When I first got interested in Apologetics, some of the most straight-forward defenses of Catholicism were along the lines of “we’re the original church.” We can “trace ourselves back to the first century.” Or “We are the church of the church fathers, the Apostles, and Peter.”
Well, this is certainly true. And I am Catholic in part because I believe these arguments.
However, don’t claims like this need to be carefully nuanced? All these church communions are rooted in the original church of the Apostles:
- Catholic Church (in communion with Rome)
- Eastern (Chalcedonian) Orthodox
- Oriental Orthodox (like the Coptic church)
- Assyrian Church of the East
The Catholic discerns the true church by discerning who is in communion with Peter (i.e., the Pope), because he is the focal point of the church’s visible communion. Even so, how do we carefully and honestly present this history?
How would you say it?