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November 9, 2004

As Close as You Can Get

Although it's been in my bookmarks for almost a week and a half, since last week's Blogworthies, a post by Fr. Jim Tucker is not something that I wanted to let slip through the cracks between the days. Fr. Tucker's key idea is that faith is a process, and we oughtn't take the fact that we find one aspect of living it impossible as an excuse to discard the whole endeavor. (He puts it more charitably than that.)

I recommend the whole post, but the second of three enumerated points stood out in particular:

Before talking about your dissent from the Church, lay out what you do assent to. Start with the Creed. Consider that, even though all the truths of the Faith are equally true, some truths are more central than others. To reject papal infallibility is wrong. But it's more wrong to reject, say, the Resurrection. It's wrong to reject the Church's teaching on divorce. It's far worse to reject her teaching on the Trinity. One's focus, then, should be on the center and only then move out to the perifery. A person should ask himself what doctrines he does believe, and why he believes them, starting with the central ones. He should ask himself how the Gospel impacts his life and changes his behavior. Only after all that should he start to highlight what he rejects and how he diverges from orthopraxy -- and what the reasons are for those divergences. I think a lot of people would be surprised by how much they do believe.

Starting from essentials is a good approach no matter the topic.

Posted by Justin Katz at November 9, 2004 12:31 AM

Thanks for the mention.

Posted by: ELC at November 9, 2004 9:32 AM