And what does it mean to be “credible”? And how does one determine if it is “credible”? These questions have been asked time and again by good thinkers, but surely one of the most interesting is Hans Urs von Balthasar, in his book Love Alone is Credible. Besides having the best name for a theologian I’ve yet seen, Balthasar’s influence in theology in the 20th Century is profound — if not also sometimes a bit ambiguous because of his style of writing.
In your view what makes the Christian faith credible?
The first two chps of this book are a survey of how the credibility of Christianity has been reduced to cosmology and to anthropology, that is, the faith itself has been found to be inherent to all of nature or inherent to all of what makes humans human.
He pokes at Herbert of Cherbury for the first: the father of English Deism. Service to God and knowledge of God are found in a self-sufficient science of religion. Balthasar contends this swallows up Christianity into cosmology itself.
He scans a variety of thinkers — especially Kant and Schleiermacher — in the reduction of truth to humans. It is all about us and as we explore “us” — even “us” in relation — we find God.
Balthasar remonstrates with these reductions with this: “There is no text that offers a ‘foundation’ for God’s text, making it legible and intelligible, or perhaps we should say more legible and more intelligible. It must interpret itsle, and this is what it wishes to do” (50).