Most of you are nodding your internal head, saying “Yes, Matt, of course we do.”
These are issues most Christians take for granted. We believe them because they are fundamental to our faith. We believe them because they are what have been taught to us, handed down from generation to generation.
The quick answer is very simple: Because of Christ. He founded the Catholic Church and gave the Apostles authority. But then what? Acts 1:20 tells us: “His office let another take.” In other words, their authority was passed on.
And many to whom they passed the torch were the men who, through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, formulated many of the doctrines and beliefs we now take for granted. The belief system of Christianity didn’t drop down out of the sky in a catechism. The truth that existed in its fullness in Jesus Christ was unpacked over the centuries.
And many of the guys that did that unpacking were the Fathers of the Church.
In this episode of “The Art of Catholic”, we’re going to finish what we started in Episode 17. (This is part 2 of “Introduction to the Fathers”, which is the first lesson in the Journey Through Scripture Bible study titled “The Bible and the Church Fathers.”)
We’ll discuss the development of doctrine and start to get to know a few of these towering figures of the faith. What you’re going to start to realize is that these men are not just historical figures. We call them “Fathers” because that’s what they are. They “father” us in the faith, leading us to Our Father in heaven.