Chapter 1: The Revelation of the Father 41
Chapter 1: The Revelation of the Father The purpose of this chapter is to make clear that Aquinas’ speculative theology is consciously and firmly rooted in the revelation of God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit, as witnessed by the Scriptures.1 That is, as Aquinas understands it, the Father is revealed in the words, deeds and very person of Christ, which revelation is completed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Thus, terms like “properties,” “consubstantiality,” “person,” “relation,” and “notion” are not invented out of thin air; they are derived from the Church’s reflection on the words of Christ himself. In Aquinas’ view, the doctrine of relations is not a human construct fabricated four centuries after Christ but is contained in the Bible, even if not in obviously explicit terms. Aquinas’ speculative theology, which we shall examine in the subsequent chapters, is thus not some absurd gratuitous exercise but is based on what God has said and done! A review of selected passages from the Thomistic corpus, especially his biblical commentaries, and chiefly the Commentary on John, will suffice to make this point. Our exposition will be divided into two major parts, treating how the Father is revealed (I) by the Son and (II) by the Holy Spirit. In these sections, our strategy is simply to allow Thomas to speak for himself; by quoting him at length, the evidence will be clear enough. I. The Father is revealed by the Son We find it most natural to...
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