Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bryan Cross: Fingerpainting your way through church history

Bryan helpfully said:

We identify the true Church by going back to Jesus. We know that Jesus founded a Church. Now the key is to keep your finger on that thing that Jesus founded, and move forward through history, century by century, until you reach the present day. Don't go quickly. Read the writings of the fathers of the first century, then the second century, and then third century, and then the fourth century, and then the fifth century. Now, whenever there is a schism, you have to determine which is the split off (at least in some respect), and which is the continuation of the Church that Christ founded. How did the fathers determine which is the continuation of the Church Christ founded, and which is the schism from that Church? Notice the roles of the Ecumenical Councils. Notice also the role of the Pope in the authority of the Ecumenical Councils. (I'm not trying to be patronizing in this paragraph -- I'm simply laying out how I think the true Church is to be found. I'd be interested in how you agree/disagree with that general methodology, and where in history our 'fingers' part ways, so to speak, and at that very point where our fingers part ways, why your finger goes away from mine.)

A question for Bryan Cross: How do you "go back to Jesus"? Where is that "Church that Christ founded" to be found?


  1. I know your questions are rhetorical, but on what basis will you judge whether the Church came out on the right side of a schism? Is it merely which side the pope was on? Is it popularity? What exactly determines which side is right in a schism?

    He is presupposing that the positions the Roman church holds today is the "thing that Jesus founded", and then uses that as the standard to judge which side was correct in a schism. He's really begging the question.

  2. Bryan tells us how he thinks you find the One True Church.

    1) Go back to Jesus. (I assume here he means the Biblical accounts of Jesus).

    2) Use your fallible private judgement (FPJ) to find the original "church that Jesus Christ founded".

    3) Continue to use your FPJ to "keep your finger on it as you trace it through history.

    4) Whenever there is a schism, "you have to determine" which side is correct in the schism using your FPJ again.

    So there it is; the secret is to use your very own fallible personal judgement. It's always nice when Catholics show us where they get their certainty.