Download e-book for kindle: Nature and Grace by Aquinas St. Thomas

By Aquinas St. Thomas

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Again, if sacred doctrine proceeded by argument, it would argue either on the ground of authority or on the ground of reason. But to argue from authority would be beneath its dignity, since “authority is the weakest kind of proof,” as Boethius says (Topica 6), and to argue by reason would be unworthy of its end, since “faith has no merit when human reason proves it by test,” as Gregory says (Hom. in Evang. 26). It follows that sacred doctrine does not proceed by argument. ” I answer: just as other sciences do not argue to prove their own principles, but argue from their principles to prove other things which the sciences include, so neither does this doctrine argue to prove its principles, which are the articles of faith, but argues from these to prove other things.

But in sacred Scripture conclusions are reached about many things other than God, for example, about creatures, and the customs of men. It follows that God is not the subject of this science. On the other hand: it is its main theme that is the subject of a science, and the main theme of this science is God. It is indeed called theology because its theme is God. It follows that God is the subject of this science. I answer: God is the subject of this science. Its subject is related to a science as is its object to a power or habit.

When a man is sufficiently well disposed to receive it (12ae, Q. 114, Art. 8), he does not regard any such principle as applicable to the appreciation of scriptural revelation on the part of the Church. His explanation that the words of the Creed “I believe in the holy catholic Church” properly mean “in the Holy Spirit which sanctifies the Church” (22ae, Q. 1, Art. 9) consequently loses something of its value. The articles of faith are held to be permanent and infallible in substance, and Aquinas can conceive of no other reason for rejecting them than the defective opinion of one’s own will (22ae, Q.

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Nature and Grace by Aquinas St. Thomas

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