June 19, 2006

Excerpts from Scott Hahn's Scripture Matters:

I propose that St. Thomas [Aquinas] is best understood not simply by looking at his metaphysics, or by studying his appreciation of Aristotle, or by updating him with modern science. Rather, I suggest that St. Thomas is fundamentally a biblical theologian. In fact, many of his biographers tell us that Thomas would have described himself primarily as a teacher of Scripture...Many scholars now are rediscovering the biblical depth of his teachings, and the importance of appropriating the scriptural categories that formed the framework of much of his thought.

...Because of sin's blinding effects, the "book" of nature must be translated by the inspired Word of Scripture. Nature, since the fall, cannot be truly understood apart from Scriptures...Apart [from them], not even a genuis as St. Thomas could have made much sense of God's purpose for salvation history...

I'm convinced that many well-meaning people have fastened onto the natural law for the purpose of helping Catholics enter the American public square and discuss morality in a religiously neutral way...[but] fallen human nature is incapable of knowing the natural law with certainty. As St. Thomas teachers, it is only possible with much effort, after a very long time. Only a few will come to know it, and even then with an admixture of error. If we are going to adopt the natural law tradition that our Church teachers, we should not do it with an apologetic strategy of selectivism or minimalism, because the natural law is not something that is non-religious. In drawing from the natural law tradition, we cannot escape religion...St. Thomas, as I understand him, is a consistent and committed theocrat.
Another tidbit from the same book:
But what about the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8)? Notice that Jesus did not condemn her, but neither did He apologize for her public shame. He does not refrain from judgment. Judgment, after all, is a precondition of mercy. Jesus sets her free, but He makes clear that mercy has its price, and that price is the fulfillment of the Law: "Go, and do not sin again." (Jn. 8:11).

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