Saturday, September 25, 2010
"The Sexual Person" and Why I Became a Catholic
A couple days ago I blogged about a book purportedly about Catholic moral theology called “The Sexual Person” by two professors associated with Creighton University, and the US Bishops clear rebuke of the arguments presented therein.
Basically the authors deconstruct all Scriptural and magisterial sources of authority for moral reasoning by applying a radical historicism. In other words, “The biblical authors, the church fathers, and the popes just reflected the cultural norms of their day, plus they aren’t as smart as we are now, so we can disregard their views about sexuality.”
For me, reading the arguments from “The Sexual Person” were a blast from the past.
While I was in high school, and an ardent Dutch Calvinist, a report was made to my denomination’s synod from one of our sister denominations, concerning their committee on sexual morality. After years of study, this Calvinist denomination’s committee was unable to affirm almost any of traditional Christian moral teaching. The only principle remaining to guide one to moral sexual relations was “justice love.” Wherever “justice love” was present, sex was moral. They recommend that our denomination accept the same “principles” of “morality”—ones essential re-articulated now in “The Sexual Person.”
Looking over the reasoning our sister denomination was using, I realized their “hermeneutic” could be used to defeat any Scriptural teaching.
That was the beginning of a gradual dawning on me—which would eventually lead to Rome—of the realization that Scripture alone was not sufficient to conserve the deposit of the faith, because various hermeneutics could make Scripture say almost anything one wished.
One needs to be guided by tradition, but even tradition is not enough—there also has to be a living voice of the salvific community.
“When Scripture is disjoined from the living voice of the Church, it fall prey to the disputes of experts,” Benedict XVI says.
The living voice just spoke through the mouths of the US Bishops. I am thankful for them.