This book provides a critical study of the main Christian doctrines as understood and explained by Thomas Aquinas. The whole Thomistic revival of the last century focused almost exclusively on Aquinas as the Christian philosopher. Thus books and articles developed his understanding of being, his epistemology, natural theology, etc. However little has been done, even to this day, by way of examining Aquinas’ teaching on the major Christian doctrines.
“But just as ‘grace both presupposes and perfects nature, so, too, faith presupposes and perfects reason’—Aquinas’ well known axiom.” (Page ix)
“Aquinas states in brief that ‘four things are required for the justification of the adult sinner: the infusion of grace, the remission of guilt, a movement of the free will toward God, which is faith, and a movement of the free will against sin, which is contrition’” (Page 144)
“the order of wisdom’. Divine being is infinite act and infinite wisdom” (Page 226)
“As has already been said, Thomas modified Aristotle’s thought in following Augustine’s idea of the fecundity of immanent activity springing from knowledge and love. His proposition consists in showing that the concepts of verbum and amor include a relation of origin with regard to a principle; it is this relation of origin which makes it possible to show the distinction between the persons, and thus to clarify the properties of Son and Spirit. In a second stage, Thomas shows how the Word and Love, in God, have the existence and the nature of God himself: this aspect, linked to the first, allows us to show the hypostatic subsistence of the persons and their divine consubstantiality.59 Here we find the two aspects of relation.” (Page 57)
“A favourite axiom of Aquinas is that ‘every action of Christ is for our instruction’.11 He employs it numerous times in his works and alludes to it in some way at least six times in his discussion of ‘what Jesus did and suffered’.12 Behind the saying lies much more than a pious wish that we imitate the example of Jesus. The axiom is grounded in Aquinas’ trinitarian theology and involves not only his understanding of the efficient, exemplar and final causality of the Incarnation, but also the theology of our participation in the life of the Trinity through the grace of Christ.13 In reflecting on even the least actions of Christ, we may hope to gain instruction in those deeper mysteries.” (Page 92)
Thomas G. Weinandy is the Executive Director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Daniel A. Keating teaches at the Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit.
John P. Yocum teaches at Greyfriars, Oxford.