One of the best arguments for the Catholic Church being the one, true Christian Church is that it was the first. The Protestant Reformation happened 1,500 years later and has since spawned hundreds of offshoot churches. This is the opposite of the Catholic Church, which has, in matters of core doctrine, remained stable throughout the ages.
Of course, some of our Protestant friends argue that the Catholic Church isn’t actually the original Church. They believe that it strayed from the teachings of the Apostles in the first couple of centuries after Christ. To them, the earliest Church was more Protestant in its beliefs and didn’t have priests, Sacraments, etc.
How can Catholics respond to this? It’s hard to prove what the earliest Church was truly like, but Dr. William Marshner provides a compelling argument for how we can come to “know” the early Church by examining how Catholic scholars in the second, third and fourth centuries knew it.
Dr. Marchner also dispels the idea of the early Church being Protestant through common sense historical reasoning. Watch his talk below. If it’s too long for one sitting, watch 10 minutes per day–it will help you better defend the Catholic faith.
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