A QUESTION OF NEO-ROMANISM
There appears in the technically excellent Creation Magazine, a regrettable tendency towards what might be called neo-Romanism. It is associated with doctrinal material which at times appears either in it or in associated work. One repeated error, not giving all highly relevant facts, appears in Creation magazine Vol. 33, No. 3, 2011 (cf. Lord of Longsuffering ... Ch. 2), and it has SINCE been repeated elsewhere. Now In Vol. 42, No. 1, 2020, pp. 26ff, of the same magazine is a further selective treatment, in the same direction, this time of the arch-persecutor, Thomas Aquinas. He even puts in principle and was given much heed!
Since this new reference of the same kind has appeared also, it makes the trend the more dangerous. On this trend see DBSA Department of Bible and Spiritual Affairs Vol. 11, Ch. 6, with Vol. 6, Ch. 8, and Vol. 5, Ch. 10, World Amiss, Heaven Abroad Ch. 7. Now is another exhibit, one treating what has by some been regarded as the chief Romanist philosopher.
Amongst other treatments of Romanism, we have such aspects as those below in view. But let us consider the Aquinas matter. Is he a great brilliant thinker of appeal to Romanist and Reformer alike; or is his contribution one more perilously pointed contribution to that Romanist flurry which had an orgy of Christian deaths on its platter, rather reminiscent of the head of John the Baptist: that is, murders wrought in the pursuit of their will, principles and unbiblical doctrines ?
To be faithful to Christ, there are some aspects and items one is constrained to point out, and far from trivial they are (cf. I Timothy 4:1ff.). As with cancers, small things can accumulate to ruin a body; but the basis of these things here entering into the domain of Romanism and its associated philosophies and traditions is neither novel nor small.
After all, the most inclined to revise the attitude of 400 years of Protestantism to Rome, cannot ignore Thomas's relegation of those not conformed to Rome's configuration of man-made additives to the Bible, to the State. Why ? in order to dispose of them and this has no slight problem. It does rather confuse the act of being crucified, as Christ exemplified and even essentialised it, with that of imposing crucifixion, or parallels of torture and elimination on others as ironically noted by Philip Schaff. In his History of the Christian Church. In, Vol. VI, he considers the contributions of Aquinas, as for example on 20, 78, 190, 649. In the last refers to the famed reformer Colet as citing Aquinas for his arrogance in attempting to define all things. That was his interest, but as he indicated, this formed a barrier imposed on his work, making it an impoverishment of the Bible in its philosophic juxtaposition.
.On the statement of Aquinas at that force level, see Department of Bible and Spiritual Affairs Book 5, Ch. 10.
Talk of ancient hatred can only distort the truth. Hatred of sin is the point, not people, of murder, of overall teaching power on the part of papal people (cf. Matthew 23:8-10), in flat contradiction to the commands of Christ. Hatred of the repetition by ANY other body, after such a lead at the religious level , even in Christ's name is the need, to outwit ignorance as a vehicle of being taken once more by any such pseudo-Christian snare as history instead of progressing, in this should regress.
After all, what has Europe itself been doing ? Let us forget for the moment its two not so glorious world wars of the recent past (in such a perspective as this).
What are these traditions ? those of the Inquisition ? It has failed to affirm so far in its new Constitution all this glorious christianity, spelt here with a small 'c' because it is a small and diminutive edition of the real thing which is actually based on the meek but majestic Messiah, Jesus Christ, not on inquisitions* for centuries, grabbing riches for Rome and Romanism, and torturing bodies whose possessors do not believe in illicit magic and dreamed doctrines which are neither true not biblical (cf. SMR pp. 1032-1088H). There is no glory in shame.
The ONLY GLORY is in the meek Majesty of the Messiah who DIED rather than murdered, who AROSE rather than slithered into ridiculous posturings of 'greatness' reduced constantly to ruin or the deliquescences of pride overruled and dripping into its dank spiritual slums as for papacy. By contrast, what the Messiah claimed, He demonstrated; what He said He would do, He did, what He asserted, it stood and all the king's horses (such as those of Herod) and all the king's men (such as those of the High Priest), yes and all Rome's audacious imperial aura, reduced to folly indeed by Nero as time passed, could not smash the Holy One, though they tried as much as wit and work could muster.
At the Apologetics level, Thomas, as Gordon Clark points out in the first volume of The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Thomas has many errors. One is to use circular reasoning. He indicates in his Summa, that motion is a way to prove God, but in the process of argumentation, he declares that you must have a First Cause of this. But that, says Clark, is the point, the issue. It is merely at that stage, being begged. You cannot logically USE what you have to prove, to prove it. Indeed, no set of first or other principles can be used to prove God, since they are merely assumed in the light of human philosophy, the standing of which is to be proved, and cannot be without God. Hence the difficulties of Thomas with his various invented categories of what exists this way or that, to be superimposed on the issue, which is effectively not to USE assumptions or perspectives, but to avoid them.
There is no need to go to tremendous length to seek to establish principles in terms of which being so, you can argue for God. Nor do you need to limit these to the area of sensory impact as evidently appealed to Aristotle, evidently almost a patron non-saint of Aquinas. That is merely a phase of the impact, like the hum of mosquitos which have a far greater series of testimonies that this one aspect, the neglect of which categories leads easily to error, since parts are often indicative of whole, to be researched by other means, for a total and adequate testimony. What the method of this site presents is listed with no presuppositions. That is a distinctive of its existence. Its data are non-exclusive, just as Romans 1:17ff., shows them as they are, non-elusive but rather manifest.
We do not presuppose a world view; our task is to establish a correct one. So we proceed, not on this or that line of data, or in terms of assumed principles, but in terms of ALL data, at whatever level, aesthetic, poetic, commercial, spatial, critical power, analytical usefulness and verifiable utility. We pursue with what we have been given at EACH and EVERY level to find, as with anything else, what is causally required. The inability to give a cause of causality without engaging (again) in circular reasoning, makes it simply a segment of given reality. Verification on this method is of the essence.
Does the different procedure, unencumbered with world views, but using given abilities in the normal way, lead to verification ? Yes, this it does whether you use scientific method, where applicable, or other procedures where relevant. Repeatable testability is only one phase of aspect, but it is a very useful one, in considering the results of investigation at this level. When as is here the case in due course, you find it necessarily true that the Bible is the commanded and commissioned speech in written and authorised form of the Almighty, and that all it declares uses causality, whether in explaining some of God's actions, or evaluating some of mankind's, then it is apparent that it is both relevant and deemed fitting. For what ? It is this for treating episodes and events, whether at the natural, the supernatural, the personal or the impersonal levels. It is simply NOT a principle OVER God, but one chosen by Him and instituted in our space-time, consciousness, spirit, mentality and matter world in its inter-changes, invention and characterisability.
It is a modus operandi of value in this domain of Creator and creation. It is of course as noted, also logically impossible to dispense with it in our created mental and spiritual arenas. It is inherent in the type of system God has invented and which we have, and does not in itself distort. God indeed in His demonstrable revelation invites us to reason together, and at times gives concerning His own responses, as in Psalm 78, many items in progressive and cumulative reasoning about His own actions.
See Predestination and Freewill, Appendix on Kant. On the method here created, see for example Aporchestra, Secession from Presupposition Ch. 9 with What is the Chaff to the Wheat ? Chs. 3 and 4 (acronym, APBCA for this A-propositional Biblical Christian Apologetics).
In short, reason leads irrevocably to the Bible and the Bible not only to revelation including what could not be proved from outside, such as the intensive love of God and willingness to present Himself in human form as a sacrificial Saviour, needful for all, and available for any, but to indicate the often despised testimony open before all, of His divine nature. This is followed through in the Non-Presuppositional method used on this site, and so the steps TO the Bible in progression of aspects, and then FROM it, as treasure found and verification in BEING there and again filled with such unmatched explication power of any and every basic question of theology and philosophy concerning man.