THE BALANCE OF FAITH AND REASON: THE ROLE OF CONFIRMATION IN THE THOUGHT OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
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The evidentialist objection against Christianity, which states that the Christian faith does not have sufficient evidence to justify belief, can be troubling for Christians, for they do not wish to say that their beliefs are founded upon mere human evidence, and yet, they also wish to affirm that “those who place their faith in this truth, for which human reason offers no experience, do not believe lightly, as those following unlearned fables” (SCG I.6). St. Thomas Aquinas offers a unique and compelling solution to the evidentialist objection—a solution that confirms the Christian belief that faith is a gift from God, but which also respects the proper place of human reason within the believing life of men. St. Thomas teaches that God provides both internal and external confirmation of what He reveals, although only the internal confirmation of the work of the Holy Spirit is necessary to justify Christian belief. Aquinas’s teaching concerning the role of divine confirmation of revealed truths provides at least one important key to understanding the delicate balance between faith and reason within the Christian life.
Issue Theme: “Renewing the West: Religion, Atheism, and Common Sense.” Guest Editor of the Issue: Tomasz Kopiczko
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