Back in June, The Heresy Hunter (TH2) did an excellent exposé on the errors being disseminated by Novalis publishers (Socon or Bust had previously written a brief post on this topic too). In the comments section of the post, a discussion emerged between TH2 and an author who has had some work published by Novalis. A brief part of the discussion related to the book reviews and the obligation that reviewers feel to give positive comments, regardless of the errors that may be contained in a book. To this, TH2 made a very thoughtful remark about the necessity of exposing errors. Check this:
Why should reviewers be “nice”? There is an obligation to be? Even if you “hate” the book? Are you kidding me? We’re talking about theology and Church dogma here, not the ephemerous nonsense of post-modernist philosophy and literature. A review of a book on (strictly speaking) Catholic theology must address the ideas presented therein, intercomparing them with, and viewed within the light of, Church teaching, tradition, so forth. If the thesis presented is consistent with Catholic theology/philosophy/sociology/morality, then the idea(s) is correct, promising, fruitful, beneficial and so on. But it is not “nice”. If it is inconsistent, then it is erroneous, wrong, false, but neither is “hate” involved. Why should this politically correct emotionalism be brought into the arena? For it has been this niceness, this false charity, this supposed “tolerance”, which has permitted heresy to gradually permeate into the Church’s inner workings. Give a heretic an inch and he’ll take a mile. “Love”, “nice”, “hate”, “kinder” – this is Oprah crap. And it is exactly this Oprah crap (i.e. dealing with heresy and apostasy in a touchy-feely-we-are-the-world manner) that has been the bane of Catholic journalism and book publishing for years. My experience also shows that people who treat heresy in such a manner do so in the hope of getting an approving wink from the intelligentsia of the prevailing ideology of the day. They want to be “accepted”, to be part of “in” crowd. Old story. (Source)
We need to be bold with respect to people who maliciously undermine Church teaching through false theology or philosophy. We must fight error to the death, if necessary, as the Saints did before us. We have been far too accommodating of heresy and dissent, and the result is the flaky Church we see around us. TH2 pointed this out in another excellent comment:
You, apparently, do not seem to understand how heresy works. Read this quote from C.S. Lewis: “…and then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies’ plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.” And it this subtle mixing of heresy, slowly, gradually over time, that is the most dangerous. That is what has been happening in the last 40+ years.
Bang on. The devil knows that if he presents heresies that are too outrageous, no Catholic half-worthy of the name will bite. That’s why it is always very incremental, with half-truths and half-lies, to deceive, confuse, obfuscate and distort. Notice how Satan quoted Scripture in dubious ways when he was tempting Jesus in the desert? That’s how he works.
Don’t let yourself be fooled. Be on your guard. Don’t put up with manure in the Church.