S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
The New Class is the knowledge and management class. It
inquires, produces knowledge, and utilizes it. That is its job. It is
highly educated, and preoccupied in its daily activities with the giving
of rationales, or even actual reasons, for everything. Should we not
expect the New Class, therefore, to be unusually sensitive to failures in
It has been worthwhile for you to have read this book if you now
realize that if Fr. Keefe's criticism of Catholic theology is on target,
then the intellectual and scientific flimsiness of present day Catholic
theology may be an important component of the notable lack of
success the Church has had in evangelizing fully 'modern' people.
In a word, the 'modern' world may not be 'post-Christian' because
the New Class is more evil or ungodly than is normal for men. To
some extent, the balance may have been tipped because the New Class
does not find Catholic theology very convincing or attractive. If
present day Catholic theology has severe intellectual and scientific
deficiencies, this will probably most affect the evangelization of
people for whom intellectual and scientific deficiencies would most
matter: the New Class.
One more thing. We should probably separate the present power
of the New Class from its capacity to be evangelized. If we lived in a
world that was not so driven by the production of new knowledge and
its utilization, then the New Class would not have the power it does
now. The New Class would not be the dukes and princes of
Civilization As We Know It. Its opinions of Catholicism would not
matter nearly as much. We might not be wringing our hands over the
evangelization of 'the modern world.'
1. This is a possibility Fr. Keefe himself
does not consider. To the contrary, he
more than once comes close to saying
that the New Class considers it
necessary to define itself as being in
opposition to Christ and his Church.
However, Fr. Keefe's conviction about
the New Class does not otherwise affect
his argument. The rest of this chapter
explores the possibility that, while the
New Class may do whatever it wants, it
may not have been given sufficient
opportunity by Catholic theology to
define itself in covenantal relation to
Christ and his Church.
However, if Catholic theology were seriously deficient in that other, less knowledge-driven world, then
the people whose job it would be to produce knowledge and to give reasons -- although they would in that
society be relatively few in number and relatively powerless -- would still find any serious deficiencies in
Catholic theology to be an impediment to their own evangelization.
Covenantal Theology gives some deep reasons to think that present day Catholic theology is in fact
seriously deficient. What impact this may have had on the Church's ability to evangelize the New Class is the
subject of the remainder of this chapter.
The New Class is the knowledge and management class. The production and utilization of new knowledge
is taken to be both the driving force and the linchpin of the New Class world. The New Class is powerful
because most people assume that the modern world could not even continue, let alone improve, without its
It is pretty easy to imagine the underlying rationale of New Class Catholic thought as being the
assumption that New Class methods and techniques really do make the modern world run, and are a real
source of hope for the world's further improvement. Managing Catholicism, so that it at least does not
interfere with New Class activities, thus becomes a serious and worthwhile project. By the same token, it is
also good to 'borrow' New Class assumptions, methods, and techniques, so that Catholicism also can join the
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.