Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hütter on the indispensability of the TEACHING of the Church, or DOCTRINE

"the inner light of faith cannot deliver the truth without a corresponding external catechesis--the one as objective as the other--a linguistically configured and propositionally structured 'form of teaching' [(τύπος διδαχῆς, forma doctrinae, Rom 6:17)] by way of which the things hoped for are received as well as passed on.  This indispensable external catechetical side of the faith is not simply a speculative theological stipulation based on the composite nature of the human being.  It is, on the contrary, central to the apostle Paul's understanding of faith. . . ."
"Christians are given over to the First Truth by way of the forma doctrinae, the standard of teaching, and the infused inchoatio of eternal life, faith, takes its concrete form as an act of fidelity, a deep commitment (obsequium religiosum) to the Church's teaching, to the doctrina catholicae fidei. . . . Hence, faith is not what it came to be in the wake of liberal Protestantism and a Catholic modernism eager to adopt such a notion, that is, faith as an existential, pre-conceptual act of trust, primordially and ineffably enacted in the depths of the religious subject and only subsequently expressed and confessed in community and in categories and expressions relative to the age, culture, and society in which they are made. . . . [T]he substance [(ὑπόστασις)] of things hoped for is only to be had, is only accessible, in and through the Church's living faith, which passes on publicly--for all to hear and to have--the 'form of teaching,' the typos didaches, to which one needs to be given over in baptism in order to receive in turn this new substance inwardly, the principle of the new life (the inchoatio vitae aeternae) that gives rise to the light of faith, an inner illumination which is the source of that certitude to which the intellect has to assent."
"'In embryo--and thus according to the 'substance'--there is already present in us the things that are hoped for:  a whole true life' ([Spe salvi] §7).  That this hope is not to be misunderstood as a romantic flirtation with a mode of religious enthusiasm Paul also adamantly maintains.  The hope that does not disappoint has its exterior objective correspondence in the 'form of teaching' to which we are given over at baptism.  And the profound insight that the warrant for the truth of this faith is neither subjective sincerity or piety, nor a successful philosophical argument, but the authority of the apostolic Church, is well and alive in the first generation after the apostle Paul.  Either Paul . . . or one of his own very close disciples . . . characterized in 1 Timothy 3:15 the household of God as 'the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.'"

Reinhard Hütter, "'In hope he believed against hope' (Rom 4:18): faith and hope, two Pauline motifs as interpreted by Aquinas: a re-lecture of Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical letter Spe salvi," Nova et vetera: the English edition of the international theological journal 7, no. 4 (Fall 2009): 848, 851-853, and 866 (839-867).

No comments: