146 Chapter 10
THE FALL IS REAL
IT IS NOT
framework prior even to him. But the Word does not take dictation --
that's rather the point, isn't it? Instead, "In the beginning" was the
Word: the Lord of history, the Lamb of God, the Alpha and the
Omega, fully within time, but not bound by it.
Creation in the New Covenant is therefore the only Creation there
is, and that Creation was also the creation of the absolutely free choice
of Adam and Eve, who freely chose to be unfree and thus Fell. Thus
the existence of Adam and Eve is both historical and "primordial."
The knowledge of Man's true freedom, thus the knowledge of the real
historical possibility of the Fall, and the historical existence of the First
Adam and the First Eve who Fell, is available historically and really,
but only in and through the historical New Covenant of the historical
Second Adam and the historical Second Eve. This has to be, because
the historicity and reality of the First Adam and the First Eve is
subordinate to and dependent on the historicity and reality of the
Second Adam and the Second Eve.
Nothing done by the First Adam and the First Eve required,
conditioned, or necessitated the New Covenant: to the contrary. The
existence of the New Covenant was the Creation of the world, and
accordingly it was the creation of Man's covenantal freedom and thus
the creation of the possibility of the Fall.
Thus -- despite centuries of speculation which assumed that there
was not only a 'before' the Fall, but that we could stand there -- there
just isn't any such 'before,' and we definitely can't stand there. Reality
is given in and through the Eucharistic Event, which is 'time-full'
through and through, "radically historical," as Fr. Keefe terms it. There
is no 'before' the New Covenant. Any Catholic theology that does not
take this with complete literalness at that moment becomes a
dehistoricized cosmology and thereby at once ceases to be Catholic
Many of the examples and developments in this book -- notably the
interjection of Mr. Minsky's thought -- are not Fr. Keefe's, and are for
the purpose of dramatically illustrating how like a child he thinks. But
the rejection of 'before' the Fall is right out of his book, as is the
contention that any Catholic theology which takes up a dehistoricized
cosmology immediately loses its status as Catholic theology.
Thus, even when Fr. Keefe's language is simplified to make his
thought more 'understandable,' it does not thereby become more
digestible to Catholic theologians. This emphasizes that the critique
Covenantal Theology makes of Catholic theology -- wrong or right --
is fundamental in character. Covenantal Theology may be indigestible
because it is so totally on the wrong track -- or it may be indigestible
because it is so profoundly, at long last, on the right track.
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.