S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
13 Why It Was Worthwhile To Have
Read This Book
The claim at the beginning of this text was that if you managed to
slog your way through it, you might find out a few things to help you
think of yourself as a grown-up who has the same Catholic faith as
your grandmother. So, in a sense, you, not me, ought to be writing this
The title of this chapter is meant to hint to you that it is different
from the others: it contains concluding remarks, but they are even
more personal in tone. That is, you might regard the chapters before
this one as my personal opinion of what Covenantal Theology is about.
This chapter is my chance to highlight a few of my personal ideas
about its immediate or its practical relevance. By doing so, I still hope
to make ideas in Covenantal Theology itself clearer to you, but in
fairness you should realize that in this chapter in particular its ideas
will be filtered through opinions -- strong opinions -- of my own.
1. To repeat the warning: this chapter is
different. All other chapters in this book
try to illustrate Fr. Keefe's thoughts --
however poorly they accomplish that.
This chapter conveys my thoughts,
particularly about Covenantal
Theology's immediate practical
First, I hope reading this text convinced you that Fr. Keefe's work is important enough to deserve to be
widely read within the Catholic academy.
I also hope you can see better than before why it would be very difficult for Fr. Keefe's work to be
genuinely read -- let alone widely read -- by that Catholic academy. If Fr. Keefe's criticism of Catholic
theology is as fundamental as I've said, most of the people we currently pay to think about Catholicism quite
literally don't speak Fr. Keefe's language, and can only 'read' what he writes in the manner that anyone would
'read' any unfamiliar language -- haltingly, if at all.
So, the very first thing that the Catholic academy has to learn about Covenantal Theology is that, as a
Catholic academy, it has to change substantially, just to make itself capable of reading what Fr. Keefe wrote.
Why would the Catholic academy go to such trouble? Perhaps only if Catholic thought were so played
out, at such loose ends, and at such dead ends, that learning Fr. Keefe's language seemed less painful than
continuing the present course. However, the first edition of Covenantal Theology was published in 1991. To
this day, Fr. Keefe's work remains, within both traditional and New Class Catholic academies, almost unread,
unnoticed, and unremarked.
Academics, scientists, and intellectuals can't be completely at the mercy of what 'normal people' consider
to be 'common sense,' or else, 'common sense' could never improve. We would still consider cures of diseases
to be beyond human power, flights to other planets inconceivable, and so forth. People forget that, as late as
World War II, the word 'computer' meant 'a person who computes.' During that war, 'computers' were hired,
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.