Monday, August 3, 2009

Theological Idiot

I realize as I try to read through Aquinas on concupiscence, nature and grace, etc I am totally idiotic. All the Reformed people post mocking Protestant converts to Catholicism like me who read similar "fools" like Steve Ray and Dave Armstrong, etc.

My Aristotelian Moral Philosophy class in University has given me a bit of mileage in understanding Aquinas, but it as all so systematic and complex that I doubt I will ever fully have a systematic Catholic theology. My anti-systematic theology Mennonite ancestors might be proud of that. But I guess that's ok.

"We are fools for Christ's sake" (KJV) Saint Paul says in 1 Cor 4:10. I have an icon of St. Francis of Assisi that my friend Lance gave me, and an "action figure" or him my mom bought for me in Assisi when they went to Italy. I have it as a little shrine in my bathroom with a candle and matches which I have to hide when Protestant company comes to visit. I never really liked St. Francis as much as others I knew because he seemed so theologically lacking, but now as I realize I too am a fool, I feel more akin to the saint.

And as much as I think St. Thomas Aquinas and the Thomistic tradition is extremely brilliant, I tend to like Pope Benedict's patristic and biblical Augustinian approach. I think it's because I know the bible the best out of all these sources which I seem to barely know at all. I also like reading people who are in touch with the realities of life. Aristotle, Plato and Aquinas are brilliant men, but I always feel like they lacked the normalcy and everyday reality of ministers and priests.

I love reading Chesterton because he's a man with no formal education but is a genius as well. He had such common sense and wit that I find his defenses of Catholicism, while maybe overly simplistic, to be very effective.

1 comment:

  1. I am beginning to realize the need both with Augustine, Aquinas, and Calvin to look not as much as their theology, but their pastoral care. Attempt to find sermons, homilies, and commentaries by Augustine and Aquinas and you will begin to understand the theology of the men much more than you will every imagine.

    It is amazing that much of Augustine's sermons are not even available in our vernacular! Sucks!