Ratzinblogging on the Bible

Pertinent to the previous post, try these on for size. Cardinal Ratzinger on the h-c method. And, from Salt of the Earth, Ratzinger's response to those who sneer at "Bible-believing Christians" as "fundamentalists."

Q. So which currents of fundamentalism to stay with this expression, do you see more positively, and which do you find dubious or pathological, as you said earlier?

A: Let's put it this way. The common element in the very diverse currents that are labeled fundamentalism here in the West is the search for a certain and simple faith. That is not bad, as far as it goes, for, in the end, faith --as the New Testament repeatedly tells us-- was intended precisely for the simple and the little ones who can't live with complicated and academic subtleties. If today living in persevering uncertainty is glorified and faith as a truth that we have found is suspect, this is certainly not the form of life into which the Bible wants to lead us.
In other words, keep it simple, stupid. Fundamentalism can be a problem, but it isn't the quest for truth that is problematic, but the retreat from truth:

The quest for certainty and simplicity becomes dangerous when it leads to fanaticism and narrow-mindedness. When reason as such becomes suspect, then faith itself becomes falsified. It becomes a sort of party ideology that no longer has anything to do with turning confidently to God as the primordial ground of our life and reason. It is then that pathological forms of religiosity arise, for example, the quest for apparitions, for messages from the beyond, and the like.

And, those who would lay heavy burdens on the faithful, take note:
But instead of simply hammering away at fundamentalism --whose definition keeps getting broader and broader-- theologians should ponder to what extent they are to blame for the fact that increasing numbers of people seek refuge in narrow or unhealthy forms of religion. When one no longer offers anything but questions and doesn't offer any positive way to faith, such flights are inevitable.

How can you not love this man? The heights of erudition mingled with the deepest simplicity. Just to make the point even clearer, he says in God and the World that the Bible belongs to the people, not scholars:
In order to expound the purely historical, technical matters, obviously learned people, specialists are needed. But the real and essential meaning of the Bible is something the simple believer can grasp just as well. It really is made available to everyone and in its way is comprehensible to everyone. St. Augustine once said something very fine: Both the little hare and the great wild ass drink from the brook, from the spring, and each has it thirst quenched. And it really is like that: both the hare and the wild ass can drink, and each gets what it needs to quench its thirst.
Would it be too wicked of me to take satisfaction from the fact that he puts Scripture scholars in the role of "ass"?