March 25, 2003

William F. Buckley Quote
"But then we have always known, have we not?, that the day has never been when the sum total of man's available resources was insufficient to cope with skepticism, one of those resources, in the earliest days of our faith, having been an obligingly ubiquitous God. In respect of apologetics we are better off in the twentieth century than we were in the first. St. Peter would have had a more difficult time engaging a sophist than, say, John Courtney Murray would have today, replying to Bishop Pike. Even so, notwithstanding our intellectual resources, notwithstanding our moral and spiritual resources, we [Catholics] are on the defensive. And it is the excruciating irony that the more highly educated we are, the more keenly we tend to feel the pangs of exclusion from the dominant intellectual hustle and bustle of the age. Our faith is more severely buffeted, now that we move easily in the world of knowledge, than it was when we were illiterate.

One obvious cause is the interminable war between the self-justifying flesh and the forlorn spirit, a war in which all baptized human beings are eternally conscript as double agents. Another cause is the lure of rationalism: If we can perfectly understand how to split the atom, why can't we know how to fuse the Trinity?

Surely another cause is the friction between fundamentalist and transcendent understandings of scripture....The appeal of literalism has done much to shake the faith of the literate."

--William F. Buckley, "Let Us Talk Of Many Things"

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