Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

History is the Best Defense of Catholicism

Recently I was involved in a rather protracted on-line debate with a Sola Scriptura Christian who had a very unusual view of church history. He found my blog and wanted to set the record straight with his interpretation of church history. He remarked that the Roman Catholic Church was an invention of the Council of Trent and before that, there was only two churches; the western and the eastern christian churches. He suggested that my attempt to use the word "Catholic" was a modern mis-application of the word universal and that the church was always meant to be the catholic the universal small "c" church. The writings of multiple early Church historians and Church Fathers rebuff this theory. I was surprised at his view of history but he seemed like a sincere and intelligent gentleman and we continued the debate back and forth as well as with other bloggers adding their two cents from time to time. Even secular, as well as protestant histories of the church will accept the fact that the early church was indeed the Catholic Church continuous with the one that still exists today. My western civilization class taken at my very liberal arts college recognized that the Catholic Church was the Church started by the Jesus and the early Christians.

One of the main reasons that I converted to Catholicism was my discovery that the early church was Catholic in both practice and doctrine. When I found that they believed that the Communion meal was not symbolic but a real presentation of the body and blood of Christ in the species of the bread and wine as Jesus foreshadowed in John 6, I knew I had to return to the Church. I could no longer hold onto my view that the early church worshipped and lived out their faith as "post-reformation" Christians ; believing in symbols but not Sacraments as the Church Fathers wrote about. (Baptism for the forgiveness of sins etc.) If the folks writing about the Church back then described it as hierarchical, sacramental, undivided, led by a succession of apostles in communion with and submission to Rome, it would be academically dishonest for me to dismiss it as apostate.
How could they go so wrong so fast if these were the guys who had learned at the feet of Jesus' 12 disciples? That would be like saying the Holy Spirit came and fell on the Church at Pentecost but less than 70 years later went back to Heaven to wait 1500 years for the birth of Martin Luther while the Church Jesus established went apostate and allowed the gates of Hell to prevail over it.

A very instructive and graphic web site that explains the development of the Church and the non-Catholic sects can be found at
Jesus prayed that we would be one.


Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Hey, Tiber Jumper.... excellent post! Looks like we're on the same page or having some of the same thought processes lately. Both my husband and I enjoy your blog when we finally get a chance to "swim on down the river"... Isn't the water wonderful? Murky at times, but it's the best swimming there is! And what is the greatest of all, is that when we get out and get dried off by our Mother's mantle, she's ready to feed us and give us drink, because swimming makes one very hungry. She offers us her Son once again as food and drink for the sanctity of our souls. Blessed be the Name of the Lord and our Holy Mother Church and our Blessed Mother Mary!

susie, a joyful Catholic

August 12, 2006 6:04 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks for crossing the tiber with us!! We may have crossed at the same time , May 2004 for us. Maybe you were upstream from us and we just didn't see ya :)
What a gift this church has been to us evangelo/charismatics since the Catholic Church provides the fulfillment for what we were searching for and almost tasting for all these years! Jesus in the Eucharist and His Church with His Blessed Mother and all the Saints to cheer us, be heroes for us, and to pray for us most of all leading us to Christ!

August 12, 2006 9:43 AM  

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