96 Chapter 7
REGARDING OUR STORY SO FAR
It really is fair to make fun of this type of thing, because the kindergarten versions of these ideas aren't
essentially different from their advanced ones. In all cases, Christ's One Sacrifice is not the source of meaning
for the world, but only serves as a good example of the time-less 'truth' that really gives the world meaning.
If the Son of God himself was crucified, died, and was buried merely to serve as a Very Good Example of
some Sensitive Truth, one blanches to think what fate remains for the rest of us. Nonetheless, this inanity only
verifies the fundamental silliness of the whole project of proposing such a prior 'truth,' whichever Catholic
thought -- New Class or traditional -- proposes it. Let it be said clearly: "liberation" is no more an appalling,
anti-scientific, and un-Catholic example of the subjection of the One Sacrifice to a time-less 'truth' prior to it
than is the "Deus Unus."
The Church was asked this question from its earliest days: is Jesus Christ -- when it comes down to it -- a
mythic figure? Is he an historical figure who, as the dictionary says, "serves to unfold part of the world view
of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon"?
That is, is he an example -- if The Very Finest Example -- of some 'real' time-less truth, that exists prior to
him, which gives his death meaning, and to which he is therefore subject?
The Church always answered, no. The Church, while never denying the goodness of wisdom, never
preached 'wisdom,' but Christ crucified.
This was a hard saying when it was first said, and it remains so today, famously within Catholic theology
itself, as Covenantal Theology spends many pages demonstrating. But this failure of Catholic theological
science to make that hard saying fundamental to its intellectual and scientific method has made it harder for
the Church to evangelize the modern world.
Ironically, if Catholic theology refuses all dehistoricized cosmologies, however central these are to its
present intellectual and scientific commitments, and if thus the 'time-full' sacraments, not any time-less
theory, become the basis of Catholic thought, then the modern world is at once at risk of evangelization.
If Mr. Minsky's Real World, the world that Man finds when he does his very best to be bright and brave,
is accepted and not refused by Catholic thought, then Catholic thought can also point out to Man that he does
indeed live in Hell, and that Reason's basis, as Man can find it, can only be insanity, a flight to a non-existent
time-less place, and not reality in time. But Reason can have no basis if its ultimate basis must be insanity and
not reality. This leaves only the impossible as Reason's true ground, if Reason has a true ground at all -- and it
But if Christ "emptied himself" into the fallen world, that very world of fate, time, and death, 'flesh,'
which is the world of Cause and Chance, the Real World that really does enslave us, and from which we can
not escape, if therefore Christ himself completely, without refuge, without any pretending, without any
holding back, took the form "of a slave," and if therefore he is the Risen Lord of that very world of fate, time,
and death in which we all must live and from which we never escape even for an instant, then he is the Lord
Which is to say, he is the Eucharistic Lord of fate, time, and death made meaningful out of nothing, as
complete surprise completely intelligible.
Because he is the Lord of history, nothing of our own "slavery" in fate, time, and death is condemned or
denied. Either to deny our "slavery" or to condemn it would not only be an insane attempt to flee to the time-
less, but also an heretical attempt to call the Creation not Good, for the Creation, even though fallen, is still
Good. Instead, by the One Sacrifice, fate, time, and death themselves are fulfilled, made 'time-full.' This is not
the false possibility of the flight to insanity, to the time-less. It is the true possibility of the journey to the
impossible, of one's crucifixion into sanity.
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.