Salvation Through Faith and Reason
The concepts of faith and reason hold opposing view points when used in the context of religion. Faith by definition is the firm belief in something for which there is no proof ("Faith," def. 3). On the contrary reason is defined as something that supports a conclusion or supports a fact ("Reason," def. 1c). Though faith centers on the abstract and reason focuses on the concrete, St. Thomas Aquinas argues that only through the union of both can salvation be obtained (Kreeft 40).
Regardless of the denomination, religion requires faith from the congregation. Within any religion there are abstract concepts and ideas presented to the people that are expected to be accepted as fact though they cannot be proven. Aquinas argues that salvation depends on more than faith alone. "It is necessary for man's salvation that there be a knowledge revealed by God, besides philosophical science built up by reason (Kreeft 40). He urges people not to rely on the tangible alone but to incorporate the unseen idea of divine revelation to save their soul.
Aquinas continues by holding up the philosophical truths, "these truths about God which humans could have discovered (Kreeft 40) as one of the two pillars necessary to construct the foundation of salvation. These are the tangible items, the items that man could find for himself through the investigation of his surroundings.
The second pillar is faith through divine revelation. This personal revelation is an intangible article that cannot be proven but can be experienced by each person individually. Only through this union of faith and reason do we achieve "the sacred science learned through revelation" (Kreeft 41). After illustrating the connection between faith and reason, Aquinas supports his proposition through scripture.
The scripture or "Holy Writ" is interpreted by man to have many different meanings. Aquinas asks "Whether in the Holy Scripture a word may have several...
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