Free Will

In this post I will argue why the definition of Free Will as “the ability to consciously choose to do something” is best. I think man can be manipulated and at the same time be free–provided we understand the word manipulated in a certain sense. By manipulated I do not mean that man is free for the most part and then at certain times God chooses to intervene. This view would hold that man and God are equal metaphysically: an impossibility. What I mean by manipulated is God’s activity as first cause. God is the first cause of everything since … Continue reading “Free Will”

Augustinian Predestination

At the moment, I am only going to post some objections to the Augustinian/Thomist view of predestination since I am starting to move away from that view due to the difficulties it poses. The Augustinian view of predestination suggests that after the fall all of mankind is destined for hell and that God, to show both aspects of his goodness, must either, by justice, condemn the great majority to their natural dwelling place or, by mercy, save a minority. At first, this view seems like a brilliant resolution of the problem of predestination but, later on, we can see that … Continue reading “Augustinian Predestination”

What Can a Wayfarer Know?

Mankind resembles Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s painting of the blind leading the blind. As the great Pascal tells us (great not because of his often misunderstood Wager but for the extent of his vision): Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it. Without having a clear picture of the relationship of theology to philosophy, and, more broadly, that of the order of grace to the order of nature, mankind is led between the twin evils of rationalism and fideism. On one side we have the order of … Continue reading “What Can a Wayfarer Know?”

Out of the Frying Pan and the Fire

One of the most characteristic aspects of World War I as an experience was the constant rain of artillery shells: these shells, as opposed to rifle fire, were the greatest source of casualties. Nothing could save one from these shells. Although ducking down or hiding in a dugout could add to one’s chances of survival, ultimately none of these measures of self-defense could make one safe beyond doubt. In the memoirs of this era, we read of countless stories of individuals surviving a shell that would have destroyed them had they not decided to leave a certain dugout. We hear … Continue reading “Out of the Frying Pan and the Fire”

Rediscovering Lost Horizons

Rediscovering the relationship between faith and reason is necessary for understanding and engaging with the atmosphere of our times. Indeed, it has been the church’s constant tradition to show those outside its fold how they possess vague glimpses of what the church teaches, believes, and confesses. However, before analyzing the relationship between faith and reason, we must know what faith and reason are. For through understanding the two terms we can better understand the nuances and particularities of their relationship. The moderns have often overlooked the dual nature of reason: intellectus and ratio. D. C. Schindler points out that the … Continue reading “Rediscovering Lost Horizons”

Quo Vadis Thomistice?

After considerable reflection I must agree that, despite the wisdom of certain finer points of St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas truly represents the highest point of philosophy and theology and is, in this capacity, the most effective response to modern challenges. I found out that St. Thomas held positions on faith and philosophy which I thought he had totally rejected: the extrinsic influence of the faith on philosophy, the metaphysical doctrine of the divine ideas and participatory metaphysics, mystical knowledge of God, and monarchism. Aquinas is called the Common Doctor for a very good reason. He was not a wild innovator … Continue reading “Quo Vadis Thomistice?”

Doctor Seraphicus

Ever since the great Thomist revival of the 19th century many Catholics have forgotten about St. Bonaventure and honored only St. Thomas. Before investigating the merits of St. Bonaventure I will say nonetheless that, as the tradition of the Church demonstrates ever since his death, St. Thomas is a truly marvelous expositor of Christian philosophy and doctrine whose teachings are to be seen as the clearest guides to the truth in a confused world (although there are other church doctors, like Bonaventure, who fulfill the same task but in a perhaps less effective way).  However, contrary to popular belief, even … Continue reading “Doctor Seraphicus”