Friday, April 25, 2008

Give me more of that Old Time Reason

Once again let us reflect on the synergy of Faith and Reason, this time in a Catholic vein:
Although the functions of the magisterium and of the theologians are distinct, each group requires and profits from the work of the other. Theologians depend on the magisterium because the creeds and dogmas of the Church are constitutive for their own enterprise. Theology is a reflection on the faith of the Church as set forth in the canonical Scriptures and in the official statements of the Church’s belief. If the magisterium were not trustworthy, the foundations of theology, including even the canon of Scripture, would crumble. The more abundantly theology draws on the teaching of the magisterium, the richer, generally speaking, will it be. To ignore or dismiss magisterial teaching is to neglect resources that are at hand. It is possible, of course, to disagree with the magisterium on some point or other or to wish to nuance its declarations, but the first instinct of the theologian should be to accept and build on what is officially taught in the Church. It is a great benefit for theology to have a magisterium that is committed and qualified to safeguard the apostolic faith.


So the role of theology is to affirm truths already decided upon, is that it? I'm starting to understand this affinity of Reason and Faith. It goes something like this:

Rule #1: Reason does not conflict with Faith.
Rule #2: When Reason does conflict with Faith, see rule #1.

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