…much as I like Fr. Robert Barron. I have had the pleasure of meeting both men and think them both good and honorable. Alas, in our polarized Church of internet team sports, more and more people find that hard to understand, since these two good men have engaged in controversy with one another and so (to the team sport mind) we are expected to choose a side, cheer for one, and denounce the other. But the glory of the Catholic intellectual tradition is its capaciousness. “In essential things, unity. In doubtful things, liberty. In all things, charity.” Barron and Martin exemplify this, I think, in their arguments and in their manner of thought. They are not, in fact, opposites and they are certainly not enemies (though the black and white mob would have them be both, as mobs always do). To me, however, they embody approaches to the question of our eternal destiny that are as old as the Church. As I wrote sometime back:
The thing to always bear in mind in discussions about hell is that the New Testament and the Catholic tradition frequently present us with various truths in tension with one another. So the Tradition insists that Jesus is fully God and fully man, that all have sinned and that Mary is without sin, that God predestines and that we have free will, that God is all powerful and immortal and that Jesus was weak and mortal, that God is one and that God is three, etc. At various times and places, every one of these propositions has stuck in somebody’s craw and various zealots have refused to remain with the tension but have instead attempted to “resolve” the tension by simply abolishing one or the other poles of tension and settling on the easy solution of simply declaring the part of the Tradition they like to

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