Saturday, 27 September 2008

Why revelation is necessary

We started our introduction on the Summa, and I intend to post a few of short thoughts on my blog now and then. The first is on Prima Pars, Question 1, Article 1 (I q1. a1). St. Thomas is arguing that the philosophical sciences are not enough to come to know God.

Although we can discover God through reason, as God is reason, St. Thomas argues that only with reason as a tool to come to know God it would proof very difficult for most people to find Him. Not all are skilled in the art of reason, and many might be deceived. Also, it would be only known to the few who can afford to spend the amount of time required to discovering God. Since the knowledge of God is essential for man's salvation it follows that philosophy alone in not enough.

Apart from helping us to find God revelation also makes it possible to make known things about God who we cannot otherwise know. One reason is that our reasoning is inferior to God, so we cannot understand everything that is Gods. The ancient philosophers had an understanding of "a god" that was supreme over all created things, but not on who or what this god is. Therefore revelation is required for us to understand more about this God, and to know him better even to the point that we can have a personal relation with Him.

It is important to keep in mind though, that with revelation comes faith, so what is revealed by God then must be accepted by faith! When we do this however and open our hearts to God, we start trusting Him and walk with Him, our lives are completely transformed as God reveals more and more of Himself to us!

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