Monday, March 19, 2018

Presuppositional Catholicism

In my experience, Bryan Cross never begins with evidence; rather, he always begins with his preconception of what "the Church" must be like. By definition, "the Church" must be such-and-such. He has an unfalsifiable paradigm. Kinda like Barth's concept of suprahistory, where Christian essentials safely exist in a Never-never land sealed off from the risk of empirical or historical disconfirmation.

Even if he occasionally appeals to the church fathers, I suspect that's filtered through his Catholic paradigm. The Roman Magisterium has the "final interpretive authority" regarding the consensus patrum. So there is no independent evidence for Catholicism, only value-laden evidence that takes the Catholic paradigm for granted. It's a kind of Catholic presuppositionalism. An axiomatic system in which the "the Church" is axiomatic, but the axioms are indemonstrable. 

The address of the "visible" Church is Shangri-La. Although you can't find it on the map, it's oh-so visible–unlike those hapless Protestant denominations. 


  1. Thanks for this Steve.
    Bryan Cross does what my professor of informal logic warned us about on the first day of class: uses 'logic' as mere defensive weapon; never as a tool for self-diagnosis.
    Makes him an unattractive public intellectual.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I once knew somebody who was heavily influenced in their conversion to Roman Catholicism by this "Bryan Cross" of Called to Communion. I really don't see what is so special about this guy, however. Bryan Cross simply regurgitates the same ole', tired, vacuous, worn-out, weak Papist propaganda that has been soundly refuted for centuries already.

  4. Interesting observation. I wonder to what degree an internal critique could be done to show Cross the error of his position.

    1. I recently saw an interchange with Bryan Cross and another (also conservative) Catholic. The Catholic was mentioning how the Chruch had a lot of disunity and that we're fractured here the true unity is in Jesus. Very, very similar to arguments I've seen Protestants make.

      It looked like it gave Bryan Cross some issues. But that's historical reality.

      I say that in order to answer your question. Maybe pointing out Rome is in the same boat would give him opportunity t pause and think.