4. Summa Contra Gentiles By Thomas Aquinas Summary Book 1 Chapters 7-9

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Chapter 7

That the truth of reason is not in opposition o the truth of the Christian Faith


That which is in reason by nature are most true.  It is impossible to find those things false.  Finding those things of reason to be true, and faith be true, those things reason knows naturally cannot be opposed to faith.   (Thomas believes that logic is real, emergent, and natural.)

The student’s mind receives from the teacher the contents of the teacher’s mind.  Likewise, natural principles come to us from God, and are products of divine wisdom.  Falsehood cannot be from god.

Therefore, those things which are received by faith from divine revelation cannot be contrary to our natural knowledge.


Contrary arguments would never be created by God as they hinder us from knowing God.

Being from nature, those principles held by reason are unchangeable as long as nature REMAINS.  (Truth is unchanging, even as nature changes, nature REMAINING is all that is necessary, since truth is structural, not accidental.)

From this we may evidently conclude that whatever arguments are alleged against the teachings of faith, they do not rightly proceed from the first self-evident principles instilled by nature. Hence they lack the force of demonstration, and are probable or sophistical arguments, and consequently it is possible to solve them.

Chapter 8

In what relation human reason stands to the truth of faith

Agents produce acts consonant with the agent. Dogs have puppies, not walruses. The acts are not perfect copies of the agent.

Sensible things, which inform the reason, are creations or acts of God.   Therefore, sensible things retain a certain likeness to God.

Human reason (part of sensible things) is adapted to “the knowledge of the  truth of faith” as long as it can make good arguments for it.   These arguments are not that same as understanding the thing in itself.

However weak the arguments are, it’s useful to practice them as long as one does not believe you have truly comprehended God through them.


Chapter 9

Of the order and mode of procedure in this work


Wise men must examine the both kinds of divine truth and work to refute falsehoods.

This being our duty, it is best to not try to convince our adversaries, who have not had divine revelation and have not access to that kind of truth, but to meet his objections and arguments with natural reason, which is consonant with truth, and therefore God.

Our opponent may be convinced by Scripture confirmed by miracles, but we can’t cause that to happen.   The insufficiency of these arguments would likely confirm them in their errors.   (This is one of many of the protestant errors.)f

We’ll proceed then to declare the truth of faith and of reason by logical and probably demonstration by aid of philosophers and holy men.

We’ll start with the most obvious and work to the lest obvious and with God’s help, find truth and refute our opponents.   1st, we’ll address what pertains to God himself.  2nd, the creatures from him, and 3rd God as final cause.

Speaking of God himself, we’ll demonstrate that there is God.

I am reading the Fr. Laurence Shapcote, OP translation.  I have the opera Latin/English 2 volume set from the Aquinas Institute.  You can buy it here.   I think you can find it in less expensive out of copyright editions if you look for the Dominican Friars Translation on Bezos’ site, or for free at archive.org.

I’m reading about 35 chapters per month. It’ll take about two years.  Join me.  You can start a the beginning by going back to post number one here.  1. Summa Contra Gentiles by Thomas Aquinas, a summary

4 thoughts on “4. Summa Contra Gentiles By Thomas Aquinas Summary Book 1 Chapters 7-9”

  1. Divine revelations. Yeah, the problem is when everyone claims to be receiving divine revelations, it’s hard to tell who is actually channeling the divine, q.v. the Mormons, who really had to back off from this. Priests ain’t an accident.

    Even better: The rebellion of Korah, unknown to Christians although it’s right there in their Bible.

    Divine revelations are not allowed in the Patio of Reality where drinks are being served, overpriced and watery though they may be.

  2. Mr. Morgan,

    Fair enough, though Thomas works to demonstrate what he can thru reason alone (e.g. proof of God) and show that divine revelation does not conflict with reason.

  3. Pingback: 5. Summa Contra Gentiles By Thomas Aquinas Summary Book 1 Chapters 10-13 – ScottHambrick.com

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