For those of you who don’t get The National Catholic Register, Mark Shea had a very apt column this week, judging from recent threads like “Are you Born Again?” and “Evangelism question.”
Shea uses a discussion ostensibly about the evidence John wrote the Gospel which bears his name to highlight insincere questioners who claim to be “seeking the truth” but in fact are avoiding it at all costs (emphasis mine):
But conversations like this aren’t motivated by reason. They are motivated by a will that is seeking to heal some sort of personal wound.
Nobody leaves the faith because some obscure scholar is skeptical about whether John wrote his Gospel. Nobody leaves the Church because the manuscript of the Masoretic text is faulty at some points.
They leave because of pride, sin, pain, anger and all sorts of other intensely personal issues much closer to home.
For this reason, people who wish to bear witness to Christ should tread lightly since, as St Ephraim observed, every man is fighting a great battle. But it is also the case that evangelists and apologists ought to point out the fact that those who engage in such rhetorical tactics are kidding themselves if they think they are being cold rationalists.
The diagnostic clue for the insincere questioner is the steadfast refusal to admit any answers that favor the Church’s case. When you encounter that drive to ask questions in order to keep from finding out what the Church teaches, chances are good you are not dealing with difficulties of the intellect but with a problem of the will.
Is Shea right?
Why or why not?