Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Aquinas on Sola Scriptura II

Here's more from Aquinas on sola scriptura, courtesy of Joel in Georgia (thanks Joel):

"Objection: It would seem that it is unsuitable for the articles of faith to be embodied in a creed. Because Holy Writ is the rule of faith, to which no addition or subtraction can lawfully be made, since it is written (Deut. 4:2): “You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it.” Therefore it was unlawful to make a creed as a rule of faith, after Holy Writ had once been published.

Reply: The truth of faith is contained in Holy Writ, diffusely, under various modes of expression, and sometimes obscurely, so that, in order to gather the truth of faith from Holy Writ, one needs long study and practice, which are unattainable by all those who require to know the truth of faith, many of whom have no time for study, being busy with other affairs. And so it was necessary to gather together a clear summary from the sayings of Holy Writ, to be proposed to the belief of all. This indeed was no addition to Holy Writ, but something gathered from it.
(St. Thomas Aquinas c. 1224-1274, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Question 1, Article 9)"

Aquinas is here answering the standard objection to creeds (even in his day! i.e., that they are additions to scripture). Note that he works from the assumption of sola scriptura, i.e. that scripture alone is the rule of faith, which can neither be added to nor subtracted from.

4 comments:

PW said...

Thanks for the additional good food for thought on this subject. It is something to think that they were already defending sola Scriptura in that early period.

I appreciate your blogposts that confirm/teach/explain Lutheran doctrine.

btw, praying for those affected by the sand/duststorms in your country.

Acroamaticus said...

Thanks PW.
The pictures made the dust storm look worse than it was. We're used to extreme weather down here, you know. It cleared within 12 hours (it was about 1000 kms to the north of where I presently am, btw). Bad for asthmatics, though.
I notice floods in Georgia on the TV news.d Must be the equinox? Hope Joel is OK...Is'nt the wolrd a small place now?

joel in ga said...

Small place indeed--our floods on your TV?! Happily, my family and I live a bit further to the east where the rains weren't so heavy. Ironically, Georgia has been battling drought for the past few years.

Glad you could use the quote. One more from Aquinas (I obtained this quote secondhand and have not verified whether it is complete or not):

"Some say than even if man had not sinned, the Son of Man would have become incarnate. Others assert the contrary, and seemingly our assent ought rather to be given to this opinion.

"For such things as spring from God’s will, and beyond the creature’s due, can be made known to us only through being revealed in the Sacred Scripture, in which the Divine Will is made known to us. Hence, since everywhere in the Sacred Scripture the sin of the first man is assigned as the reason of the Incarnation, it is more in accordance with this to say that the work of the Incarnation was ordained by God as a remedy for sin; so that, had sin not existed, the Incarnation would not have been. And yet the power of God is not limited to this; – even had sin not existed, God could have become incarnate." ((St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Third Part, Question 1, Article 3)

Acroamaticus said...

Hi Joel,

Good to hear you and your family are safe. We get a lot of US & UK news here, perhaps because nothing much of import happens in Australia?! (Apart from extreme weather, that is)

Thanks for the quote, too. Any such quotes that back up Lutheran Catholicity are always gratefully received!