S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
In this way, the sacraments overturn the insanity ultimately commanded -- and not precisely falsely -- by
Man's sanity, the sanity of 'flesh,' in a manner quite familiar to Tertullian. The Eucharist quietly asks us an
is there a difference between impossible, and insane?
For Man's sanity finally concludes that we live only in the world of Cause and Chance, which is a world
that must be insane. This realization is unbearable for Man, and he himself must depart from his Reason, lie to
himself about the truth, even to bear it sporadically. According to what Man can conclude, he must flee to the
time-less to bear the pain of his existence in time, even though he knows the time-less can not exist. This is
insane, and yet it still seems to be necessary, inevitable.
Man can find nothing but Cause and Chance in 'flesh,' which is the fallen world, the only world he can
ever find on his own. Ironically, Catholic thought has concluded to optimism instead, but only by fleeing to
the time-less -- in other words, only by being less intellectually and scientifically honest than either Mr.
Minsky or Ecclesiastes.
For the optimism which is native to Catholicism is 'time-full,' not time-less. Catholics are optimistic about
time because Christ was raised up, and for no other reason. For Jesus Christ the Son of God was crucified,
died, and was buried. It has been the failure to acknowledge this as a matter of the starting point of any
conceivable Catholic intellectual and scientific method, and thus the failure to create an intellectual
framework that corresponds to 'time-full,' covenantal, sacramental existence, that has created both "what
holes?" and "why bother?" Catholicism.
Further, it is fundamental to the Church's liturgical mediation of her faith that Jesus Christ, the Son of
Mary and the Son of God, died in particular, and not in general. That is, he did not die and he is not raised as
an example of a time-less 'truth' prior to him.
The centrality of this "scandal of particularity" to the faith of the Church has of course been known to the
Church from its earliest days. In this way also the Church, in her free liturgical mediation of her faith, has
absolutely refused the flight to the time-less, despite everything in the world which urged that flight.
Meanwhile, Catholic thought has chosen instead the path of time-less necessity. By this choice Catholic
theologians have inevitably been reduced to the logical ignominy of attempting to demonstrate exactly how
the 'time-full' particularity of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection is nevertheless the example of some prior
For once Jesus died to teach us something, or to assert the truth of something, that something is both prior
to the particularity of his death, and is what gives his death meaning.
We should carefully note the implication of this pre-existent 'truth' or 'cause' or 'message' that the death of
the Son of God is supposed to be the example of.
When we accept it, we also accept that there is some part of Jesus Christ, Son of Mary and Son of God,
the 'real' part, the part that gives the rest of him meaning, that only pretended to die.
These days, in New Class hands, this proposed prior 'truth,' the time-less necessity supposedly prior to his
'time-full' particularity which makes the death of Jesus Christ the Son of God only 'logical,' may be nothing
more than some tired slogan. Jesus Christ the Son of God died -- in order to show us that everyone is the
same, or that everyone is different, or that we ought to be nice to each other, or some other equally profound
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.