July 16, 2020

Coming Up: Bryan Cross Interview + Catholic Resources

Snapshot 2008-12-31 11-21-06A few Catholic oriented items here at IM, freely borrowing from other blogs.

I’m going to surprise a lot of you with an interview post with Catholic blogger Bryan Cross, writer at Principium Unitatis. I’ve often been a bit snarky to Bryan, but when it comes to the subject of Christian unity, he’s really an eloquent and optimistic Catholic voice. Read his blog bio and you’ll see he’s had a fascinating journey. I’ll be asking him questions about the recent Anglican arrangement and the overall issue of Christian unity.

Bryan’s blog was the original source for some excellent lectures by Ave Maria University professor Dr. Lawrence Feingold. His current collection are portraits of the Early Church Fathers. Dr. Feingold is an outstanding teacher, whether you agree with him or not. The entire series on The Church and Israel is outstanding Catholic teaching.

Fr. Walter Barron has a review of Alastair McGrath’s Christianity’s Dangerous Idea and a discussion of the issue of Church authority.

When I interview Bryan. We’ll talk a bit about JDK’s post at Mockingbird, All The Romery People. What is the real reason you’re not Roman Catholic?

I didn’t read Amy Welborn when she was at Beliefnet. Now she’s back at her own blog, and we all need to be regularly reading her. One of the best bloggers.

Dwight Longnecker’s blog is a fine blog by a Protestant convert who is a married priest and a good preacher. Fr. Longnecker knows a lot about the road from Anglicanism to Rome, as his post today demonstrates. Here’s a sample:

Pope Benedict’s move this week will have similar impact in the world of Christian dialogue. With Personal Ordinariates not only have the professional ecumenists been shown the way forward, but the duplicitous liberal Catholic bishops who would have stalled, moved it into ‘discussion groups’ and presented ‘further obstacles’ have also been very effectively gone around. No longer will a gifted, willing and able convert priest have to wait years to be ordained and in the meantime be pushed from pillar to post by Catholic bishops who are driven by a liberal agenda that is actually illiberal.

Finally, the English and Americans should stop being so parochial and offended. Pope Benedict did not make this move to offend the Church of England or to poach people from the Episcopal Church. He was responding to pleas from people who have already left or are planning to leave the Anglican Church. Furthermore, he is aware of the tremendous growth of both the Catholic and Anglican Churches in the developing world. I believe he has his eye on the faithful Catholics and Anglicans in Africa and Asia, and that he hopes this move will enable them to join together in a young, new and energetic alliance for the twenty first century.

A great little summary here. Always worth reading.


  1. Regarding Walter Barron’s Youtube presentation…. He uses the analogy of the need for an umpire to make the final authoritative decision over interpretation, and then adds the role of the Holy Spirit. Thus, he claims first that the Roman Catholic Church is the one supreme umpire and that is the one supreme church guided by the Holy Spirit. To be honest, this comes across to me as arrogance. I understand the claim to need a final authoritative voice, but that voice can become very blind to other viewpoints if all authority is vested in one structure. This, I think is the root of Luther’s Reformation, and all Reformations, the need to legitimately question power structures, to consider other interpretive viewpoints. And, the reason why I disagree with Walter Barron is because I don’t see that freedom within the structure of Roman Catholicism. Correct me if I’m wrong, but what I usually observe from my Roman Catholic brothers in the final analysis is not to question church teachings, but finding ways to bolster church teachings.

    • I think it was a flawed analogy, open to a lot of counter arguments. Umpires are certified by…..the league. I actually deal with this at some length in my book. All levels of the game depend on the love and passion for the game experienced at the lowest levels. Not on the umpire’s call.

      Would that Rome would make real moves, however, to undertake the role of an umpire and not General Manager.

  2. “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock i will build my Church, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven but you are a flawed umpire, . And then after you die, its everybody reading the bible which i will drop from heaven. Given your aforementioned flaw sometime in the next 1500yrs the gates of heaven shall have prevailed”

  3. Christopher Lake says


    Father Barron is not making a statement of purely subjective conviction here, regarding the role of the Catholic Church. Consistent Catholics do believe that the CC is the original Church, founded by Christ Himself, with Peter as the first Pope. They also believe that, as Christ would not leave the Church to itself, from the time of Peter up to today, there has been an unbroken line of Popes (the term is “apostolic succession”) presiding over the Church. Therefore, Father Barron’s statements are not arrogant; they simply reflect his theological and historical convictions. I write these words not as a Catholic apologist but as a former Catholic (and now a Reformed Baptist) who still desires Catholic teaching to be correctly understood.

  4. I think it ties into iMonk’s number one reason to leave evangelicalism when you don’t have to: idealizing non-evangelical options. Is the Catholic church a monolithic, unified body under one agreed interpretation of scripture and religious practice? Without going into specifics, I think the answer is a resounding “no”. It has also been addressed that the Catholic church isn’t expecting Anglicans to check their very Calvinistic articles of faith at the door. Popular evangelical converts to Catholicism still look and sound distinctively evangelical.

    Is it still better than 30,000+ protestant denominations? Hmmmm. Of those 30,000 organizations, how many distinct theological differences are there? Are there 30,000 schismatic or heretical positions separating those bodies? I’ll leave myself guilty of begging the question, because I simply can’t answer that question. I personally think the answer is a much lower number. As it has been addressed in previous posts, the distance separating these groups on several issues isn’t that great.

    Do I wish there was a unified, centralized authority which could address heresies, such as faith-prosperity? Sure. But without any global means to enforce pronouncements across international borders, I question the effectiveness. Would such an order have authority to remove heretical publications on the internet? Could it stop para-church missionaries in foreign countries from teaching heresy? Would the church merely be able to say that the teaching diverges from official church teaching – a papal paper tiger? Or do the conspiracy theorists have a valid point after all, that a unified religious authority would have to be followed by a unified civil authority? My answer echoes the refrain of an old song: “..You can’t go back to Constantinople…”. Likewise, we can’t go back to the holy Roman Empire. Reconsidering McGrath’s opinion may be a better answer.

    I do love the Catholic church and wish it well. Chesterton and Newman are among my heroes. I’m just a cautious ecumenist. I think ecumenism could potentially destroy those things that I (as a protestant) admire the most.

  5. If I remember correctly, its Robert Barron, not Walter.

  6. I appreciate this list of Catholic resources. I have little knowledge of the best blogs, resources, and discussions (online) related to the Catholic perspective. Very helpful. Thanks.

  7. [sarcasm] You are right dumb ox that is why the protestant reformation never happened because the Church loves just bending over for anybodies theology. [sarcasm]