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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sat. 01/31/04 01:38:21 PM
   
         
         
   

Don't Write Anything Dumb, If Dale Price Might Ever See It

But it ain't the "New Apologists" who really get nuked.

At Dyspeptic Mutterings, "Weapons of Mass Deconstruction: Nuking the New Apologists":

I will add a few remarks that, in the wake of Dale's tour de force, are likely to be superfluous.

Frankly, Gaillardetz's essay is one long, large, cheap shot: he names names at the beginning ("figures like Scott Hahn, Gerry Matatics, Karl Keating, Mitch Pacwa, S.J., Peter Kreeft and Patrick Madrid"), but gives nary an example — not even one quoted syllable — of what he is supposedly criticizing in their apologetics. That ought to be Clue Number One to the attentive reader that he is being set up with straw men.

Second, we see what Gaillardetz is really upset about by a list of those to whom he gives his benevolent approbation:

.... I think of some accessible books on Catholic theology by Monika Hellwig, Thomas P. Rausch, S.J., and Richard P. McBrien. These are works by capable and respected systematic theologians who are not afraid to engage in what might be disparaged as haute vulgarisation in service of the needs of the church today....

As I hope you know by now, Faithful Reader, around here "Rev." Richard P. McBrien is known as Subversive Traitor In Chief to the Catholic Church in the USA. By this recommendation, we see what's really galling Gaillardetz: some people actually have the freaking nerve to defend the Catholic faith. Not merely explain, but actually defend.

How dare they.

I am sorry to have to point out, Faithful Reader, if you actually read Fr. McBrien's "Catholicism" / By the National Council of Catholic Bishops's Committee on Doctrine, you realize that to dismiss it with the following wave of the hand is — unwittingly or not — simply deceptive:

.... It may be useful to point out that the NCCB review of McBrien's Catholicism was quite measured, expressing concern only with use of the book by undergraduates or in parish adult education programs....

Useful? Probably. But to what purpose exactly?

Now, I myself eschew, as far as possible, anything that approaches to proof-texting. Indeed, I have often derided Protestant fundamentalistic proof-texting as Bible Butchery. Unlike most of the gigantic Protestant theological edifice, the Catholic faith is not, never was, and cannot be, based upon texts. However — and this is a very important however — proof-texting can be necessary when dealing with proof-texters. A Protestant fundamentalist who hears the word "tradition" and equates it with "Satanic Temptation Away From God's Pure Word" — and their number is legion — has to be approached with scriptural proof-texting, or not at all.

Gaillardetz seems to have a rather romantic notion of "dialogue". I don't suppose the following scenario has occurred to him.

Sincere Protestant Fundamentalist: "The Romish Church is the Whore of Babylon! Drunk on the blood of the 50 million Christians it killed during the Dark Ages! And the pope and his evil minions are still dragging millions of dupes into hell with their man-made system!"
Newer Catholic Apologist: "Can we dialogue?"

For every Catholic turned off by the New Apologists, I'll bet there are ten former Protestants who thank God every day for them — and ten cradle Catholics equally grateful that somebody finally explained and defended the faith that had been handed on to them so poorly.

P.S. Thanks to Dyspspetic Mutterings and Envoy Encore for the notice.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sat. 01/31/04 01:38:21 PM
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