Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Freedom from a demanding faith

The Pope, at the time Cardinal Ratzinger, in his Introduction to Christianity, described how the gradual and often unnoticed discarding of orthodox doctrine, leads to something entirely different - and entirely worthless. People of every theological tradition need to beware. [via First Things]
Anyone who has watched the theological movement of the last decade and who is not one of those thoughtless people who always uncritically accept what is new as necessarily better might well feel reminded of the old story of Clever Hans. The lump of gold that was too heavy and troublesome for him he exchanged successively, so as to be more comfortable, for a horse, a cow, a pig, a goose, and a whetstone, which he finally threw in the water, still without losing much; on the contrary, what he now gained in exchange, so he thought, was the precious gift of complete freedom....

The worried Christian of today is often bothered by questions like these: Has our theology in the last few years not taken in many ways a similar path? Has it not gradually watered down the demands of faith, which had been found all too demanding, always only so little that nothing important seemed to be lost, yet always so much that it was soon possible to venture on to the next step? And will poor Hans, the Christian who trustingly let himself be led from exchange and exchange, from interpretation to interpretation, not really soon hold in his hand, instead of the gold with which he began, only a whetstone that he can safely be advised to throw away?
Source: FIRST THINGS: On the Square » On Heresy: A Final Word (Until the March Issue of First Things)

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