S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
thought favored by some, 'flesh' says, There is no way I can 'Fall' --
just because. Q.E.D. So don't bother me with any more questions that
make me feel uncomfortable.
Thus, it's not just New Class Catholicism which has it all
completely backwards, but also and equally, traditional Catholic
thought. The real question is, how in the world did 'flesh' ever get the
crazy free power to Fall in the first place?
This establishes the framework within which a Catholic -- versus a
time-less -- intellectual and scientific "searching" regarding the Fall
must proceed. The first implication of this is that the Fall is part of the
Eucharistic 'order' of history: 'flesh,' 'One Flesh,' 'life.'
The Fall is a simple absurdity within any framework that 'flesh' can
provide solely on its own. Whether everything is "vanity," or even if
Everything's Coming Up Roses, even the articulation of the possibility
of a Fall is ruled out within 'flesh' alone, since there is no possibility of
a free responsible existence from which to Fall within 'flesh' alone.
Adam and Eve -- and everyone else -- have no genuine free choices at
all in 'flesh' alone. It goes without saying that they have no potentially
earth-shattering free choices, either.
At this point, it becomes possible to state what now is obvious:
'flesh,' as 'flesh' alone, is incapable of naming itself as Fallen, and it is
incapable of finding the Fall in itself.
We are not going to be able to go back in a time machine and find
the Fall. Nor are we going to be able to find the Fall in Man's partial
selfishness, or, for that matter, in his partial generosity. We are not
going to be able to find the Fall through the inquiries of psychology, or
anthropology, or paleontology, or even theology. As 'flesh,' we are
incapable of finding the Fall, pure and simple. The whole effort -- all
umpteen centuries of it -- to find the Fall in "vanity" -- Nature as 'flesh'
alone -- belongs in Mr. Minsky's middle box.
The Fall by its very existence refutes the world of 'flesh' alone. The
Fall by definition is a consequence of a genuinely free choice by Man
in 'flesh,' in time. A genuinely free choice is possible for Man, who is
'flesh,' only in the free relation given in and through the Eucharistic
'order' of history: 'flesh,' 'One Flesh,' 'life.'
Because the Fall is the consequence of a genuinely free choice, and
thus is fully within the Eucharistic 'order' of history, the Fall -- by
definition -- does not belong solely to the world of Cause and Chance.
A 'scientific' effort to find the Fall in that world of Cause and Chance
is just silly, has always been silly, and will always be silly.
It doesn't matter that centuries of Catholic theologians looked for
the Fall there, and continue to look for it there. That just makes the
sight of all that effort depressing. It doesn't make it one bit less silly.
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.