90 Chapter 7
REGARDING OUR STORY SO FAR
and method of Catholic theology on some kind of dehistoricized cosmology without any success, almost can
not be noticed, by anyone.
But now that (for example) modern Catholic biblical exegetes in great universities in effect draw pictures
of "The Bible" over in one place, and us in another, and then refuse, as a matter of `principle' and `logic', to
abandon that picture at the last minute in favor of the worship of the Church, and enthusiastically teach their
Catholic students to do the same, perhaps a little more is needed from faithful Catholic theology than the re-
presentation to those same students of the `correct' dehistoricized cosmology (almost always, one thought to
be compatible with St. Thomas Aquinas's chosen version).
If the response of `what holes?' Catholics is that it could not possibly be that even St. Thomas himself
failed to make even the Eucharist, the very heart of the Church, intellectually coherent using a dehistoricized
cosmology, then traditional, faithful Catholic thought will continue to play a very limited role in the
evangelization of the modern world. The modern world has its own dehistoricized cosmologies, which it likes
Even worse, a discussion about which is the `correct' dehistoricized cosmology diverts attention from
Jesus's question: "But who do you say that I am?" [Mark 8:29 RSV] Finally, if Covenantal Theology is
correct, then all dehistoricized cosmologies, not just those embraced by New Class Catholics, are
fundamentally incompatible with the worship and profession of the Catholic Church, and thus the effort to
find the 'correct' one can contribute to evangelization only peripherally, only because God is able to use
absolutely any creature, however flawed, to draw us toward him.
For the same reason, traditional Catholic thought no less than New Class Catholic thought can not make
any consistent use of the real intellectual and scientific accomplishments of our age. At the ultimate driven
solely by the need to refuse Mr. Minsky's vanishing middle box, "what holes?" Catholicism divides modern
science's accomplishments into the convenient and the inconvenient, by doing so managing to assume a
fundamentally anti-scientific stance even toward that science which it does find convenient.
The deeper point is that we need not be scientists to reach Mr. Minsky's conclusions. Man obviously has
been able to conclude that he ought to be absolutely pessimistic about his fate without accepting or even
understanding any portion of modern science.
Long before the advent of modern science, more than one serious thinker had concluded that although
clearly Man feels happy as well as sad, is healthy as well as sick, makes friends as well as enemies, these are
all "vanity" [cf. Ecclesiastes] -- the happiness no less than the sadness, though obviously the happiness feels
better. The wheel turns, we live and die, someone else lives and dies before and after us, and for the brave and
the wise in many ages there is nothing more to be said than that this is but the working out of what is
necessary and what is arbitrary. It was not the modern scientist Mr. Minsky who said:
Everything before them is vanity, since one fate comes to all, to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and
the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good
man, so is the sinner; and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under
the sun, that one fate comes to all; also the hearts of men are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while
they live, and after that they go to the dead. [Ecclesiastes 9:2-3 RSV]
Ecclesiastes already knew, so long ago, what Mr. Minsky also concludes: in the Real World in which
Man's actions are completely and unavoidably determined either by fate or by chance, then "as is the good
man, so is the sinner" -- it simply doesn't matter what we do, however much we think it should. The absence
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.