But the worst of the current American 'Catholic' academy are not
the vast majority, who in less than fifty years' time will be clearly
known by all as total fluffballs, narrow technicians, or latent
bureaucrats, but those who are really 'serious'; that is, those who are
not at all willing to stake their lives on their grandmother's faith, but
who are more than willing to stake their lives on -- something
different. We should be afraid, very afraid, of those people. They will
take us with them, toward the new heaven and the new earth of their
own invention, if they can.
      Finally, there are the tiny minority of American Catholic
academics completely proud to say that their own faith is identical to
their grandmother's. Unfortunately, though their pride is fully justified,
they are not the solution, but one real source of all the trouble.
      One very good reason the vast majority of the current American
Catholic academy consists of fluffballs, technicians, latent bureaucrats,
and ideological zealots, is the indisputable fact that, for centuries, that
same Catholic academy has been markedly overpopulated with
previous editions of much those same people. Replace the current
ideological zealots with the previous generations' equally-smug
systematists, and the match is exact.
      This is the trouble with mistakes in a science, and why we should
always be hoping that our theological scientists can find the old
mistakes, and then make mistakes of higher quality in the future.
Scientific inquiry based on a mistake will always be a waste of time.
Since men always make mistakes, this guarantees that scientists will do
many things that will eventually be seen as wild goose chases or turns
into blind alleys. But no matter how long the mistake is persisted in, it
will always be a mistake, and it will always impede scientific inquiry,
even when that scientific inquiry is engaged in by generations of no
doubt earnest, intelligent, good-hearted, or even holy people. Holy
people make mistakes, geniuses make mistakes, all men make
mistakes. A mistake is not a sin. Nevertheless, a big mistake persisted
in, however earnestly, however innocently, must lead to grave defects
in any scientific inquiry.
      What's more, the few faithful American Catholic academics left
appear completely unable to see that it is very big mistakes in the
thinking -- not the faith -- of people like St. Thomas Aquinas and St.
Augustine, which, never corrected, have led inevitably to the present
situation, in which even those Americans who wish to believe, find
Catholicism at least vaguely embarrassing from an intellectual
standpoint. There are intellectual holes in the thought of traditional
Catholicism, and those holes have been there, in fact, essentially from
its inception. Picked at and worried over, the holes only became larger.

N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.

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