Thursday, September 14, 2017

Faith, Again

Faith sees things that can't be ordinarily seen, because it pertains to things beyond rational demonstration. Not contrary to things known by reason, but beyond; that is, above. I'm going to leave the philosophy to the experts, at this point.

But we should not be afraid of a theology of personal encounter. I don't have doubts, as people tend to think of them, because Jesus has spoken to me personally. The same Jesus who gives the divine gift of holiness to His Church. It had only remained for me to re-orient myself to the means by which supernatural revelation is known, viz. the Catholic Church. There was a time when I knew things supernatural without understanding how I knew them. And before reconciling to the Church, what I knew, I knew imperfectly.

Sooner or later, it has to come down to the fact that Jesus has come, died for our sins, and rose from the dead. There is much more "of faith" than this, but if you start here, it's very possible to end in the right place. It's a lot easier to frankly question Luther's doctrine of justification, knowing Jesus will not leave me or forsake me, to take one example. I can abandon any error, any mistake in reasoning, if Jesus commands me to do it.

"And I tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it."

If we fall in love, as it were, with a theological method of knowing Jesus--like Sola Scriptura--we could theoretically and actually abandon truths about God, in a false belief of being "biblical." The relentless and passionate biblicist who abandons faith in the Holy Trinity, because it's not found in the Scriptures (according to him) is a fine example. And as the Reformation rebellion goes longer, more and more things become "negotiable" that were not so a short time ago.

In the realm of sexual ethics, most of what we identify as traditional belongs to natural law. But it is telling that scads of "conservative" Protestants are using the Bible to uphold (perhaps unwittingly) a Catholic sexual ethic. As Sola Scriptura does its nasty work, it'll be harder and harder to hold the line. All the appeals to "history" will be dismissed as ad hoc, and rightly so. Because the theological meaning of history is the visible communion of the Catholic Church. An individualizing principle bites back hard, when faith and morality is falling apart.