…and I didn’t say it, Tim Keller did – beginning here and going for three-and-a-half minutes. I will summarize it, but listen to the short section for further detail (extremely paraphrased):
All of the Protestant catechisms written during the Reformation – Luther’s, Calvin’s, Westminster, Heidelberg – were written not merely to teach what the Bible says, but to inoculate the people from the alternative dominant narrative – at the time, the alternative narrative was Catholic. Where the two held the same beliefs, the catechisms are light; where they differ, the catechisms are heavy.
Today the dominant alternative narrative is quite different – it is the identity narrative, the freedom narrative, or the science narrative. These are profound narratives that the kids are being bombarded with many times a day. And we don’t catechize against these.
How does the doctrine of the Trinity differ from what people say about human life today? What does the Bible say about the Gospel, how’s that different than the identity narratives that are out there, that your primary identity is something that you find in yourself, or your primary identity is a racial one?
Thomistic natural law: it addresses today’s meaning crisis; it addresses issues of identity; it addresses gender confusion; it addresses racial tensions; it addresses man’s purpose; it addresses the relationship of science and faith; it addresses the lack of effective intermediating institutions; it will return the teaching of ethics where it belongs – to the family and to the church; as it is discoverable by believer and non-believer alike, it transcends religious and cultural boundaries.
And my guess is that there are more than a few Catholics who would also suggest that their Church returns to this tradition as well!
Keller concludes his three-and-a-half minutes: “I haven’t seen almost any material that actually does that.”
Well, here is a start.