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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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12/07/2004

Today in Church History 

{This should have gone up yesterday, but I goofed. Sorry.}

I've done one of these this week, but I have a couple more. Some important things happened, and we need to think about the implications.

December 6, 1273.

Throughout his life, Thomas Aquinas had fought to be able to express his beliefs. He was called a "dumb ox" by his fellow students. His wealthy family didn't want him to become a monk -- going so far as to hire a prostitute to seduce him.

Thomas prevailed, and the church has been indebted to him ever since. Without his writings and philosophy, the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church would be very different. His Summa Theologica is regarded as one of the most important writings of the Middle Ages. He is widely regarded as being one of the greatest thinkers in all of Christendom.

On this date, he received a vision. When he was asked to tell of his vision, he simply said "Such things have been revealed to me that all I have written seems to me as so much straw. Now I await the end of my life."

What did Thomas see? Nobody knows. I think that it's clear that whatever he saw, it was enough to show him that, in the long run, disputations and debate are meaningless. Aquinas' theology, and that of most of the medieval Scholastics, taught that reason alone was enough to get to a saving knowledge of God. Centuries later, Martin Luther realized that the endless string of "ergo" {therefore} was leading people nowhere. He realized that you can 'ergo' straight to Hell -- the key to saving faith is in the word "Nevertheless."

God is omnipotent
Jesus is God
Ergo Jesus is omnipotent
Ergo Jesus could have defeated the Roman soldiers and established His kingdom on earth.
NEVERTHELESS, He dies willingly for our sins.

God is holy
We are not holy
Ergo there is a separation between God and Man
NEVERTHELESS, God has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him.

That one word makes the difference.


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