Thomas Aquinas taught idolatry

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SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
It surprises me that Reformed folk actually study Aquinas when he was so much a Romanist.

People (Reformed and otherwise) "actually" study the works of Aquinas because the man was both brilliant and influential. His Romanism isn't studied (by Reformed folk) for purposes of emulation, but rather for understanding and to enable thoughtful interaction with "the other side."
 

Bruno De Lima Romano

Puritan Board Freshman
It surprises me that Reformed folk actually study Aquinas when he was so much a Romanist.

People (Reformed and otherwise) "actually" study the works of Aquinas because the man was both brilliant and influential. His Romanism isn't studied (by Reformed folk) for purposes of emulation, but rather for understanding and to enable thoughtful interaction with "the other side."

More on what Ben said: if Reformed folk read only Reformed folk, what you get is autophagy. We read only ourselves, we face no true criticism, no true conflict, we write only to prove what we already now, to hear what we want, and end up gnostic.

As soon as a Reformed desires to step out of the bounds to interact critically with different perspectives, Aquinas shows up as inevitable. I'm eager to read him, but haven't had a chance yet.

You see, great reformed writers like Turrettini and Rutherford had a very precise idea of what critics of their theology would say. How can we ignore that? That is why their work is so valuable. It shows Reformed theology not as something gnostic, floating above the realm of reality, but a real solid interpreation of what is true religion. It was catholic in that sense, seeking to asnwer big objections, use common ground to reason, and to start from common starting points of any worthfull thought.
 

Justified

Puritan Board Sophomore
Despite his Romanism, It's not like he has no value. In my limited reading, I've found him very useful on certain issues (e.g., analogical predication).
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
Michael:

I agree with what Ben, Bruno, and Evan write above.

So much could be said here, but I'll simply contribute this additional thought. Though we as Reformed properly disagree with Aquinas on the matters that you cite, and realize more keenly perhaps why we needed a Reformation when we read such, it is the case that Aquinas lived and wrote in the undivided church in the West (the division with the East had occurred in 1054).

In other words, this was the church that, in a manner of speaking, we in the West were all part of at the time of Aquinas. Things like what you point out contributed to the perceived and growing need for Reformation, but we read Aquinas not only to see this, but also to understand the church of his time.

Were I alive then, I would, I assume, have been a part of the Western Church, of which Aquinas was a theologian (and in some trouble in his lifetime and especially at the end; there is some evidence that he ended up more Augustinian than he was when he wrote the Summa). The point is this: the Reformation had not occured, and this was the visible church that we had, such as it was, warts and all.

Peace,
Alan
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
His remark on how hope can be predicated of animals was a ray of light in a very dark time.
 

Bruno De Lima Romano

Puritan Board Freshman
Now, interesting enough to this post would be if someone could get though that link posted by the OP, with care, and argue that Aquinas did not teach idolatry on Romish standards. That would be a mind-blowing discussion.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm a Baptist and I still read Calvin.

Heck, Augustine had serious ecclesiastical issues.

We take the good and discard the bad.
 

MichaelNZ

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes, I can understand not only reading Reformed folk. Augustine has some great stuff on predestination. I suppose with Aquinas you sort of eat the meat and spit out the bones.

But where do you draw the line? Do you find Reformed people studying later Romish theologians and clergy like Alphonsus de' Liguori (who wrote the blasphemous book The Glories of Mary) or Francis de Sales (who wrote Introduction to the Devout Life)? Is it only pre-Reformation theologians that Reformed people study, or is there some other line of demarcation?
 

Toasty

Puritan Board Sophomore
There could be different reasons for studying Aquinas. Someone could be doing research in church history and wanting to find out what Aquinas taught in a particular area. This does not mean that he thinks that the works of Aquinas performs the functions of Scripture as mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:16.
 

Matthew Willard Lankford

Puritan Board Freshman
Interesting that Aquinas seemed to understand (at least in one instance) that to take the name of God in vain includes "giving the name of God to wood or stone"... Has any Roman Catholic (or Evangelical) ever seen what Aquinas said here? It seems helpful in opening up a basic exposition of "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing" and "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain":

Summa Theologica > Second Part of the Second Part >

Question 122. The precepts of justice

Article 3. Whether the second precept of the decalogue is fittingly expressed?

Objection 1. It seems that the second precept of the decalogue is unfittingly expressed. For this precept, "Thou shalt not take the name of thy God in vain" is thus explained by a gloss on Exodus 20:7: Thou shalt not deem the Son of God to be a creature," so that it forbids an error against faith. Again, a gloss on the words of Deuteronomy 5:11, "Thou shalt not take the name of . . . thy God in vain, " adds, i.e. "by giving the name of God to wood or stone," as though they forbade a false confession of faith, which, like error, is an act of unbelief.

Now unbelief precedes superstition, as faith precedes religion. Therefore this precept should have preceded the first, whereby superstition is forbidden.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Yes, I can understand not only reading Reformed folk. Augustine has some great stuff on predestination. I suppose with Aquinas you sort of eat the meat and spit out the bones.

But where do you draw the line? Do you find Reformed people studying later Romish theologians and clergy like Alphonsus de' Liguori (who wrote the blasphemous book The Glories of Mary) or Francis de Sales (who wrote Introduction to the Devout Life)? Is it only pre-Reformation theologians that Reformed people study, or is there some other line of demarcation?

Aquinas (and his later interlocutors) provided the grammar for which later Reformed theology would work (including the guys who wrote the Confession). He is not optional. Of course, since I hate chain of being and analogy of being, I know where to draw the line on medieval theologians.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Do you find Reformed people studying later Romish theologians and clergy like Alphonsus de' Liguori (who wrote the blasphemous book The Glories of Mary)

How do you know his book was blasphemous unless you have studied it?
 
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