Rather than taking Chapters 5 to 8, as individual posts, I want to cluster these together and speak to Weddell’s overarching idea of the Thresholds of Conversion. Whatever I say here will need to be expanded on by your own reading of these chapters (which naturally contain a huge amount of further detail), but I think the presentation of a single concept is a useful starting point to understanding the point the author is making.
First we must recognise that a great deal of contemporary evangelisation is based on models of catechesis and formation. That is to say that there is an assumption that once a basic doctrine of the faith has been adequately explained or illustrated, the subject (person) will come to accept that point as true. This is a dangerous supposition. Whilst an intelligent and articulated adult may well understand a theological truth after proper catechesis, there is a significant difference between understanding the faith (alone) and making that knowledge of the faith the principle factor in making all the decisions in one’s life. Baptism – our incorporation into the mystical Body of Christ – is a fundamentally and deeply personal encounter with the person of Jesus Christ; not simply a theoretical or ethereal bonding, but a physical and tangible union with the life of the Blessed Trinity.