One Christian Worldview? Part 3: The Compendium

One Christian Worldview? Part 3: The Compendium April 22, 2017

In Part 2 of this series I presented an argument for the conclusion that there is just ONE Christian worldview.  The most important and controversial premise in that argument is premise (3):

3. The Four Basic Beliefs of Christianity are accepted by the Catholic Church, by Eastern Orthodox Churches, and by many major Protestant denominations.

Because 21% or about 1 in 5 Christians identifies as a Catholic, I will start with support for the first part of this premise:

  • The Four Basic Beliefs of Christianity are accepted by the Catholic Church.

I have two main reasons to support this claim.  First, the Catholic Church accepts the Nicene Creed.  Second, the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly teaches the Four Basic Beliefs:

The Nicene Creed Argument

NC1. If the Catholic Church accepts the Nicene Creed, then the Four Basic Beliefs of Christianity are accepted by the Catholic Church.

NC2. The Catholic Church accepts the Nicene Creed.

THEREFORE:

NC3. The Four Basic Beliefs of Christianity are accepted by the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Catechism Argument

CC1. If the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the Four Basic Beliefs, then the Four Basic Beliefs are accepted by the Catholic Church.

CC2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the Four Basic Beliefs.

THEREFORE:

CC3. The Four Basic Beliefs are accepted by the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Catechism argument is the easiest to defend, so I will start there.  Premise (CC1) is obviously true, so I won’t provide reasons or evidence in support of (CC1).

Premise (CC2) is not obviously true, so I will provide evidence to support that premise.  I have read the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, focusing on the first two chapters, and it clearly and repeatedly teaches the Four Basic Beliefs.  

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is rather long (over 750 pages, divided into 2,865 sections or paragraphs), so to make learning the Catholic faith easier, the Catholic Church has recently provided a Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which summarizes the Catechism in 175 pages and 598 sections or paragraphs:

The Compendium, which I now present to the Universal Church, is a faithful and sure synthesis of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  It contains, in concise form, all the essential and fundamental elements of the Church’s faith…  

– POPE BENEDICT XVI on June 28, 2005 (see Compendium, p. xii)

The first two chapters of the Compendium consist of only 37 pages (page 5 to page 41) containing 135 sections/paragraphs.  Those two chapters provide ample proof that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the Four Basic Beliefs (click on the image below for a clearer view of the chart):

The Compendium and the Four Basic Beliefs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, each of the Four Basic Beliefs is touched on in several of the sections found in the first two chapters of the Compendium.  The Four Basic Beliefs are clearly an important theme in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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