Friday, January 11, 2013
What Are We To Make of Karl Rahner?
I understand that Rahner's strictly theological work is about as dense as a fifty-foot thick wall of iron, and from what I've seen, it is. His theology seems to me to be drier than stale bread left out for a few weeks on the kitchen counter, a taste more suited to those involved in strictly academic theology.
But his spiritual writings I have found to be a much different ball of wax altogether - I have read bits of Encounters with Silence and Watch and Pray With Me, and they aren't bad at all from my brief perusals.
Here, though, is what bothers me. My litmus test for the orthodoxy of any theologian or spiritual writer is whether or not they hold to the Real Presence in the Eucharist - if they don't, a red flag instantly goes up for me.
Not only this, but like some other modern theologians, Rahner denies that the Resurrection was even a real historical event, citing that Jesus only appeared in spirit to the disciples afterwards, before descending into a bunch of verbiage that I think only the most trained theologian could ever make sense of.
So what are to make of this man's thought? Are not those two simple things above enough to make us raise our eyebrows, or no? It is of great concern to me that Rahner is such an influential figure when he held such strange doctrinal positions about core Christian dogmas.
What are your thoughts?