Is Catholicism the True Church?

I have to start getting ready for work, so I can’t really say much of anything at the moment in regard to Randal Rauser’s interview with Trent Horn, but I wanted to post this.

From what I’ve seen on this forum, almost everyone will be on Randal’s side, but I am curious what the reactions are to Trent Horn.

As you may guess, I disagree with what seems to be some type of ecclesiological relativism on Randal’s end, but also disagree with Trent that Catholicism is the true Church. I would simply say that Catholicism is the second closest theologically to the fullness of the truth which I believe is found Orthodox Christianity (which I would say includes the Oriental Orthodox Churches).

At the same time, I would be even more adamant than Horn in agreeing with Randal, that God would much prefer someone be a baptist than an Orthodox Christian if the Orthodox Church is full of people who haven’t been transformed by Christ. In that case, the baptist church would be more Orthodox than the Orthodox Church!

I would also agree with both Randal and Trent on inclusivism, though my view would probably be slightly different than either of theirs.


Thanks for this discussion! I really appreciate all your work and find that I agree with your brand of apologetics more than any other apologist today. I could say more about that in another thread.

A Conversation with Catholic Apologist Trent Horn (Part 2): Is There One True Church? - Randal Rauser

For me, it’s a bit different, I certainly believe that Orthodox church is closest to the theology of Church Fathers like Irenaeus of Lyon or Gregory of Nyssa if not the apostles, but I don’t think it’s always right or infallible and talking about the ‘True Church’ just makes me uncomfortable.


What do you mean when you say “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic” in the creed, then?

When that is read, Orthodox theologians are in virtual unanimity that this means the Orthodox Church. This does not mean that outside of canonical Orthodoxy, everything is undifferentiated darkness but that the proclamations of Orthodox councils, particularly the seven ecumenical councils, are seen by all Orthodox as a proclamation of the truth, and the Holy Spirit has led thr Church to declare these things as true. With regard to these dogmatic statements, the church is not in error in regard to the CONTENT of the faith. It can get incidentals wrong though. Like Origen or Severus of Antioch being a heretic.

It depends on what you mean by always right. There are declarations made by bishops all the time, and those are fallible. But when it comes to the church as a whole making a decision through a council that is subsequently accepted by the faithful, the HS is seen as having spoken. Granted, most things in Orthodoxy are NOT dogmatically defined.