bread what hung on the cross, and in this chalice what flowed from His side…whatever was in many and varied ways announced beforehand in the sacrifices of the Old Testament pertains to this one sacrifice which is revealed in the New Testament.” – St. Augustine, Sermon 3,2; 410 A.D.


Alright folks, a bit of a break here from what we’ve had in the last several weeks. Matt is pondering his answers to my last email, but he has sent word to assure me that he will answer every single one of the questions I asked him. So, you will have to wait until next week (or possibly the week after) for the next round of dialogue between us and to see if he does indeed answer all of the questions.

I thought about starting up a new correspondence in this newsletter, as I have several folks waiting in line to have a go of it, but decided it would be better not to flip flop between different folks in three or four successive newsletters. So, this week is just going to be me answering a couple of questions that I have received from Catholics on a couple of things that you may not run into that often, but, if you do, you will now know how to answer.

As always, your comments and feedback are welcomed and will all be read.



I was talking to a non Catholic friend today about Christianity in general, and he happened to mention that Christians are not supposed to eat pork. I don’t know how to approach that comment with him but i told him i will find out and get back to him wink. Can u please help with some references in the bible where it says we are ok to eat pork and an explanation. Thank You and God Bless Your Ministry.


Dear James,

At the Council of Jerusalem in chapter 15 of the Acts of the Apostles, they had a great debate over whether or not the old law needed to be kept in order to be Christian. The main argument was about circumcision, but as you read in Acts 15:5, it was also about the entire Law of Moses, which included the clean vs. unclean animal thing (pork was from an unclean animal). The verdict of the Council was that only a few things had to stay in effect in regards to Christian practice vs. Jewish practice. Those things are found in Acts 15:19-20. Abstaining from pork is not one of the requirements.

Also, read Acts 10, particularly about Peter’s dream involving unclean foods. The Gentiles were under no obligation to not eat pork, or the other unclean foods, and when they were brought into Christianity, they never had that obligation placed upon them. Ask your non-Catholic friend where in the Bible, given the passages you can now show him, does it say that the Law of Moses, in particular the prohibition against eating pork, is to be applied to Christians? Quick answer: it doesn’t.

God bless!

John Martignoni


Hi John,

When being baptized we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, but in a lot of verses like the one below, it says that you are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

“Peter [said] to them, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” – Acts 2:38

I know that Jesus tells us to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit as quoted below:

Matt 28:19-20. “Make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

I agree with it because it’s Jesus telling us that he wants it done that way. The reason I was asking is because I saw a discussion about this on a Catholic forum and the person’s argument was that Jesus’ apostles only said be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, not in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

I was wondering how you would answer this?

Thanks again.


Dear Brett,

Being baptized in the “name of Jesus” is not referring to the formula for Baptism that Jesus gave the Apostles in Matthew 28. If it was referring to the formula for baptism, then you would have Jesus giving them the formula for baptism one day, and then, nine days later the Apostles completely ignoring that formula and coming up with a new one. That would have Peter contradicting Jesus, and one scripture verse contradicting another. Doesn’t make sense.

Being baptized in the “name of Jesus” is referring to the fact that it is by the authority of Jesus that they are baptizing anyone at all, and that they are being baptized into the Body of Christ. It is Jesus who instituted the Sacrament of Baptism, so it is in His name, by His authority, that one is baptized. I was baptized in the name of Jesus. The formula for my baptism, as given by Jesus Christ Himself, was: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” There is no contradiction in those two statements when interpreted properly.

To interpret the Scriptures mentioned above in any other way, is to lead to a contradiction or to the conclusion that Peter and the Apostles disobeyed Jesus’ direct command. In other words, it would be a bad interpretation.

God bless!

John Martignoni


Strategy/Comments: As I always say, whenever you’re told something that doesn’t sound quite right, ask for the source. When what you’re being told comes from a non-Catholic Christian, ask them to tell you where it says that in the Bible. And, if they can give you a verse, make sure to read it in context, and to read it very carefully, because it probably doesn’t actually say what they are trying to make it say.

This pertains to both the questions above. In the first, were James to have asked, “Where in Scripture is the prohibition against Christians eating pork,” his friend would have been hard pressed to find such a passage. In the second, when taken in context…and this time the context is not just a few verses above and below, but the broader context of the entire New Testament…we see that an interpretation of the phrase to be baptized “in the name of Jesus,” which makes that a formula for Baptism (which is an interpretation made by a lot of Pentecostals), contradicts Jesus’ direct command from the end of Matthew. So, in that broader context, such an interpretation makes no sense.

In Conclusion

Please remember to let other folks know about this newsletter and about all of the free apologetics/evangelization materials available at our website (www.biblechristiansociety.com).

Have a great weekend!

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Apologetics for the Masses