instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Friday, August 25, 2006

You will do well

We possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
This is, of course, from the Second Epistle of St. Peter.

But it could also be part of the tract left on your doorstep by the Temple of Enlightened Venusian Consciousness.

This one verse shows both the need for and the limitations of Christian apologetics and catechesis. The need, because there are reasons to believe the Church rather than the Temple of Enlightened Venusian Consciousness, and the Church ought to be able to explain them.

The limitations, because in the end, Christianity is a matter of faith, and while faith can be found to be reliable, it cannot be proven so.

The need for apologetics and catechesis confers dignity; the limitations, risk -- in particular, the risk of presenting Christianity as a set of clever arguments in favor of a somewhat arbitrary set of rules. As, so to speak, a Faith-without-faith. And if faith without works is dead....