S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
'trivial' work would have to be very substantial. If Nature is Grace, and
"free" means "ridiculously free," and 'private' work or prayer is
creative ex nihilo and not "pretend" or condescendingly, art-on-the-
refrigerator-door creative, then at least at first glance, it would seem
that a lot would have to change regarding how Catholics make moral
The rest of this chapter gives some more examples of what I mean,
by guessing how theologians operating within the intellectual and
scientific framework proposed by Covenantal Theology would
interpret and extend the meaning both of Humanae Vitae and of its
subsequent reaffirmations and expansions by John Paul II.
: before we start this demonstration, you need to keep in
mind that Covenantal Theology makes a fundamental criticism of
Catholic theology. It is not a book which argues that another type of
Catholic theology, calling itself "covenantal," should take its place
alongside the others.
As far as Fr. Keefe is concerned, there isn't any "covenantal"
theology. Instead, all Catholic theology, whatever its method and
assumptions, has to be theology of the New Covenant: it can't be
anything more than that, and it can't be anything less. Dehistoricized
cosmology, the fundamental intellectual basis of current Catholic
theology, can not serve as an intellectual basis from which to ask
questions regarding the New Covenant, which is perfectly 'time-full,'
and not a bit time-less.
After establishing this, Fr. Keefe gives his best guess as to how
Catholic theologians can re-turn their intellectual and scientific method
and vocabulary more firmly toward the Eucharist (see also Chapter 12,
"Method and System," for a little more on this point). Thus the
following demonstration (which is mine, not Fr. Keefe's) is for the
purpose of illustrating differences in approach that would have to be
taken up by any and all Catholic theologians.
First, they might notice that the refusal of contraception had always
been the consistent proclamation of the Church, but that the
relationship of this refusal to the Eucharistic Event may not have been
as clear. Now the covenantal nature of the refusal has been
Within the vocabulary provided by Covenantal
Theology, it can be seen that the magisterium has made
an even clearer affirmation that the refusal of
contraception is central to sacramental existence in the
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.