As we reflect on the life of John Paul II at the eve of his beatification, we should remember the ways in which the late pontiff touched those outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church. I am thinking specifically of Evangelical Protestants, our separated brethren with whom we as Catholics share the same concerns about the nature of theology and the sanctity of human life.
Although Evangelicals and Catholics disagree on certain theological questions, they agree that theology is a knowledge tradition. What does that mean? It means that theology, like other disciplines such as physics, history or literature, consists of a body of knowledge that can provide us real insight. To many of our contemporaries, this is a strange way to think, for they believe that theology – because it is the articulation of the content of faith – cannot have anything to do with reason.