Thomistic Proselytization : The Secularists Join The Battle.

st-thomas-aquinas-ixGiven that this is the blog of a dedicated Thomist, and that the tradition of the Catholic Faith from its beginning grappled with question of how to “reconcile reason with revelation, science with faith, philosophy with theology”, this humble blogger has decided to provide material from the secular area of human activity that supports the SUPPOSITION that Catholicism is in FACT the ONE. TRUE. FAITH.

Below you will find reference material that should help the typical Catholic Faithful understand that THEOLOGY is nothing like the protestant version where the “theological area of study” is walled off from the rest of human enquiry and science, limited exclusively to the Sola Scriptura.

To this end, I will reproduce a short introductory excerpt from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia to place the below reference material into its proper CONTEXT. According the the entry under SCHOLASTICISM, we can find the following passage: (see here)

Christian thinkers, from the beginning, were confronted with the question: How are we to reconcile reason with revelation, science with faith, philosophy with theology? The first apologists possessed no philosophy of their own. They had to deal with a pagan world proud of its literature and its philosophy, ready at any moment to flaunt its inheritance of wisdom in the face of ignorant Christians. The apologists met the situation by a theory that was as audacious as it must have been disconcerting to the pagans. They advanced the explanation that all the wisdom of Plato and the other Greeks was due to the inspiration of the Logos; that it was God’s truth, and, therefore, could not be in contradiction with the supernatural revelation contained in the Gospels. It was a hypothesis calculated not only to silence a pagan opponent, but also to work constructively. We find it in St. Basil, in Origen, and even in St. Augustine. The belief that the two orders of truth, the natural and the supernatural, must harmonize, is the inspiration of intellectual activity in the Patristic era. But that era did little to define the limits of the two realms of truth. St. Augustine believes that faith aids reason (credo ut intelligam) and that reason aids faith (intelligo ut credam); he is, however, inclined to emphasize the first principle and not the second. He does not develop a definite methodology in dealing with them. The Scholastics, almost from the first, attempted to do so.

Next came the Thomists:

John Scotus Eriugena, in the ninth century, by his doctrine that all truth is a theophany, or showing forth of God, tried to elevate philosophy to the rank of theology, and identify the two in a species of theosophy. Abelard, in the twelfth century, tried to bring theology down to the level of philosophy, and identify both in a Rationalistic system. The greatest of the Scholastics in the thirteenth century, especially St. Thomas Aquinas, solved the problem for all time, so far as Christian speculation is concerned, by showing that the two are distinct sciences, and yet that they agree. They are distinct, he teaches, because, while philosophy relies on reason alone, theology uses the truths derived from revelation, and also because there are some truths, the mysteries of Faith, which lie completely outside the domain of philosophy and belong to theology. They agree, and must agree, because God is the author of all truth, and it is impossible to think that He would teach in the natural order anything that contradicts what He teaches in the supernatural order. The recognition of these principles is one of the crowning achievements of Scholasticism. 

And now the reference material:

  1. The secular case for the “CORRECTNESS” of the Catholic Faith.

2. The FrancisSermon on Mercy that Francis should be giving.

3. The Catholic foundation of Western Thought and Civilization.

4. The intellectual case for Cathlicism and the EVIDENCE for GOD.

5. To be continued…