Tag: ECFs


Karl Barth v. Keith Mathison on the Early Church & Sola Scriptura

German postage stamp honoring Karl Barth's 100th birthday
Did the early Christians believe in "sola Scriptura" (Scripture alone)? Or did they also believe in Apostolic Tradition? Keith Mathison, in his book "The Shape of Sola Scriptura," claimed that the Catholic view wasn't found in the first centuries of the Church, and that the earliest Church Fathers believed in sola Scriptura. Mathison's views are thoroughly debunked by (of all people) Karl Barth, the Reformed theologian Christianity Today called "the most important theologian of the twentieth century." And Barth capably proved the Catholic Patristic case... even though he personally believed in sola Scriptura!

Continue reading: “Karl Barth v. Keith Mathison on the Early Church & Sola Scriptura”


The Poetry of the Saints

It’s not news to say that we Catholics struggle with beautiful music these days. More than two decades ago, Thomas Day released Why Catholics Can’t Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste, and the problems still exist. We mutter along with the responsorial Psalm; and mumble through the hymnody, with its milquetoast lyrics set […]

Continue reading: “The Poetry of the Saints”


Saint Justin Martyr? Or Justin Idolater?

Fra Angelico, Trial of Justin The Philosopher (1450)
Early Christians like St. Justin Martyr and his companions died for the Christian faith, rather than worshipping idols. But if Protestants like Peter Leithart and Mike Grendon are right, these early Christians were idolaters anyways. Why? Because they believed in transubstantiation, that the bread and wine become the actual Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So are Protestants right? Should we call him "Justin Idolater" instead? Or can we trust the early Christians?

Continue reading: “Saint Justin Martyr? Or Justin Idolater?”


6 Early Christian Controversies That Protestantism Can’t Explain

Woodcut of St. Patrick, Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) In an article entitled Saint Patrick the Baptist?, Stephen R. Button tries to claim St. Patrick for Evangelical Protestantism… or at least disassociate him from Roman Catholicism. Button is hardly alone: you can find similar attempts by Don Boys and others, some of them dating back several decades. The argument tends […]

Continue reading: “6 Early Christian Controversies That Protestantism Can’t Explain”


Reason #6 to Reject the Reformation: Patristic Scriptural Exegesis

Caspar Schwenckfeld Catholic beliefs are often rejected by “Bible-only” Protestants on the grounds that they are “extra-Scriptural Traditions.” This accusation typically misses the mark: on teachings like the priesthood, or the Eucharist, or regenerative baptism, it’s not that the Church is deriving these views from a source other than Scripture. It’s that she sees support […]

Continue reading: “Reason #6 to Reject the Reformation: Patristic Scriptural Exegesis”


Reason #5 to Reject the Reformation: The Church Fathers

Church Fathers, a miniature from Svyatoslav’s Miscellany (1076) The relationship between Protestantism and the Church Fathers is complicated, and necessarily so. On the one hand, the Early Church Fathers are an invaluable source for any Christian, whether they know it or not. They’re the ones who passed on the faith, even at the cost of […]

Continue reading: “Reason #5 to Reject the Reformation: The Church Fathers”