Bryan Cross places the Cart before the Horse, Theologically Speaking

Over at Called to Communion, in the comment box, Bryan Cross wrote:

In the first century, no one needed to confess that Christ is homoousious with the Father. But after the fourth century, to deny the homoousious is to fall into [at least material] heresy.

This is dead wrong and gets things exactly backwards. It has always been heresy to deny the Son’s divinity. Arius was a heretic before Nicaea, and the Nicene council simply affirmed (with respect to Arianism) what was always the teaching of the Bible.

The church does not make up orthodoxy. When the church does its job correctly, it merely recognizes the truth that was already once delivered to the saints. There was no new delivery in the fourth century or any of the succeeding centuries.

Of course, Romanists have to put the cart before the horse, because they’ve added to the gospel. If they tried to claim that it was always heresy to deny the Immaculate Conception, they’d have to treat Augustine, and the Augustinians down through Aquinas as heretics. So, they place the cart before the horse and say that it is only heresy to deny the Immaculate Conception after “the Church” makes that doctrine part of the gospel.

The absurd result is the one that Bryan Cross has illustrated above, where the Son’s divinity becomes something that it was ok to deny before 325 A.D.

Amazing – absolutely amazing.

– TurretinFan

13 Responses to “Bryan Cross places the Cart before the Horse, Theologically Speaking”

  1. pilgrim Says:

    Amazing…truly amazing…haha..Believe me, i laugh very loud because his (Bryan Cross) argument. So according to him, The Triune God is not exist before Nicaea, :)) or the apostles and disciples in New Testament era is ok to deny the divinity of Christ. I never think to make such argument and NEVER THINK that someone also can make argument like this. And it's not surprised, however, that RCC argument often strange as long as support the Romanist principle : "We always correct, because we says so" .

  2. Andrew Suttles Says:

    Nice post TFan!This is a good illustration of the Church being the ground and pillar of truth. We do not invent truth – we hold it up.

  3. dtking Says:

    Good post TF…Hilary of Poitiers (c 315-67): I do not know the word ὁμοιούσιον, or understand it, unless it confesses a similarity of essence. I call the God of heaven and earth to witness, that when I had heard neither word, my belief was always such that I should have interpreted ὁμοιούσιον by ὁμοούσιον. That is, I believed that nothing could be similar according to nature unless it was of the same nature. Though long ago regenerate in baptism, and for some time a bishop, I never heard of the Nicene creed until I was going into exile, but the Gospels and Epistles suggested to me the meaning of ὁμοούσιον and ὁμοιούσιον. Our desire is sacred. Let us not condemn the fathers, let us not encourage heretics, lest while we drive one heresy away, we nurture another. After the Council of Nicaea our fathers interpreted the due meaning of ὁμοούσιον with scrupulous care; the books are extant, the facts are fresh in men’s minds: if anything has to be added to the interpretation, let us consult together. Between us we can thoroughly establish the faith, so that what has been well settled need not be disturbed, and what has been misunderstood may be removed. NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Councils or the Faith of the Easterns, §91. According to his own testimony, Hilary learned the doctrine that the Son shares the same substance with the Father from Holy Scripture before he had ever heard that it was taught by the Council of Nicea.Latin text: Homoeusion nescio, nec intelligo, nisi tantum ab similis essentiae confessione. Testor Deum coeli atque terrae, me cum neutrum audissem, semper tamen utrumque sensisse, quod per homousion homoeusion oporteret intelligi: id est, nihil simile sibi secundum naturam esse posse, nisi quod esset ex eadem natura. Regeneratus pridem, et in episcopatu aliquantisper manens, fidem Nicaenam numquam nisi exsulaturus audivi: sed mihi homousii et homoeusii intelligentiam Evangelia et Apostoli intimaverunt. Pium est quod volumus. Ne damnemus patres, ne animemus haereticos: ne dum haeresim apellimus, haeresim nutriamus. Interpretati patres nostri sunt post synodum Nicaenam homousii proprietatem religiose, exstant libri, manet conscientia: si quid ad interpretationem addendum est, communiter consulamus. Potest inter nos optimus fidei status condi: ut nec ea quae bene sunt constituta vexentur, et quae male sunt intellecta resecentur. Liber de Synodis seu Fide Orientalium, §91, PL 10:544-545.

  4. natamllc Says:

    Pilgrimyou wrote: I never think to make such argument and NEVER THINK that someone also can make argument like this.I was this way myself. I was very gullible!Then the Lord showed me His mercy and opened my mind up to understand the Scriptures, Scriptures such as these:1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 1Ti 4:2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 1Ti 4:3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. Act 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. Act 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; Act 20:30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Act 20:31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.I have had to be taught to think about people being evil and malicious! I knew my own heart wasn't right and always felt there was something wrong with me.But then, one fateful morning I read these Words and didn't stop there and I continually read and ponder and rejoice in the Truth and His Words:Mat 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Mat 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." Mat 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Mat 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).Now I am never alone and have His Presence ever before me!

  5. natamllc Says:

    When you read this sentence, you have to conclude the Roman Catholic author of these words is bipolar in light of the Scriptures ironically written by St. Peter.The sentence: Catholic critics of sola scriptura have argued that sola scriptura is essentially a denial of ecclesial authority, and hence that sola scriptura necessarily leads to a fragmentation in which each person interprets Scripture as seems right in his own eyes.St. Peter: 1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 1Pe 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.I guess it is fair to say Peter heard and understood the Words of Jesus once he too experienced the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit so that he could write such understanding about Those Three in Their participation of his and our salvations?Joh 3:9 Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" Joh 3:10 Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Joh 3:11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. Joh 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? Joh 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, Joh 3:15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

  6. natamllc Says:

    When the author writes this: Denying the authority of the Church, by treating oneself as having greater interpretive authority than the Church, destroys the Christian faith for the very reasons Mathison so aptly explains.If the author is now agreeing with Mr. Mathison on this point here, then great!Jesus Himself taught the same, and so by teaching us this, gave us a way to stay away from the form of religious rule the RCC has evolved to by continual and consistent historical error:Mat 10:24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. Mat 10:25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.The irony here is the RCC has placed "one" head and shoulders higher than the rest subject to none ex cathedra! He is always placed in this position by her fallible Cardinals. Her position has now become the supreme schism and her subjects have boxed her in! Jesus and the Holy Spirit never did that of Themselves! Each one was always submitted to Our Heavenly Father and His Will.Here again this RCC papal doctrine just shows their pope is an anti-christ personality!What?The Scripture clearly teaches the next time Christ appears as the "Head" of the Church on earth, the heavens and earth will be no more!Well, how many popes have there been since the first pope? The heavens and earth have not fled away yet! Hmmmmmm?Again, here are some ironic Words from St. Peter whose ministry their papacy is modeled after:2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.The same Holy Spirit who showed that to St. Peter confirmed the same through the words of the Angel of the Lord to St. John, here:Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.I suggest, seeing the Head of the Church has not yet arrived, seeing the present created heavens and earth are still apparent, those who adhere to this doctrine of the papacy do as the Angel of the Lord told St. John, here:Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; Rev 18:5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Rev 18:6 Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. Rev 18:7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, 'I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.' Rev 18:8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her."

  7. natamllc Says:

    Because the author writes this, I will make a distinction about the "True" Church and his:The indirect way of making oneself one’s own ultimate interpretive and magisterial authority is more complicated and subtle. In this case the individual, based upon his own interpretation of Scripture, either establishes or chooses an ecclesial community that conforms to his own interpretation in matters he considers to be essential or important. Then, he ‘submits’ to this institution so long as it continues to speak and act in accordance with his own interpretation of Scripture. If it deviates from his own interpretation of Scripture in matters he deems important, he repeats the process of either establishing or choosing an institution or congregation that conforms to his own interpretation in matters he considers to be essential or important.What is missing in those words? Rather, isn't there something obvious in those words?Well, consider these verses then:Act 2:46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, Act 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.Act 5:14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, Act 11:20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. Act 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. Act 11:22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. Act 11:23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, Act 11:24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. Act 13:47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, "'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" Act 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. Act 16:4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. Act 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.It becomes apparent, I hope, after considering what seems to me to be very obvious with his point of view expressed through his words here and presumably his point of view is the same as the RCC, and those of the Holy Spirit's Words cited from the Book of Acts, is, his point of view is based on "what" the individual does, works righteousness. What is different here is the Holy Spirit guides and adds, when saving a soul He is saving, the soul to those He is sanctifying. He is "adding" to Christ's Church souls after Christ does this to them:Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.The author's premise is based in human effort inspired by doctrines of men and what Mr. Mathison and Turrentin do is point to the obvious, "what God has done and is doing to those He has Elected, Called and Chosen by adding them to a local Body of Christ"!cont'd

  8. natamllc Says:

    continuingWe already have shown that in most Churches there are wolves about Her and men within Her willing to twist the Truth and cause schism to try and draw away the Saints to their reasonings. If that does occur, God has placed authorities with the Body who will rise up against them and so establish His Authority by their Godly activities and of course, as was noted:As Turretin explains, although the corporate doctrinal judgment of the Church is not infallible and does not have an authority equal to that of Scripture, it does have true authority over those who are members of the visible communion of the Church.Let's be clear, there are wolves lurking over this world and there are false brethren working maliciously within the Church who are not apart of the visible communion.These sorts of souls are the ones Jesus calls demons and goats and again, noting Turrentin, he describes their character as thus:"… rashly or disorderly and unseasonably, so as to violently rend the body of their mother (which schismatics do),"

  9. pilgrim Says:

    good post and thanks natamllc ….

  10. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Has Bryan Cross issued a retraction or a modification to his comment so that he doesn't come across as such a poor theologian?

  11. Nick Says:

    The root problem with this whole post is the logical fallacy of "Bait and Switch." The point Bryan was making centered on the dogmatic term "homoousious" – WHILE – TF's point was on the Son's Divinity (in general). The problem is that the issue of homoousious is not to be conflated with Jesus' Divinity in general – which is precisely what was done. While the Scripture does affirm Christ's Divinity, it didn't use the term "homoousious". The term homoousious was dogmatically defined as a sort of mini-creed to cut off any attempts by Arians to get around any Christological formulas (which they were often happy to "affirm" while holding their own Arian spin on them). The whole post is simply misguided and employed the fallacies of Bait and Switch, Category Mistake, and Straw Man.

  12. Turretinfan Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Nick. No, the issue is not the word "homoousious," it's the doctrine of Jesus' divinity that the word stands for.

  13. branchenbuch Says:

    Hi, i just thought i’d post and let you know your blogs layout is really messed up on the K-Melonbrowser. Anyhow keep up the good work.

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