New Books in Intellectual History - Francis J. Beckwith, "Never Doubt Thomas: The Catholic Aquinas as Evangelical and Protestant" (Baylor UP, 2019)

Should you care how Protestant theologians and philosophers view a man generally regarded as of interest primarily to Catholics and as a pillar of Catholic thinking? Absolutely. Why? Because much of what has made our modern world in terms of law, philosophy and ethics comes from Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274). How would we benefit from reading a book about Aquinas by a noted scholar who has been a Protestant but who is now a Catholic? That is what we are going to find out in this interview with Fran

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Should you Care Health coniston theologians and philosophers you and Men generally regarded as if interest primarily to Catholic Elder Catholic anything absolutely why because much of what has made our modern world in terms of law philosophy ethics comes from Thomas Aquinas 1225 1274. How is a benefit from reading a book about a client's by noted scholar who has been a Protestant but it was now a Catholic that is what we are going to find out in this interview with Francis Jay Beckwith about his 2019 book never doubt Thomas the Catholic Aquinas as Evangelical and Protestant theology is approachable and also quite funny even is it even as a tech summer camp subject matter, for example, Faith Works and justification. Let's listen gauging we could take some of the arguments of recent years against natural law theory, which is more relevant than many of us have realized

Form some of the background of a soul-searching and debate on the right over recent Supreme Court decisions by supposedly conservative justices that was examined second engine of many Protestant thinkers that the whole idea of natural law Aquinas is a distraction the truly important goal of Engagement with the scriptures and Reliance on divine revelation. The book is intended for educated gentle readers who want to understand why so many projects Acres have been so ear it even though he lived centuries before Luther and what according to Beckwith they get so wrong about him, even if they did my rim among other topics Deck with addresses in this little volume for the centuries-old debate over whether Christians Jews and Muslims worship the same God and the Evergreen topic of purgatory for those who want to wait until the waters a decades-long battle between darwinists and atheist on the one side and those who adhere to the theory of intelligence. Design on the other. There's even a chapter on that.

Who would have thought that a medieval religious color would still be annoying some Scholars gendering devotion and others all these centuries later Francis JV. Listen.

My name is Sophie Lehman and I am one of the host of the new book Network. I'm talking today with Francis Jay Beckwith author of The 2019 book never dealt Thomas Aquinas is evangelical and Protestant. Thank you for joining us today for it is great to be here. Thank you. I'm delighted. Let's start with the title of your book and I'll get a little contentious here. This Texas deceptive word by word. This is a long question. You don't say for instance. Simply Aquinas is evangelical and Protestant but the Catholic Aquinas as Evangelical Protestant doesn't that create a roadblock for non-catholic Raiders in that they might say well if Aquinas Catholic he's of no use to me alternatively. Do you mean by the word in the Celtic Aquinas that there a six- that are not specifically Catholic but that you wanted to focus on its aspects of us thought that are definitely Catholic and that you believe that those aspects of its thought non-catholics need to dress to a better understanding.

Holidays between Catholicism Catholicism, or are you saying that the Catholic Aquinas was in many ways a photo posted to make a special even longer. That's what you mean by Evangelical after all. All Protestants are evangelicals as you can see terminologies pretty kitty here or not. You know that you did by the way you opened up with objections, which is what Aquinas says in the Summa theologica. He begins with questions and then be on a response to the objections, which is an old medieval way of dealing with issues that are contested self follow the rules simple quick answer inside with my Publishers idea the title, but they were a little logic behind it. So

The subtitle is chitin is supposed to be ironic in this sense. Obviously Aquinas is Catholic and that is true enough. But the what I'm what I'm suggesting in the rest of the subtitle is that

in a way those that claim Aquinas who are Evan jellicle some of them I think you had a quite a strong and so very want to say that Aquinas is really a kind of paleo Lutheran, but I want to say no. He's actually a Council of Trent Catholic. You know that Aquinas is so Catholic that he believes X y&z about things like natural law and he has nothing in common with what we have angelical Protestants believe in of learned from the great separation that occurred at the Reformation. I want to see actual Aquinas is closer to you than you think.

Photos of business tuition sets of folks that I'm dealing with in the block. There's the folks said that want to claim Aquinas and II.

I think that's wonderful. But I think that they they get them wrong in some ways. I want to see the other folks that want to distance himself from Aquinas actually get him wrong as well. Does that bathtub? You know, that's what I'm suggesting in the sub time. I was falling asleep definition of of terms. What do they mean by and Evan jellicle? That's as you probably would do us a contested question here. I have in mind mostly although not entirely


conservative Protestants that really, they need and in the 1940s in the united in the United States, although they were there are those that you could say or Evan jellicles who are mostly out of Anglo Anglican world.

Boat noodle they want to separate that they want to do two things that the self-described evangelicals and American fundamentalism that arises nearly 20th century that is most associated with certain important historical events like the Scopes trial where the great changes that occurred in Mainline Protestant seminaries the fights between the modernist in the fundamentalist. We're not fundamentalist like that. We want to redo a critical Scholars who won engage culture. We don't want to separate on the other hand. They want to say we're not modernist either. We will hold you in very high heels scripture. And so they want they want to be I want to go to be true to what they think is the kind of the the classical Protestant view of Philly, but at the same time that they don't want to associate open-minded.

Enclosures with culture that at the same that doesn't want a resistor to the separation ISM of of of the fundamentalist. So that's what that's why I think of Evan Drago product as they typically are associated with certain types of Institutions like Wheaton College in in Wheaton, Illinois to a lesser extent Biola University in Southern California Christian of the magazine Christianity today, and it was actually another magazine that that was formed around the same time called the Trinity magazine, which is actually now out-of-print really teaches a lesson. If you're going to name him you're going to create a name for a magazine called eternity. They're not go out of print right? So that's what I mean. But in the book as it is evangelical Protestants, I understand. I'll probably Center Evan jellicles. In fact I engaged

They briefly mention call barred in in one of the chapters and I think she would at least culturally and clean it cleans your labia a Protestant who would not associate with what we've it today call Evan jellicoe Road the other since I had tremendous influence on the theological formation of many of angelical.

So you mention Christianity today and it's actually gotten fairly liberal in recent years has another it has one of the things that's happened with evangelicalism. I think over the past 30 or 40 years a lot of evangelicals who lets a glue up in kind of Bible churches or more parts of the country who were interested in the academic life that they they do the undergraduate work at for the typical weather in Jellico schools like Wheaton in Viola Westmont, and another such place is going to go off make up their doctorates at places like University of Chicago Harvard Yale and Catholic schools like Notre Dame in Fordham, and they wind up

They're a kind of appropriating into the air and Angelica War review those things that they discovered that I think are very helpful to understand their thing not realizing that is actually transferred their face or is that consider themselves followers of Thomas Aquinas 50 years ago that would have been unheard of and I rather have you find certain evangelicals you mention kind of the liberalization of Christianity Today, you know writers and thinkers in that orbit willing to entertain ideas such a certain aspects of post-modernism or critical theory, that would have been enough, maybe 20 or 30 years ago. So like I do think that that what you see is a phenomenon that's ironically a consequence of Evans.

Desire to engage culture not realizing that it would actually change.


Get back to the the Protestant. I just want to give listeners are flavor of what are some of the issues involved getting back to the issue. And you're in the forward to your book which is written by a Catholic bishop Joseph white in the in his word of Pope Leo XIII in a famous encyclical of 1879 and led to what is known as the Thomas stick Revival. And for those of us were not Catholic. Could you please tell us what an encyclical is this one and 1/2 impact was the encyclical is a document issued under the name of the Pope who's ever the pope at the time it is teaching instruments usually addressed to the Bishops of the church and over the years though. It's it's kind of develop to where it's not only issued to the bishop.

The church, but also to sometimes it'll say The World At Large or or you know, the people at the church or language along those lines and it's considered to be a 14 of teaching of the papacy, but it's not considered to be infallible teaching spell Catholics are required to obey and to ascend to it but it doesn't mean that Catholics can't let they raised questions about it. So yes Papa Leo's is one of the sort of the beginning of the kind of modern era of what is called Catholic Social thought which arises soon after the demise of the paper state which occurs at the creation of what is called modern-day, Italy.

And so basically the Catholic Church up until the early 20th century had no actual identifiable State as it has now it's a very small Vatican City, but when they lost the papal State everything was turned over I was taken over by Italy and so ironically when the when the when the Catholic Church loses its kind of political sovereignty kind of changes the way the papacy thinks about its role in the world and it becomes much more of a spiritual papacy and less of a political one, although the encyclicals themselves involved typically comments and teachings about political and social issues. But not from the vantage point of a political Sovereign is like the president of the United States are the prime minister of England.

Albert as the spiritual head of the Catholic church. And so this the beginning of of of what we today the city quite often encyclicals by different holders up that of the papacy.

On this one was significant because it was about specifically about Reviving The thought of Thomas Aquinas is that correct? That is correct. It was issued in 1879 and spent much of Catholic theology is formulated with me is formulated.

In the categories in language of Thomas Aquinas soap, for example, after joining the Council of Trent men with the responses to Protestant challenges. The Catholic fraud are framed in the language of Aquinas. What happens as we enter the time of the Enlightenment 18th century 19th century. There are challenges to aquinas's way of looking at things not only outside the church, but within the church itself and Sole Mio by issuing this encyclical is calling on the church to have reinvigorated its understanding of Aquinas. And at the time there were very few translations of Aquinas into the vernacular languages.

After Leo issues and cyclical there is throughout the world translation to Aquinas the early 20th century 1920 the Dominican fathers translate these words. I think the ones in in the United Kingdom at Blackfriars translate the entire Summa theologica into English and it becomes accessible to more people who don't know which is what Aquinas wrote it so much of what branch of the interest of Aquinas today, I think could be traced back to Leo's encyclical.

Apropos of what Aquinas has to say to all Christians and you're right in the book that in particular the story of creation fall Redemption and a proper understanding of Aquinas to start benefit Protestants vs. Catholics. Could you say that could you just let people who are not religious at all can benefit by reading her book? I think what are the things that that Aquinas?

Conveys for those who have never let say we're not religious who have never had an interest in Reading Thomas Aquinas. It gives you an insight into Waylon, which people thought about Theology and the other disciplines that we typically associated with University life. So for Aquinas philosophy and Theology of work together to understanding of the way in which we look at nature is infused with his understanding of the way in which God creates an axe in nature any today for example in this is something that I deal with extensively in the chapter on creation and intelligent design. There's this tendency to think

God is a kind of mother object in the universe that we kind of plug-in when we can explain anything. I kind of God of the gaps that doesn't think that way at all about a he thinks Nature has its own laws its own particular things in nature with their dogs or cats are planning to human beings have their own natures and they they do certain things and that we don't need God to explain ordinary activities in nature. However, we do need God to explain why there such a thing as Nature's at all and delete Aquinas, especially if one is not a religious belief. I think the thing that stands out is how seamlessly he simply connext histological beliefs with everything else that he believes about the world and there's a kind of

Who were the first time here but there's a kind of you know, so, you know, there's a tendency today. We we think of this is something maybe that's part of popular culture or the word Louis. What's a kind of popular religion is communicate and we think of religion Izakaya, you know, it's it's not it's not serious. It's not about serious stuff. And so demanding for somebody that's why you don't even with the debates that are going on about covid-19 and restrictions on group meetings, right? So so you'll have some states where the governor's will say that are essential services will be permitted rights or businesses that have or or involved with essential services like

You know grocery stores in Horsham clinic Central in assets, right? So what if somebody doesn't can't really understand that and think you just watched Church on Zoom, right? It's just you know add and so for them to take religion is a hobby and I think when you read a quite a few allies well wishes for this is for grown-ups. He's talking about serious stuff. He talks about, you know details questions about what is it right to act in a way that results in the death of another human being, you know stuff that actually look at it. If you got to law school at idle. I have a legal background. I find it amazing that Aquinas deals with questions that you that I have found that I kind of law school. Did that cover things like

Contract law serious stuff. When is it when is a person capable for the consequences of their actions to have to attend the end of your action or if you simply foresee a bad thing. Are you culpable right? Everything's are these are kind of kind of questions that are that are serious questions that we deal with all the time and they were dressed in the context of a massive work in theology call the Summa theologiae, which is about five thousand Pages Aquinas wrote. So why are you think that

Stands out about Aquinas is and I think it's a long was again along the lines of theology for grown-ups is that he gone for Aquinas is not as often depicted in maybe the literature of the those guys called. The new atheist god is in a sort of grandfather in the sky. You know, it's a wrecking things. God is in some ways incomprehensible and the thing that also stands out when you read aquinas's that he's willing to admit. They're just things we don't know.

And that's okay. Is he still taught in introductory introductory philosophy courses and do secular philosophers teach him at all or do they just give them the five minutes of secular philosophers every intro to philosophy textbook of the deals with the existence of God that will have some extra from Aquinas. I've got several friends who are Aquinas Scholars who I would do would not identify as religious Believers that all you think Aquinas is important things to say. So yeah, he's I think that if you would have asked a typical philosopher Aquinas with least be in the top 10 for most philosophers.

They don't they don't try to send him off to the theater the theater that the theologians then I think so. We're going to be something to do that. But if if if you should have compiled a list of the most influential philosophers in history and you would ask a typical philosopher. I think they would be no real off Aristotle Plato Socrates Kant Aquinas in their menu. Augustine would make it in for some people. But yeah, he's considered to be one of the most important philosophers. It's not to show that that that you have any size of remember philosophers who think he's right. There's probably a minority that believe he's recruiting a minority of very small minority who was concerned. But they still carry a lot of weight in the world of philosophy and I think partly because of the role that Aquinas has played

In Catholic theology. And of course Catholicism is the largest largest Christian group and in the world, and obviously the whoever is the pope has a tremendous influence on International politics in and all sorts of other things. So, I think that Aquinas if we can't be ignored

I don't think so. I'm pretty sure know. I know we had our first Jesuit Pope which is a rivalry between the Dominicans in the Jesuit. So the Dominican the price or about this that the first item to it that it is in your book, you mentioned that obviously the Aquinas was a Dominican and for those of us who are not Catholic and don't know about the Catholic orders why it why was it significant? And he seems to be just absolutely determined to become a Dominican this family the post out and I would like to know why their phones I think it was for reasons of power that wasn't a powerful order I guess but they even put them under a sort of them and put them under house arrest. That's correct. So Aquinas, I grew up in a kind of semi aristocratic family who works for

Rick II II I believe if I'm not mistaken I forget his official title, but he'd she was saying I think king of Sicily if I'm not mistaken or Naples family he wanted a he had a desire from a husband from being a young child to to be drawn to kind of life to dedicated to God in Spanish. I want him to become a Benedictine that is a to be an added in in a monastery which was a very prestigious thing. But the friend they were two groups of two orders of fries that are rose several decades before Aquinas was born the franciscans and Dominicans first franciscans was founded by

Types of Cece and the Dominicans founded by st. Dominic and they were both would have called mendicant orders. They were Beggars but unlike the old order is that resided in monasteries that they were isolated from the general public the mendicant orders believe they had a calling to live in poverty to have to take a vow of poverty. But to be among the people that live in the rough-and-tumble with City Life and he was drawn to this but you know, the franciscans and Dominicans were, you know, kind of look down by upper middle class or aristocratic Catholics, you know, who would want to be Dominican or Franciscan. This is not what our children would join if they were to join a religious order, but Aquinas was drawn to this and

Messi's his brother and several of his friends abducted him and put him in a castle. I kind of had a house arrest try to convince him to change his mind that there's a kind of I don't know if it's possible or not. He is a prostitute in there to try to seduce him and he fought fought her off get all right, as this is I don't know if it's true that story and it is in the brief bio of Aquinas in in in the book because I I just wasn't sure what was a hundred percent true. I mean, it's one of those things you read everywhere, but it's difficult to really track down and I did find a couple offers to say that any of the apocryphal, that's right. I'd like to ask of the Dominicans was he drunk. It was the cleanest on to them. They already at that point or did he establish for them has a reputation for being serious Scholars.

Was he did he create that for them or was it was a pre-existing condition of attribute that that he just and also he was recognized apparently immediately. Is it a singularly brilliant young man? That's right for scholarship, you know, they were in some ways.

The Dominicans and they don't know what they would have. They held all Cat Clinic appointments at at at different institutions throughout what exact time was the Roman Empire. Although it didn't really exist at the time. But you know, the old Roman Empire they had they held appointments at a variety of different universities, but in this one's up because of his legendary intelligence and incredible productivity.

Seahorses the reputation that they already have.

It's kind of like Robert George, Princeton.

I wanted to ask if it's if it's getting to the the actual need of his thought of of Thomas Aquinas is very helpfully in the book. If it's in Thomas Aquinas is known for anything. It isn't believed that human beings have the capacity to know by their number reasoning far from the Deliverance is the scripture or please ye Authority that God exists and that there was a natural moral law. Could you please tell us what is meant by the term unneeded reason how that relates to Aquinas? I've never I've always had trouble understanding unaided reason so I don't even know what I mean by that.

Is the it's the view that that one can come to believe in God?

Without relying on what religious Believers would call sacred scripture. So for example supposing, you know, I'm reflecting on.

the universe and how things came to be and I think to myself I seems to me but that the Universe exhibits certain level of complexity equipment always existed and I conclude what's a that therefore there must exist a being that has always existed that doesn't depend on its existence and anything else and I conclude that this is God right now that I can actually discover some things about God so I can but say I reflect on this argument and I think well,

This being that created the universe, is it the sort of thing that depends on something else for its existence? Will it quit is because we have the same problem with this being as we would with the universe, right? So then I said we can of an infinite regress of causes there has to be a kind of first cause of all beings and somebody comes up with an argument like that back. There are doing philosophers like Aristotle and Plato who has concluded that there is a kind of first cause of existence and typically religious Believers call that being God that's that would be knowing god through or knowing about God to unaided reason that is to Simply your own thoughts your own argument without appealing to something that One Believes is special Revelation. So in the Ray Thomas thinks he believes that one could come to the conclusion through on any reason.

Is this the first cause in Eternal unchanging creator of all that exists and that's pretty much it. You can only conclude that this being is eternal unchanging and so forth. But as far as particular things about God that will take Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth is God's son that he died for our sins that God is a trinity this we cannot know through unaided reason this weekend only know when God acts in history and so for a choir he wants to make a distinction between those things that we can know by faith know who the things that are known through what he believes a special Revelation and those things that we can know by reason and it turns out for Aquinas those things that we can know by reason

Can overlap with nobody face but in your butt somebody who actually comes to face doesn't come to Faith through the reason they come to Faith through the grace of God actually have a case for Aquinas. I took somebody who simply can't explain it, but it's not technically a Believer who has Faith the person just simply believes in God as a result of their

Rational faculties that if they come to a conclusion based on certain arguments, but they moved later and let's say a come to face. They may have a conversion experience and when that conversion experience occurs, they don't they don't reject what they came to know to reason they just simply now.

Have a good relationship to that belief, and then that is one of face.

Well, I was going to I was going to ask that question in your in your book you use the terms that preambles of faith in the Articles of faith, and I wanted to ask those are those terminals those terms a client has his own particular formulation or did they proceed him articles of Faith Christian Church History. I'm not sure about the preamble to face. My my my own reading is that Aquinas is the is the first person to coin coin that phrase. How do I could be wrong about that? But they correspond to those things that we can know through reason.

And where's the articles of faith of those things that we can only know through special revelation?

Someone connected to that is also what's what is inherent in Morality? And I guess cuz you're ugly you're helping me either pretty abstruse concepts for average people. So just another reason to interview you could you discuss the relationship according to Aquinas between natural law and Divine Law simply refers to those beliefs that we hold about how human beings ought to act and it's called natural because it appeals to those explanations that human beings have toward those things that are good. So it wasn't an inclination that can be really confusing for modern folk smoothies with milk and inclinations is things like in sticks for for quite as inclination is something that has a

Uber to it, so for example human beings are inclined good neutral Nation to Value life

Write example that I use in my class to my students. I tell myself. I asked my students to think somebody would have come up to you and say we're supposed you were to accuse someone and being ignorant.

And they would have respond to you by saying that's I don't care. I just enjoy being ignorant and you would say you would say that was a polling. Why would you think that's appalling because you believe that your mind is Gurdurr towards knowledge.


interfere with that and is actually harm yourself believe this about life as well. So supposing you hear about somebody that takes their own life.

And if somebody would say that's that, you know, when you're sad about it the first question that usually someone asks is why? Why did they do it right with the percent of class you if you always want to find out why they did it. But if you like they were told by a friend that you saw let's say you're in common friend Bob today. You wouldn't ask why he's a lot right you realize that that's a good to which were ordered and it wouldn't be odd that Bob wants to be alive, right? I don't think it's the Bob just wants to be alive because he wants it because of Bob had let's say a desire not to be alive who would ask him to justify.

Why do you feel that way because we think it's not something to which he is ordered.

Nature, so we automatically think there's something odd about somebody that has that desire.

Right now, I'm sorry to Natural theology.

It was driving directly. So natural theology is usually refers to those things that we can know about God through natural reason and natural law is usually linked to it and so far as natural or at least according to Aquinas and other Christian thinkers depends on the existence of God.

Universal question about Divine Law a moment ago it so I'm going to answer that in light of what I said about natural law. So Aquinas says there are certain things that we could know about the human good that teaches us about how we ought to act but the fact is that there's other things about human nature that come into play when we make moral judgments and those are called the passions. So

is one of the vehicles that people have a natural law is wait a second and I'll think about a lot of issues that people disagree about issues like abortion where the nature of marriage or welfare policy abuse at Aquinas actually have no problem with that articulate is trying to explain why human civilization seem to have a lot in common into in so far as the way they order their lives. So this is using examples from the book. Are you the exact definition of abortion? I think it is a nice illustration. You have people that have deep disagreements on abortion. You have some folks that believe that abortion ought to be permitted.

From Oster or a tyranny of large portions of pregnancy and they have those that oppose abortion and they now you would think you know, just superficially those are radically different positions. We have to ask the question. Why do people actually disagree on abortion and it turns out their disagreement is really over the question of who and who is not a member of the human community. That is the language of some philosophers. What is a person with beans have moral status and there's some philosophers that argue that fetuses unborn human beings do not have moral status. So therefore abortion is morally permissible and others who argue that abortion is not permissible because unborn human beings have moral status, right? So you have these two different factions, right, but their disagreement isn't over the prince of

Is it wrong to kill innocent persons without justification the dispute is over what counts as an innocent person?

and so if you look at the way in which

we argue about different sorts of cultural issues. It was remarkable how much people actually agree with each other like they're always trying to in Subway justify their claims in light of what's a moral beliefs that we think are actually deeper, right? So you don't have people arguing what's let's kill innocent person yoga yoga strap what they argue with that Noble. This person does a human being is not a person have more status of capital punishment or whether Awards jawster debates about pacifism right. It's not that we don't understand why people hold those views we do understand why they hold those who you writin assisted are mistaken when they put the let's say the moral principles in the wrong order or or something along those lines, but we

That their views are utterly crazy understand. Why do hold of you say, do you know what symptoms to be? Okay, and he says well, yeah, that's true, but they still think you should still there for the natural law.

Rice, hope you can come up with like 20 rules about lice from just rooting a philosophy textbook or assertive reflecting on human nature. And the Aquinas is is that you're going to come up with some basic first principles, but you can also be influenced by your emotions. You're going to be influenced by your culture and your Society but you can't fully eradicate the natural law. It's going to come out in one way or another.

What take this relates to two two questions in your butt. When is that? You met you make the point of your book that you say of the book. The book is on how the work of Aquinas eliminate certain contemporary questions that are important to many serious Believers across Rite of Christian Traditions, including Frost in Catholic and how you relate the natural law to Protestants and Catholics you write you have two interesting imaginary characters that are very funny and effectively refer to as the frustrated fellow traveler on the solo scripture is that you right at the fellow frustrated fellow traveler. He was the one that I I was most intrigued by he said you said you can stay at the frustrated of this character the natural laws frustrated fellow fellow Travelers just disappointed. We discovered that many otherwise rational secular compatri is natural law.

Somewhat would you please it would and I am I'd like you to ask to explain. Why is this person demanding does is this person to Manning something of of natural law that's not really expect to do in the first place. And what were the natural law theorist and Catholic intellectual like such as Robert P. George say to the frustrated fellows out for you are the first thing is actually my colleague Alan Jacobs. Where was professor of a really good friend and I think the reason why the frustrated folk fellow traveler thinks the way he or she does is that

Often times Nashua is presented by Christians in the Public Square as a kind of response to the challenge often made by Defenders of a political liberal arts. I know what I want to know the political liberalism is not what we ordinarily think about in the pub in our politics it is it refers to a particular way of thinking about the Public Square that was made famous by a philosopher named John Wall's and John Wall said that that if you enter the Public Square, you have to be religious believer or if you hold any sort of contested worldview. You should do it. You either required to offer public reasons for your beliefs because you aren't justified in car worse than your fellow-citizens unless you can give them reasons that they would find reasonable given their own worldview. And so sometimes natural off Akers come in and they say we have

Public reason and it's the natural law.

And so what happens is that what we discover said and so much was no good answer the political liberal objection Aquinas is riding in the Middle Ages.

He wasn't writing. He wasn't talking about natural law as a sort of answer a kind of non to a logical answer to Skeptics. He was simply giving a description of what he believes human beings are in fact, like right this has there been in that it it's not surprising that we find throughout all human civilizations certain good to which our public institutions are order. Now, are there disagreements to be sure there are but the the disagreements

Never go to the point of denying those first principles of an actual law. And this is why you need according to Aquinas Divine Law are special Revelation because human beings

sometimes acted of self-interest out of passion. They are formed in a way by their culture which actually makes it difficult for them to be good. And that's why we need a scripture in the church according to Aquinas. And so for Thomas his claims about natural are actually quite modest. He he doesn't treat the natural laws a kind of answer to you know challenges by contemporary political Lee liberal philosophers in the 13th century, right? So, yeah, so that's expecting too much of natural law and the first date of natural law thinkers that I think do.

Natural nail are in this way. I think they are a little bit too ambitious.

How is the prologue differ from this basic morality?

The Golden Rule it just seems like well people people should behave in a upright and compassionate fashion. Is that is that you need to know how is natural law Innovative in that respect and I think that's just another way to articulate the natural log of the sort of ordinary sentiments and inclinations that people have so

for example

If I were to let's say you use a example I use in class. I ask my students. I also assumed to their parents are how do they know who their parents are?

And I know they taste really good reasons, right? You know, they do got me or whatever. I wanted. Why should they have? Why should those two people not to see some of my students were adopted. So if this were they haven't included opted students as one of those two people

Particular authority over you rather than my two people down the street.

And it's a question. I mean that you should have bothered by it because I've never been asked a difficult question to answer you will have to peel to the fact that there's something almost.

fundamental about

parents having a natural obligation to care for their children and children having a natural obligation to obey their parents make it difficult to figure out how much further can we go to prove that right to the natural law says access fundamental to who we are and we will we can't go any further compassion a I were to let's say there's a protest in downtown Waco and I hope to win the protesters. I see why you protesting. Well, I'm protesting the police brutality. Why you doing that? Cuz I think it's wrong. Why do you think it's wrong?

Play circle blueprint do that why you shouldn't do that?

Because right now it's just basic answer it it it, you know, another stration I've used in class. I'll tell you no more talk about its particular moral public more wish you and my students will simply Resort at some point and this is perfectly okay if we all do this and why is this question? Why should you be fair?

Really? No answer rather than simply saying it's the right thing to do, but then you'd say why can't you do the right thing to ask the question why she do the right thing. I mean attitude are the compliment conversations over right eye Illuminati washers that that the idea that you should do. The right thing is busiek to who we are and it's almost in a way on answerable to go to the optometrist. Optometry says you need glasses so you can see 20/20 you say well why?

Well, because that's that's what your eyes were made. And why were they made that way? And that's it. You can't you can't go any further than trying to Aquinas rocks natural is trying to articulate this kind of fundament ality to the way in which human beings are ordered.

Let's various a very good explication of a very important movement in schools. And I'd like to know return to the question of natural theology because in the book write this partisan seem to get Aquinas very forget the Catholic Church, very wrong on natural theology. Could you explain a little about what what were the differences are and what just a lot of history of natural theology is simply the discipline within psychology that deals with arguments.

About God that are not derived from special Revelation like the Bible or the Koran. So example of natural theology is

the arguments for God's existence from which I alluded to earlier and now there's some Evangelical theologians that have argued that because Aquinas in the Catholic Church call those things that we can know to Natural theology as to the Preamble the phrase.

There are things that they seem to believe that the church and Aquinas or teaching that one must have a rational argument for God's existence in order to have faith.

So what does a vision of something like this?

Individual is what's a told about Christianity and they want to believe but in order for them to take that first step of the leaf, they have to understand and grasp a philosophical argument for God's existence and Angelica theologians, like called him early and Colin Brown argue that this is inconsistent with what scripture teaches that we are. In fact saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves. It's a gift of God and if you'd rather argue your way into the roof, then that is not this is no longer Grace and why are you in the book is that's exactly what Aquinas is to?

Is that relate to the term implicit faith will that has to do with?

The the claim on the part of of something that you need to sort of know your every theological baroo's in order to have true. So and so and I use in the book is in it is my grandmother who was a devout Catholic red or the nice and cruel every Sunday and which includes it at the phrase that the sun is consubstantial with the father my grandmother who I love dearly probably I would I would that she didn't know what consequential meant our conference tanchel is a technical philosophical term that have to do with what counts as a singular being or or substance Believers don't have to act

Play as long as they have space in your nose people that know these beliefs. All I have to do is a sin to them and we have to do this in order like right, we're not all layers, right? We don't know all the revised statutes of our state and what are still held accountable for having to obey those laws, right? So strange that a person a sense to for which they don't have. Let's a sophisticated knowledge.

A proposed sophisticated knowledge. I think when one difficulty for non-catholics to understand is there so many kinds of Grace and I was I was making notes as I was reading your book that I wrote down Mitchell Grace Cooperative grace and grace types of Grace. Is there one particular type of Grace that is crucial. What would a all actually own braces the same but it just has different operations for Aquinas. So the grace that you received in that I can get manifested in different ways. It's called sanctifying Grace. So one would he wouldn't trying to do with cooperating and operating Grace is this?

She wants to explain why is it that?

Saint Paul says that we are saved by grace not have ourselves. It is a gift of God, but at the same time we actually are how cold the bill for acting and not acting and we're actually told in the gospels and in the Epistles that we would receive rewards to having certain reconcile rewards in the fact that Jesus says that the difference between the sheets in the go to what they did and didn't do. So, how come you say that we're not say that were saved by grace and same time until Aquinas says, well the initial Grace to receive at baptism allows us to secure that the chamber's house and allows us to cooperate.

With God's will God's who gives us the ability to act in Grace and it is with him. It is through his power that we act it's a mystery to the waiting for the Catholic. The Incarnation is the same as is a kind of right. So chooses of Nazareth is with God and man, he's not he's not a combination of both in the sense that he's half man half God or an amalgamation of both but it was both Nature's, right? So God is acting through him and yet he is also acting as a human being and so when the Catholic talks about gross working through the human being in a way, it's it's a waiting with me to participate in the Divine Life.

And so even though we are rewarded it's open of the God. God gets the credit for it like the god is so powerful under the Catholic view. He's his omnipotence is so great through tree creatures without compromising their freedom.

Suicide Squad is a novelist grape to pick him up. The best analogies are they are because they're in my truck. So when I might might my late mother-in-law she would do whatever they have arguments sometimes kind of playful arguments and she would say comparing apples and oranges and ice is what is the best food? I wish to tolt the speaker right that has a novelist and the routing account of living a better example of being a story a true story and writes about how people act he doesn't have complete control over how they acted.

Yeah, this is an account of people acting freely until when they weigh under the other Christians that hold this you as well just not Catholics that God it is. His omnipotence is such that he is able to work through free creatures without compromising their Liberty in the same way. Let's say an author is able through his novels to do you have a characters act freely are they could not have acted otherwise

This relate to your your use of the knowledge knowledge or bigger speech you say the cleanest is as concerned with getting Heaven into us as us getting into that's right. That's why it's over isn't

This is not kind of this is it this is the thing for Aquinas. The bottom line for him is for us to be in Union with God and he can't 40-gallon in this life because of the distance between humanity and the divine nature, but we can get a little bit of a glimpse of it and that life involves us.


the image of Christ more and more about getting you know what, you know, we're going to wind up right at the end at the one that is important, but it's also conversion and something that just doesn't involve a kind of

songs when your set of beliefs but requires an internal change of the person as a consequence of God's grace o

It's not just you know, this is a question that one off and gets high. Sometimes are Catholic students at Baylor come up to me and say, you know how to another joke with student ask me if I died right now would I know that I would you know that you're in heaven. How do I answer that as a Catholic and in the Catholic answer is that we trust in God's grace and then we shouldn't be presumptuous.

braid a sew-in side

The Christian faith is simply a matter of reading a prayer and you're instantly you got your ticket to have it now and I think it's kind of you know, the kind of caricature of the way in which even the Protestant reformers thought. So, I don't want listeners to get the impression. That's what I believe all that Angelica Protestants think but in terms of Serta popular evangelicalism, that's the way in which evangelism takes place, right, you know, just say this prayer you you know, and you will be you'll make it into heaven and Aquinas looking into heaven is it is is is where we're trying to get to go but being in heaven is being in Union with God when he calls the beatific vision and didn't want to be in Union with God you have to actually be transformed and to be in your transform by his grace and you do this.

By allowing him to work through you and some elements of human Free Will and talk with this but it's a will that is moved by grace.

I just want to remind listeners that we were talking today with Francis Jay Beckwith author of the book never doubt Thomas the Catholic Aquinas as evengelical crossed it will Frank you just been discussing heaven and I just like to spend a few moments on area that I didn't realize that Catholics believe in front of the stove because I'm not a very was not brought up in any faith it all so it doesn't really count but you talk about the believe in purgatory and Protestants do not how does that relate to is that a stumbling block for defense with Aquinas or is it just do they regard that as they just can't even address him for holding such views or is that just a minor work of his and it's a blue towel by the Catholic Church said that there is a place that's not happen in which an individual

Earl is cleanse so that they can be worthy of heaven and it's called purgatory and the idea of purgatory can actually be found very deep in church history Augustine talks about it. Most people are aware of purgatory from Dante's Divine Comedy II. The purgatorio is about purgatory and a lot of our view of the Purgatory have been beaten by Dante's imagery which is not official Catholic Doctrine. It's just simply his way of describing in literal terms on this Earth in between place. So afore quite SSS with the Catholic Church itself.

Most people are not going to die in a perfected state or in a state of total cleansing of one's sins and influential inclinations. And so one must go to a place called Purgatory where one goes through a kind of of

reformation a kind of sanctification in a little bit about this in it in the book in the in the chapter on justification of when dealing with what are the comments made by my country wall since each of the Houston Baptist University who is actually a Protestant who believes in purgatory and there are far worse things to do CS Lewis believe in purgatory. And he was I was thinking somewhere he's a difficult issue party because it's not explicitly asserted in scripture. And if you want holds to a Sola scriptura review it becomes, you know, it's difficult to justify by inference. They believe that there are passages of scripture that I moved to a kind of posthumous. I need 412 B to be cleanse there and also the fact that if you go.

Church history the idea that one ought to pray for the dead so they can be worthy of heaven and also some of the comments made by a gust in and out another early church fathers on leather handle. There's a problem for Protestants realize that we very few of us die a day in a kind of singer of your sanctification and they also realize that one cannot be in the presence of God and not be wholly so know how how do they deal with it? And I was actually panel 8 years ago at the Evangelical theological Society on this question and I was I did not realize this until I seen this panel that Protestant Skyward d230 including myself and and the tube was one of the other two he defended Purgatory if I did it the other two didn't

Do you realize the problem and each of them turn up with their own way of thinking through this issue? So, since especially Evan jellicle Protestants that have a the come out of a kind of revivalist tradition that is a tradition of a of a new LED conversion. And and so the idea that there has to be a place in between strikes them as being inconsistent with the efficacy of the grace of God to save the soil. What why would you knew that if it what if you give God's grace was sufficient

And the Catholic answer is that Ruben Purgatory is Grace as well.

Well, we're getting towards the end of the interview and I've got stuff for us.

I hope you have a few more minutes. I wanted to ask him in in the book. It is your ear engage very respectfully, but friendly with Protestants tactfully, but sternly tell him what they get raw and one of them you mentioned earlier the Council of Trent and could you tell us what what Protestants are getting wrong with a Visa V Aquinas of the Council of Trent was the Council of Trent 1545 and 21563. And then you mentioned in the book The catechism of the Catholic church in the 1990s, which teams are centuries between those documents and I just wonder why was why was the Catholic Church still wrestling with something? So fundamental is latest 1990s. Okay, the catechism that came out in the in the 1990s was the

Is a result of a John Paul II Pope John Paul II war during its Creation in publication. He wanted Catholics and non-catholics to have one place where I can look to that would be a definitive, you know summary of Catholic Doctrine there had been I don't think this is the last cat official was meted tall was Jackie was the Trent catechism in the 16th century and over the years. They've been numerous and cyclicals a couple of church councils. And so he wanted something post-vatican II. That's what are summarized Catholic teaching So Def summer about justification in the cataclysm wasn't something new that the church have been wrestling with it was just a way for the churches with summarize it so that summarize the doctrine so that Catholics and non-catholics cancer to go to one place to find it. Now if the Council of Trent itself as you mentioned is

Is the middle of the 16th century is the result of the Reformation of the Catholic church at the time of the Reformation was having problems. There was corruption there was there was not any problems with the education of proust there was if I mention corruption in the church and it had to go to that together and it took about 30 years for the church to finally get the Council of Trent together and it had to deal with any of the issues raised by Luther and Calvin and tingly and those in the the the radical of branch of the reformation. And so the Council of Trent is essentially a response to the challenges of of those Protestant reformers and when I talk about the Council of Trent in that chapter what I'm doing there is showing the

What the Council of Trent says about the doctrine of justification is not different from what Aquinas says about it what Augustine says about it and with the modern catechism says about it. The reason why I spend a lot of time doing that is at the stinkers that I am responding to our threat. What I call friends at Aquinas who think that Aquinas is view of the doctrine of justification is inconsistent with what the Catholic Church teaches at both Trent and in its modern catechism and what I argue with that it's actually quite seamless that they are not saying anything different now one reason why I think Aquinas probably seems to them to be different is that a quiet place is not writing in response to

Colleges to the Catholics You by people that have left the Catholic church. So there isn't that's what a polemical tone that you get in the Council of Trent when thinkers like John gerstner and RC sproul's annoying Guy season 3 of who am I? I I respond to in the book you are reading Aquinas.

Through that he's not Suamico that he's riding in a way that is very congenial to their own intuitions. But they also really love him wonderful, but you're not going about it. You're mistreating him while you're doing that. That's a problem with something you lie. I actually have not I guess when I was younger, I didn't appreciate and I realize it now that even you know, I didn't grab at 8 to people that we love colors. So I don't think that's I mean I find that I find myself once in awhile, you know, somebody watching somebody's video on YouTube Urban.

And I'm realizing. Oh actually I disagree with that. It's too bad and it was it was a philosopher that I really liked and one of my professors was appalled by it. He said I can't believe you like that thinker and that would make you an ax is an existentialist or some other I should get exactly what it was but I got for myself or I guess that's what I am.

So you think so, you know what I think was words with these new guys fall in Aquinas was somebody that really impress them intellectually and can really help their Evan jellicles face because all three of them grew up in Traditions that didn't have very strong intellectual roots. And so they were drawn to Aquinas. They saw somebody that can really help and illuminate the thinking and I think it affected the way they read him elsewhere.

Thank you. Thank you very much. I better I better in the interview now because I think we're having a little bit of technical trouble like that. I'm not sure I'm getting a little audio feedback, but I'll try this last question. If you don't mind one of the things I thought was interested when you were referring to how much they love Aquinas was. I referred to as I heard a female philosopher on a partner for doing is cuddly, but I'd like to ask you now that you're ditional final question on the new books Network and that is what are you working on?

Wow, I want to think I got a couple of things coming out. So I got there a text with me not I'm not really working on them. I still got to get the galleries. I've got a tractor coming out in a in a book called discipline philosophers. It's a broken. It's a kind of a collection of Quasi autobiographies by philosophers who are kind of off the beaten path so I can apply as a a conservative Catholic philosopher and that there aren't a lot of us. So I was invited to contribute to the book their other losses in there that are not religious who happen to be with her Libertarians and others until I was invited to contribute so I just completed that and I've got a

An article coming out in the Journal of Medicine and philosophy on a book that was published 40 years ago and it was an issue of the journal honoring that book and the book is called principles of biomedical ethics by James Childress and Tom beecham. It's become a kind of standard text in medical ethics and I was honored to be invited out to be one of us think a half a dozen of professors who have been influenced by the book to to write a kind of critical essay about a portion of the book I cooperated with one of my former students Ali Thornton and that's going to be coming out soon. We said yeah, that's right. And then I got a project. I'd like to work on that and you can say is kind of right now.

Article on this question and that is the question of who is religious is religion special and it's a it's a project that addresses a question that's been raised by certain philosophers a law about religious liberty. They have questions are very very relevant today because that's very much.

But we shouldn't treat religion in which Confucian treatment conventional religion as special under our laws. We should treat religious beliefs like we do let's say other people's firmly held beliefs that they took so many ways a person could do a kind of sex with a wrist and if there's gold do you say about the nature of the universe that are at a parallel to religious beliefs those beliefs should be accorded the same kind of respect under the law as conventional religious beliefs and sympathetic to this file so and a little bit

Because I do think that there are aspects of religious belief that don't have a secular parallel and and I'm and I and I think that it may be a mistake to treat our religious beliefs in this fashion going to put in for a research leave next year to the to work on that.

I think that's interesting because some some intellectuals argue interesting topic intellectuals again, like Robert George argue that that secular humanism is in a way it's own religion. It has its own articles of faith and so forth and it's kind of interesting interesting question. We'll see what you say about it in his book Clash of orthodoxies is where he he presents this and they say that but I wonder if what happens if we can trace him everything in religion to to a secular View Optical issues, but I'm not sure about things like the sacraments or you know, the true charcoal aspects of religion, but I'm not sure you can do that, but

We'll see. We'll see what you say when in when when that appears. So thank you very much. And with that I will just think the scholar we've been talking to today Francis J Beckwith author of the Celtic Aquinas as Evangelical and Protestant and thank you listeners. Thanks everyone.
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