70     Chapter 5    
* Any creature as intelligent as Man must reach similar conclusions.
* The universe must therefore either be a place that eats its own young,
destroying any creature intelligent enough to seek and to learn its fate
and brave enough to face it, or it must be a place in which the only
intelligent creatures that can long survive are devils. For devils are
highly intelligent creatures who over time accumulate power and
control -- as they themselves know full well -- pointlessly, for no
reason whatsoever.
Question. What do you call a place:
you can not leave
coherent enough to exist but perverse enough that its truth is
literally unbearable to you
in which lying, even lying to yourself, not only can but must pass
for ultimate truth
a place so perverse that by its very nature it destroys those who
seek and really face its truth
and instead favors and supports, as the most potentially successful
creatures in it, either idiots or devils
      According to Man, not when he is being a happy idiot, but when he
is at his brightest and his bravest, when he sincerely seeks reasons and
courageously continues to face the truths that emerge from his
investigations, whatever the cost to himself, you call that place The
Real World.
      I hope you have understood this grim picture more substantially
than you would been able to do without knowing and applying some of
the ideas in Fr. Keefe's book. If that's so, you'd better congratulate
yourself now, because now I'm going places that I think Covenantal
Theology really does go, and I am almost certain you're not going to
like it.
      I have to go there anyway, because I think you will not really
understand how fundamental a criticism Covenantal Theology makes
until I take you to those places where I am almost certain you don't
want to go. Let me cushion the blow a bit by revealing to you a secret
that Tertullian thought was "trustworthy because it is absurd" -- an
absurdity we no longer seem to recognize:
Jesus Christ the Son of God died.
      Perhaps quite unlike ourselves, Tertullian was not saying that this
only seems absurd, that we pretend that it is absurd for the sake of

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