Without authentic theological reflection we Christians cannot achieve the personal maturity and integrity appropriate to us. Theological reflection that involves heart and mind, consciousness and activity, provides a discipline in the life of faith. It enables us to integrate seemingly irreconcilable realms of activity and knowledge in our lives. As adult Christians we are called to more than mindless obedience to authority or totally self-determined thought and action.

Without authentic theological reflection we cannot exercise fully the ministry appropriate to us as baptized Christians. As the values of First World cultures increasingly undercut both humanistic and Christian visions it is crucial that we claim and present our faith in a manner that has integrity and is intelligible. Our presentation must be faithful to the fullest reading of the tradition, including the experience of the present community of faith. This gives it integrity. It also must make sense to any who, for the sake of discussion, will grant the presuppositions of faith. This makes it intelligible. The alternatives to presenting the faith in an intelligible fashion and with integrity are a certitude that turns gospel bread into stone or a self-assurance that reduces the individual to an isolated, self-contained, diminished being.