16 Chapter 1
WHAT YOU'LL BE GETTING INTO
1 The Nature of Reality: What
You'll Be Getting Into
My job is to write a guide to the thought of Fr. Keefe's work,
Covenantal Theology, using words a normal person can understand. I
will not be guiding you through his book, but through his thought. I
will often be using my own examples, my own words, and my own
framework, not his, certainly not because mine are better, but because
my task, to give you just the flavor of his accomplishment, is different
By giving you a hint of Fr. Keefe's thought, I hope to suggest to
you to that Catholicism is not intellectually embarrassing or childish,
but is exceedingly grown-up. One does not in fact have to apologize
for the faith of one's grandmother, one's great-grandmother, one's
patron saint, and on and on, on the grounds that their faith had no
On the other hand, this is not the book for you if what you actually
want, deep down, are words that reassure you that your faith really is
childish. Then it can safely be compartmentalized, switched on at
times most convenient for you, and is infinitely malleable, always
ready to meet your needs, exactly the way you pre-define those.
After all, people who regard their own faith as childish seem to
have the best of both worlds. Whenever they want, they can indulge
themselves with the comfort of religion, but it never has to interfere
with 'real' life, since, pre-defined as childish, 'religion' doesn't have
anything to do with what grown-ups do.
According to Fr. Keefe, the sacrament of the Eucharist -- not a
theory about the Eucharist but the liturgy of the Church itself -- by its
very existence, is a refutation of some of fallen Man's basic ideas about
who he is and how his life ought to be organized.
Chapters 2 and 3 try to give you an idea of what it is that the
Eucharist is refuting, as Fr. Keefe sees it. Once Chapters 2 - 3 give you
a glimmer of what Covenantal Theology is not, Chapter 4 can begin to
tell you what it is.
So, your task in Chapters 2 - 3 is just to get through them. If there's
something that doesn't quite register with you, just keep plowing along.
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.