158 Chapter 12
METHOD AND SYSTEM
There probably isn't any intellectually coherent way to reconcile evolution with the idea that reality as
sacred comes in a pre-packaged time-less Divine Plan. Recognizing this, these Christians, despite their
evident faith in Christ, end up wasting countless hours trying to ignore one of the fundamental tenets of
modern science, or trying to discredit it. As far as they're concerned, if evolution is correct, then everything
they believe is false. It couldn't be a more classic representation of an unbridgeable gap between Faith and
On the other hand, most mainline Protestant churches have adopted the alternative 'resolution' of the
paradigm -- the subsumption of Faith into Reason. These well-meaning Christians have increasingly reached
the conclusion that, if the Eucharist itself is not the center of the Christian life in every way, intellectual as
well as in all else, then there really isn't a center to the Christian life. Christianity, therefore, not only has to be
evaluated by means of 'reason,' it has to be shored up by means of 'reason.' Enter New Class Protestantism,
whose long-range goal, apparently, is not merely apologizing for your grandmother's faith, but apologizing
for everyone's faith.
So, to "An sit verum?", a Catholic can not give any answer. A Catholic does not have 'answers,' but for his
whole life long, he can "search." This "searching" is not a second-best something that the Catholic has to
settle for until he can get time-less Answers. The "searching" is his full crucifixion into time, each man's
'private' work or prayer, his quest, in and through the Church's free liturgical mediation of her faith, to
complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions. The "searching" is his life, made meaningful, as complete
surprise completely intelligible, solely in the Eucharistic 'order' of history.
Sometimes this "searching" is in the form of intellectual questions of higher and higher quality -- this is
Catholic theology. These questions can be of such quality that they can serve as 'answers,' until better
questions can be found. Most often the "searching" takes other forms -- an inexhaustible variety of forms, in
literal fact. We all have plenty to do on earth, as we will in Heaven.
The blunt physicality and particularity of the Eucharistic Event, its sheer this-ness, its utter refusal of the
time-less, has at times greatly troubled the wise, but its firm proclamation in the present age might even be
heard as Good News by some true moderns -- if they, by ridiculous grace, were ever tempted to abandon their
own personal flights to the time-less in favor of Offertory, Consecration, and Communion.
Still, whatever its reception, the Good News must be preached, in season and out. Fr. Keefe asserts that it
is the consistent faith of the Church, proclaimed in her liturgy from the earliest times, that Life does not come
out of 'wisdom,' out of Thought. Thought comes out of His Life. As the writings of both St. Paul and
Tertullian show, the present age is not the first one in which the assertion of the priority of the living
sacramental presence of Christ crucified to all things, even to wisdom -- his covenantal priority even to real
wisdom, genuine good -- has looked ridiculous to some of the wise.
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.