10     The Fall is Real, 'Before' it is Not
      Fr. Keefe's prose can be a number of things: polysyllabic,
scholarly, allusive, but another thing it can be is wry, as will be noted
from the following:
We have become so accustomed by critical biblical studies to
finding in "Adam and Eve" only the figures of a nonhistorical
legend that the assertion of their reality as actually responsible for
the fallenness of our fallen world is perceived as a regression to the
pre-critical realm of magic, myth and, it must be said, metaphysics,
from which we are thought to have been but lately delivered by the
higher criticism.
1. CT p.332
      The flip side of the absolutely ridiculous freedom given Man in the
New Covenant is, of course, the utter seriousness of the Fall. "In
Christ," Man is free -- impossibly, creatively free -- in his historical
choices in 'flesh.'  Therefore, what bodies do is of earth-shattering
importance, and St. Therese has something real to do in Heaven, but
also, the Fall is an actual historical event. The Fall happened in 'flesh,'
and (since I'm a sucker for true puns) it was of earth-shattering
      By making that true pun, I am trying to emphasize that turning
"Adam and Eve" into mythical figures automatically trivializes the
Fall, and that this automatically trivializes the freedom of the rest of us
men. As Fr. Keefe understands, if Catholic theologians and exegetes
wish to assert the reality of the Fall as one of the crucial doctrines of
the Catholic faith, but say that Adam and Eve were not historical
beings, then no covenantal freedom exists for any historical man.
      Once you say that Adam and Eve had no historical existence, you
automatically say that they were only 'examples' of some time-less
truth. The mythologizing of Adam and Eve is, pure and simple, the
'grown-up' way of saying that we only pretend that 'flesh' can make
earth-shattering decisions.
      I certainly hope that, by now, you can put this whole 'pretending'
argument right where it belongs, in Mr. Minsky's middle box. If you
don't want the argument to end up there, you have to say that Adam

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