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Pints With Aquinas

If you could sit down with St. Thomas Aquinas over a pint of beer and ask him any one question, what would it be? Every episode of Pints With Aquinas revolves around a question, a question that St. Thomas addresses in his most famous work, The Summa Theologica. So get your geek on, pull up a bar stool, and grab a cold one. Here we go!
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Feb 19, 2019

Today I chat with Fr. Chris Pietraszko about the sin of sloth.

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Here's the texts we read:

I answer that, Sloth, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 14) is an oppressive sorrow, which, to wit, so weighs upon man's mind, that he wants to do nothing; thus acid things are also cold. Hence sloth implies a certain weariness of work, as appears from a gloss on Psalm 106:18, "Their soul abhorred all manner of meat," and from the definition of some who say that sloth is a "sluggishness of the mind which neglects to begin good."

Now this sorrow is always evil, sometimes in itself, sometimes in its effect. For sorrow is evil in itself when it is about that which is apparently evil but good in reality, even as, on the other hand, pleasure is evil if it is about that which seems to be good but is, in truth, evil. Since, then, spiritual good is a good in very truth, sorrow about spiritual good is evil in itself. And yet that sorrow also which is about a real evil, is evil in its effect, if it so oppresses man as to draw him away entirely from good deeds. Hence the Apostle (2 Corinthians 2:7) did not wish those who repented to be "swallowed up with overmuch sorrow."

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Objection 2. Further, a capital sin is one to which daughters are assigned. Now Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45) assigns six daughters to sloth, viz. "malice, spite, faint-heartedness, despair, sluggishness in regard to the commandments, wandering of the mind after unlawful things." Now these do not seem in reality to arise from sloth. For "spite" is, seemingly the same as hatred, which arises from envy, as stated above (II-II:34:6); "malice" is a genus which contains all vices, and, in like manner, a "wandering" of the mind after unlawful things is to be found in every vice; "sluggishness" about the commandments seems to be the same as sloth, while "faint-heartedness" and "despair" may arise from any sin. Therefore sloth is not rightly accounted a capital sin.

Reply to Objection 2. Gregory fittingly assigns the daughters of sloth. For since, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 5,6) "no man can be a long time in company with what is painful and unpleasant," it follows that something arises from sorrow in two ways: first, that man shuns whatever causes sorrow; secondly, that he passes to other things that give him pleasure: thus those who find no joy in spiritual pleasures, have recourse to pleasures of the body, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. x, 6). Now in the avoidance of sorrow the order observed is that man at first flies from unpleasant objects, and secondly he even struggles against such things as cause sorrow. Now spiritual goods which are the object of the sorrow of sloth, are both end and means. Avoidance of the end is the result of "despair," while avoidance of those goods which are the means to the end, in matters of difficulty which come under the counsels, is the effect of "faint-heartedness," and in matters of common righteousness, is the effect of "sluggishness about the commandments." The struggle against spiritual goods that cause sorrow is sometimes with men who lead others to spiritual goods, and this is called "spite"; and sometimes it extends to the spiritual goods themselves, when a man goes so far as to detest them, and this is properly called "malice." On so far as a man has recourse to eternal objects of pleasure, the daughter of sloth is called "wandering after unlawful things." From this it is clear how to reply to the objections against each of the daughters: for "malice" does not denote here that which is generic to all vices, but must be understood as explained. Nor is "spite" taken as synonymous with hatred, but for a kind of indignation, as stated above: and the same applies to the others.

Feb 12, 2019

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Here's the text from Aquinas we read this week:

From all this then is seen the effect of the passion of Christ as a remedy for sin. But no less does it profit us as an example. St. Augustine says that the passion of Christ can bring about a complete reformation of our lives. Whoever wishes to live perfectly need do nothing other than despise what Christ despised on the cross, and desire what Christ desired. There is no virtue that did not have its example on the Cross.

So if you seek an example of charity, then, “greater love than this no one has, than to lay down his life for his friends” [Jn 15:13]. And this Christ did upon the Cross. If, therefore, He gave His life or us, we ought to endure any and all evils for Him: “What shall I render to the Lord for all the things that He has done for me?” [Ps 15:12].

If you seek an example of patience, you will find it in its highest degree upon the Cross. Great patience is exemplified in two ways: either when one suffers intensely in all patience, or when one suffers that which he could avoid if he so wished. Christ suffered greatly upon the Cross: “All you who pass by the way, look and see if there is any sorrow like My sorrow” [Lam 1:12]. And with all patience, because, “when He suffered, He did not threaten” [1 Pet 2:23]. And again: “He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter and shall be dumb before His shearer, and shall not open His mouth” [Is 53:7]. He could have avoided this suffering, but He did not: “Do you think that I cannot ask My Father, and He will give Me presently more than twelve legions of Angels?” [Mt 26:23]. The patience of Christ upon the cross, therefore, was of the highest degree: “Let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us; looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who, having joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” [Heb 12:1-2].

If you seek an example of humility, look upon Him who is crucified; although He was God, He chose to be judged by Pontius Pilate and to be put to death: “Your cause has been judged as that of the wicked” [Job 36:17]. Truly “that of the wicked,” because: “Let us condemn Him to a most shameful death” [Wis 2:20]. The Lord chose to die for His servant; the Life of the Angels suffered death for man: “He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross” [Phil 2:8].

If you seek an example of obedience, imitate Him who was obedient to the Father unto death: “For by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just” [Rom 5:19].

If you seek an example of contempt for earthly things, imitate Him who is the King of kings, the Lord of rulers, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom; but on the Cross He was stripped naked, ridiculed, spat upon, bruised, crowned with thorns, given to drink of vinegar and gall, and finally put to death. How falsely, therefore, is one attached to riches and raiment, for: “They divided My garments amongst them; and upon My robe they cast lots” [Ps 21:19]. How falsely to honors, since “I was covered with lashes and insults;” how falsely to positions of power, because “taking a crown of thorns, they placed it upon My brow;” how falsely to delicacies of the table, for “in My thirst they gave Me to drink of vinegar” [Ps 68:22]. Thus, St. Augustine, in commenting on these words, “Who, having joy set before Him, endured the Cross despising the shame” [Heb 12:2]. says: “The man Christ despised all earthly things in order to teach us to despise them.

 

Feb 5, 2019

Today I sit down with philosopher Dr. Michael Gorman to discuss faith and reason. What a great episode. Great a beer, here we go!

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Jan 29, 2019

Today I sit down with philosopher, Dr. Frey to discuss life. A much more difficult issue than you might think.

Here's two of the main texts' from Aquinas that Dr. Frey and I reference ... I bet if you read these excerpts after listening to the show they'll make a lot more sense. 

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Whether life is properly attributed to God?

I answer that, Life is in the highest degree properly in God. In proof of which it must be considered that since a thing is said to live in so far as it operates of itself and not as moved by another, the more perfectly this power is found in anything, the more perfect is the life of that thing. In things that move and are moved, a threefold order is found. In the first place, the end moves the agent: and the principal agent is that which acts through its form, and sometimes it does so through some instrument that acts by virtue not of its own form, but of the principal agent, and does no more than execute the action. Accordingly there are things that move themselves, not in respect of any form or end naturally inherent in them, but only in respect of the executing of the movement; the form by which they act, and the end of the action being alike determined for them by their nature. Of this kind are plants, which move themselves according to their inherent nature, with regard only to executing the movements of growth and decay.

Other things have self-movement in a higher degree, that is, not only with regard to executing the movement, but even as regards to the form, the principle of movement, which form they acquire of themselves. Of this kind are animals, in which the principle of movement is not a naturally implanted form; but one received through sense. Hence the more perfect is their sense, the more perfect is their power of self-movement. Such as have only the sense of touch, as shellfish, move only with the motion of expansion and contraction; and thus their movement hardly exceeds that of plants. Whereas such as have the sensitive power in perfection, so as to recognize not only connection and touch, but also objects apart from themselves, can move themselves to a distance by progressive movement. Yet although animals of the latter kind receive through sense the form that is the principle of their movement, nevertheless they cannot of themselves propose to themselves the end of their operation, or movement; for this has been implanted in them by nature; and by natural instinct they are moved to any action through the form apprehended by sense. Hence such animals as move themselves in respect to an end they themselves propose are superior to these. This can only be done by reason and intellect; whose province it is to know the proportion between the end and the means to that end, and duly coordinate them. Hence a more perfect degree of life is that of intelligible beings; for their power of self-movement is more perfect. This is shown by the fact that in one and the same man the intellectual faculty moves the sensitive powers; and these by their command move the organs of movement. Thus in the arts we see that the art of using a ship, i.e. the art of navigation, rules the art of ship-designing; and this in its turn rules the art that is only concerned with preparing the material for the ship.

But although our intellect moves itself to some things, yet others are supplied by nature, as are first principles, which it cannot doubt; and the last end, which it cannot but will. Hence, although with respect to some things it moves itself, yet with regard to other things it must be moved by another. Wherefore that being whose act of understanding is its very nature, and which, in what it naturally possesses, is not determined by another, must have life in the most perfect degree. Such is God; and hence in Him principally is life. From this the Philosopher concludes (Metaph. xii, 51), after showing God to be intelligent, that God has life most perfect and eternal, since His intellect is most perfect and always in act.

ST I, Q. 18, A. 3

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Whether death and other bodily defects are the result of sin? 

I answer that, One thing causes another in two ways: first, by reason of itself; secondly, accidentally. By reason of itself, one thing is the cause of another, if it produces its effect by reason of the power of its nature or form, the result being that the effect is directly intended by the cause. Consequently, as death and such like defects are beside the intention of the sinner, it is evident that sin is not, of itself, the cause of these defects. Accidentally, one thing is the cause of another if it causes it by removing an obstacle: thus it is stated in Phys. viii, text. 32, that "by displacing a pillar a man moves accidentally the stone resting thereon." In this way the sin of our first parent is the cause of death and all such like defects in human nature, in so far as by the sin of our first parent original justice was taken away, whereby not only were the lower powers of the soul held together under the control of reason, without any disorder whatever, but also the whole body was held together in subjection to the soul, without any defect, as stated in the I:97:1. Wherefore, original justice being forfeited through the sin of our first parent; just as human nature was stricken in the soul by the disorder among the powers, as stated above (Article 3; I-II:82:3), so also it became subject to corruption, by reason of disorder in the body.

Now the withdrawal of original justice has the character of punishment, even as the withdrawal of grace has. Consequently, death and all consequent bodily defects are punishments of original sin. And although the defects are not intended by the sinner, nevertheless they are ordered according to the justice of God Who inflicts them as punishments.

Reply to Objection 1. Causes that produce their effects of themselves, if equal, produce equal effects: for if such causes be increased or diminished, the effect is increased or diminished. But equal causes of an obstacle being removed, do not point to equal effects. For supposing a man employs equal force in displacing two columns, it does not follow that the movements of the stones resting on them will be equal; but that one will move with greater velocity, which has the greater weight according to the property of its nature, to which it is left when the obstacle to its falling is removed. Accordingly, when original justice is removed, the nature of the human body is left to itself, so that according to diverse natural temperaments, some men's bodies are subject to more defects, some to fewer, although original sin is equal in all.

Reply to Objection 2. Both original and actual sin are removed by the same cause that removes these defects, according to the Apostle (Romans 8:11): "He . . . shall quicken . . . your mortal bodies, because of His Spirit that dwelleth in you": but each is done according to the order of Divine wisdom, at a fitting time. Because it is right that we should first of all be conformed to Christ's sufferings, before attaining to the immortality and impassibility of glory, which was begun in Him, and by Him acquired for us. Hence it behooves that our bodies should remain, for a time, subject to suffering, in order that we may merit the impassibility of glory, in conformity with Christ.

Reply to Objection 3. Two things may be considered in actual sin, the substance of the act, and the aspect of fault. As regards the substance of the act, actual sin can cause a bodily defect: thus some sicken and die through eating too much. But as regards the fault, it deprives us of grace which is given to us that we may regulate the acts of the soul, but not that we may ward off defects of the body, as original justice did. Wherefore actual sin does not cause those defects, as original sin does.

Article 6. Whether death and other defects are natural to man?
Objection 1. It would seem that death and such like defects are natural to man. For "the corruptible and the incorruptible differ generically" (Metaph. x, text. 26). But man is of the same genus as other animals which are naturally corruptible. Therefore man is naturally corruptible.

Objection 2. Further, whatever is composed of contraries is naturally corruptible, as having within itself the cause of corruption. But such is the human body. Therefore it is naturally corruptible.

Objection 3. Further, a hot thing naturally consumes moisture. Now human life is preserved by hot and moist elements. Since therefore the vital functions are fulfilled by the action of natural heat, as stated in De Anima ii, text. 50, it seems that death and such like defects are natural to man.

On the contrary, (1) God made in man whatever is natural to him. Now "God made not death" (Wisdom 1:13). Therefore death is not natural to man.

(2) Further, that which is natural cannot be called either a punishment or an evil: since what is natural to a thing is suitable to it. But death and such like defects are the punishment of original sin, as stated above (Article 5). Therefore they are not natural to man.

(3) Further, matter is proportionate to form, and everything to its end. Now man's end is everlasting happiness, as stated above (I-II:2:7; I-II:5:3-4): and the form of the human body is the rational soul, as was proved in the I:75:6. Therefore the human body is naturally incorruptible.

I answer that, We may speak of any corruptible thing in two ways; first, in respect of its universal nature, secondly, as regards its particular nature. A thing's particular nature is its own power of action and self-preservation. And in respect of this nature, every corruption and defect is contrary to nature, as stated in De Coelo ii, text. 37, since this power tends to the being and preservation of the thing to which it belongs.

On the other hand, the universal nature is an active force in some universal principle of nature, for instance in some heavenly body; or again belonging to some superior substance, in which sense God is said by some to be "the Nature Who makes nature." This force intends the good and the preservation of the universe, for which alternate generation and corruption in things are requisite: and in this respect corruption and defect in things are natural, not indeed as regards the inclination of the form which is the principle of being and perfection, but as regards the inclination of matter which is allotted proportionately to its particular form according to the discretion of the universal agent. And although every form intends perpetual being as far as it can, yet no form of a corruptible being can achieve its own perpetuity, except the rational soul; for the reason that the latter is not entirely subject to matter, as other forms are; indeed it has an immaterial operation of its own, as stated in the I:75:2. Consequently as regards his form, incorruption is more natural to man than to other corruptible things. But since that very form has a matter composed of contraries, from the inclination of that matter there results corruptibility in the whole. In this respect man is naturally corruptible as regards the nature of his matter left to itself, but not as regards the nature of his form.

The first three objections argue on the side of the matter; while the other three argue on the side of the form. Wherefore in order to solve them, we must observe that the form of man which is the rational soul, in respect of its incorruptibility is adapted to its end, which is everlasting happiness: whereas the human body, which is corruptible, considered in respect of its nature, is, in a way, adapted to its form, and, in another way, it is not. For we may note a twofold condition in any matter, one which the agent chooses, and another which is not chosen by the agent, and is a natural condition of matter. Thus, a smith in order to make a knife, chooses a matter both hard and flexible, which can be sharpened so as to be useful for cutting, and in respect of this condition iron is a matter adapted for a knife: but that iron be breakable and inclined to rust, results from the natural disposition of iron, nor does the workman choose this in the iron, indeed he would do without it if he could: wherefore this disposition of matter is not adapted to the workman's intention, nor to the purpose of his art. In like manner the human body is the matter chosen by nature in respect of its being of a mixed temperament, in order that it may be most suitable as an organ of touch and of the other sensitive and motive powers. Whereas the fact that it is corruptible is due to a condition of matter, and is not chosen by nature: indeed nature would choose an incorruptible matter if it could. But God, to Whom every nature is subject, in forming man supplied the defect of nature, and by the gift of original justice, gave the body a certain incorruptibility, as was stated in the I:97:1. It is in this sense that it is said that "God made not death," and that death is the punishment of sin.

- ST I-II, Q. 85, A. 6 

Jan 28, 2019

To celebrate the feast of Thomas Aquinas we’re doing two really cool things.

First, we’re giving away this FREE audio book, Aeterni Patris: On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy, an encyclical by Pope Leo XIII in 1879.

The aim of the encyclical was to advance the revival of Scholastic philosophy (i.e. Thomas Aquinas). Click here to get it! (It’ll only be available to non-patrons for today only).

Secondly, we’re selling really really cool Aquinas merch that is bound to get you into many awesome conversations about the angelic doctor.

Every sale goes to support the word of Pints With Aquinas. Get your hoodie, tee, mug, baby onesie, here!

see the rest here

Jan 26, 2019

Below is the entire text from Aquinas I wrote, but before that...

Thank God for good bishops like Bishop Rick Stika (@BishopStika) and Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler). Go follow them and thank them for being faithful sons of the Church.

Whether the Church should excommunicate anyone?
Objection 1. It would seem that the Church ought not to excommunicate anyone, because excommunication is a kind of curse, and we are forbidden to curse (Romans 12:14). Therefore the Church should not excommunicate.

Objection 2. Further, the Church Militant should imitate the Church Triumphant. Now we read in the epistle of Jude (verse 9) that "when Michael the Archangel disputing with the devil contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee." Therefore the Church Militant ought not to judge any man by cursing or excommunicating him.

Objection 3. Further, no man should be given into the hands of his enemies, unless there be no hope for him. Now by excommunication a man is given into the hands of Satan, as is clear from 1 Corinthians 5:5. Since then we should never give up hope about anyone in this life, the Church should not excommunicate anyone.

On the contrary, The Apostle (1 Corinthians 5:5) ordered a man to be excommunicated.

Further, it is written (Matthew 18:17) about the man who refuses to hear the Church: "Let him be to thee as the heathen or publican." But heathens are outside the Church. Therefore they also who refuse to hear the Church, should be banished from the Church by excommunication.

I answer that, The judgment of the Church should be conformed to the judgment of God. Now God punishes the sinner in many ways, in order to draw him to good, either by chastising him with stripes, or by leaving him to himself so that being deprived of those helps whereby he was kept out of evil, he may acknowledge his weakness, and humbly return to God Whom he had abandoned in his pride. In both these respects the Church by passing sentence of excommunication imitates the judgment of God. For by severing a man from the communion of the faithful that he may blush with shame, she imitates the judgment whereby God chastises man with stripes; and by depriving him of prayers and other spiritual things, she imitates the judgment of God in leaving man to himself, in order that by humility he may learn to know himself and return to God.

Reply to Objection 1. A curse may be pronounced in two ways: first, so that the intention of the one who curses is fixed on the evil which he invokes or pronounces, and cursing in this sense is altogether forbidden. Secondly, so that the evil which a man invokes in cursing is intended for the good of the one who is cursed, and thus cursing is sometimes lawful and salutary: thus a physician makes a sick man undergo pain, by cutting him, for instance, in order to deliver him from his sickness.

Reply to Objection 2. The devil cannot be brought to repentance, wherefore the pain of excommunication cannot do him any good.

Reply to Objection 3. From the very fact that a man is deprived of the prayers of the Church, he incurs a triple loss, corresponding to the three things which a man acquires through the Church's prayers. For they bring an increase of grace to those who have it, or merit grace for those who have it not; and in this respect the Master of the Sentences says (Sent. iv, D, 18): "The grace of God is taken away by excommunication." They also prove a safeguard of virtue; and in this respect he says that "protection is taken away," not that the excommunicated person is withdrawn altogether from God's providence, but that he is excluded from that protection with which He watches over the children of the Church in a more special way. Moreover, they are useful as a defense against the enemy, and in this respect he says that "the devil receives greater power of assaulting the excommunicated person, both spiritually and corporally." Hence in the early Church, when men had to be enticed to the faith by means of outward signs (thus the gift of the Holy Ghost was shown openly by a visible sign), so too excommunication was evidenced by a person being troubled in his body by the devil. Nor is it unreasonable that one, for whom there is still hope, be given over to the enemy, for he is surrendered, not unto damnation, but unto correction, since the Church has the power to rescue him from the hands of the enemy, whenever he is willing.

 

Jan 22, 2019

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This episode of PWA was recorded LIVE at FOCUS' SEEK conference in Indianapolis, IN earlier this month.

In this episode I sit down with the priests from Catholic Stuff You Should Know to discuss scrupulosity, and how to overcome it.

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Jan 19, 2019

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I sit down with Abigail Rine Favale for nearly 3 hours to discuss her unlikely conversion, why she no longer identifies as a feminist, and postmodernism.

So much postmodernism.

Enjoy!

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Jan 15, 2019

Watch the next Matt Fradd Show here (click "set a reminder") this Friday at 8pm EST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=932&v=6MfsHlJ1I6E

If you've never listened to Pints With Aquinas, today's episode is a GREAT place to begin.

In today's episode I'll share with you 5 contributions Aquinas made to metaphysics. 

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Jan 8, 2019

Today we talk all about Mary, the Mother of God. Enjoy!

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THE MOTHER OF CHRIST

The error of Nestorius, who refused to acknowledge that Blessed Mary is the Mother of God, is likewise excluded. Both Creeds assert that the Son of God was born or was made flesh of the Virgin Mary. The woman of whom any person is born is called his mother, for the reason that she supplies the matter for human conception. Hence the Blessed Virgin Mary, who provided the matter for the conception of the Son of God, should be called the true mother of the Son of God. As far as the essence of motherhood is concerned, the energy whereby the matter furnished by a woman is formed, does not enter into the question. She who supplied matter to be formed by the Holy Spirit is no less a mother than a woman who supplies matter that is to be formed by the energy latent in male seed. If anyone insists on maintaining that the Blessed Virgin ought not to be called the Mother of God because flesh alone and not divinity was derived from her, as Nestorius contended, he clearly is not aware of what he is saying. A woman is not called a mother for the reason that everything that is in her child is derived from her. Man is made up of body and soul; and a man is what he is in virtue of his soul rather than in virtue of his body. But no man’s soul is derived from his mother. The soul is either created by God directly, as the true doctrine has it, or, if it were produced by transplanting, as some have fancied, it would be derived from the father rather than from the mother. For in the generation of other animals, according to the teaching of philosophers, the male gives the soul, the female gives the body.

Consequently, just as any woman is a mother from the fact that her child’s body is derived from her, so the Blessed Virgin Mary ought to be called the Mother of God if the body of God is derived from her. But we have to hold that it is the body of God, if it is taken up into the unity of the person of God’s Son, who is true God. Therefore all who admit that human nature was assumed by the Son of God into the unity of His person, must admit that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God. But Nestorius, who denied that the person of God and of the man Jesus Christ was one, was forced by logical necessity to deny that the Virgin Mary was the Mother of God.

Jan 4, 2019

Many of you have asked me to interview Lizzie Reezay—who has well over 200,000 subscribers on Youtube! Well, I heard you, and did just that. We talk about what it was like converting from Protestantism to Catholicism in such a public way.

Learn more about Lizzie here.

See her Youtube channel here.

Jan 1, 2019

Today I'm joined around the bar table by Dr. Jennifer Frey to discuss happiness. What is it? How can we get it? Is it possible to have it perfectly in this life? We take a look at how happiness and virtue are connected and see what Aristotle, Boethius, and Aquinas have to say on the matter.

Here's the part in the Summa where Aquinas lists and explains what ultimately won't make us happy.

Check out Dr. Frey's podcast, Sacred and Profane Love here.

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Dec 21, 2018

In this bonus episode I discuss a whole bunch of awesome things.

Liiiiike:

The SEEK conference, Shazam!

Our upcoming pilgrimage to Rome, Boom!

Summa 365, Bam!

The Matt Fradd Show, Kapow!

Dec 18, 2018

Today I chat with Fr. James Brent O.P. about that very interesting line in the Catechism of the Catholic Church from St. Athanasius, "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God" (CCC 460).

Enjoy!

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Dec 17, 2018

My 3 hour interview with Christopher West premieres tonight at 845 EST ... Click here to join the wait list!

Cool? See you there! --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94jYCGGr7JU

Dec 11, 2018

Today I sit down with theoretical particle physicist, Stephen Barr to discuss God, the Big Bang, and the Multiverse.

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Check out the Society of Catholic Scientists here.

Get Dr. Barr's book, Modern Physics and Ancient Faith here.

Learn more at Pints With Aquinas here.

Dec 5, 2018

Matt Fradd sits down with Dr. Paul Thigpen to discuss a whole host of interesting things: how he became an atheist at the age of 12; why he gave his life to Christ; his encounters with the Devil, and the current crisis in the Catholic Church.

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Dec 4, 2018

Today we're joined around the bar table by Dr. John Cuddeback, philosopher at Christendom College, to discuss the importance and beauty of friendship.

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Check out Dr. Cuddeback's book, True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness 

Also, see Dr. Cuddeback's website here.

 

 

Nov 27, 2018

Today I share with you 7 reasons I love Thomas Aquinas and you should to.

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Nov 23, 2018

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Be sure to checkout https://lovegoodculture.com/pints/

and their amazing podcast, https://lovegoodculture.com/podcast/

Cool?

Have a good one y'all.

 

Nov 20, 2018

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In today's episode of Pints With Aquinas we're joined around the bar table by Dr. David Bertaina to discuss how to evanelize Muslims. We take a look at a lesser known work of Thomas' called, in English, Reasons for the Faith Against Muslim Objections to the Cantor of Antioch Which, btw, I just paid to have turned into an audiobook. Patrons, have at it. It's free for y'all.

 

Nov 13, 2018

Hey all,

For the next 2 weeks we're doing a promotion. If you become a $10 or more patron of Pints With Aquinas here, I'll send you all that other free stuff AND I'll send you a limited edition Thomas Aquinas magnet for your car ... AND I'll send you a super awkward private video message.

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Today I interview Dr. Brant Pitre. Here's a bit about him:

Dr. Brant Pitre is Distinguished Research Professor of Scripture at the Augustine Institute in Denver, CO. He earned his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he specialized in the study of the New Testament and ancient Judaism. He is the author of several articles and books, including: Jesus, the Tribulation, and the End of the Exile (Baker Academic, 2005), Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist (Image Books, 2011), Jesus the Bridegroom (Image Books, 2014), Jesus and the Last Supper (Eerdmans, 2015), and The Case for Jesus (Image, 2016). Dr. Pitre is an extremely enthusiastic and engaging speaker who lectures regularly across the United States. He has produced dozens of Bible studies on CD, DVD, and MP3, in which he explores the biblical foundations of Catholic faith and theology. He currently lives in Gray, Louisiana, with his wife Elizabeth, and their five children.

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Here's the entire article I read from today from Aquinas:

Article 4. Whether Christ should have committed His doctrine to writing?
Objection 1. It would seem that Christ should have committed His doctrine to writing. For the purpose of writing is to hand down doctrine to posterity. Now Christ's doctrine was destined to endure for ever, according to Luke 21:33: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away." Therefore it seems that Christ should have committed His doctrine to writing.

Objection 2. Further, the Old Law was a foreshadowing of Christ, according to Hebrews 10:1: "The Law has [Vulgate: 'having'] a shadow of the good things to come." Now the Old Law was put into writing by God, according to Exodus 24:12: "I will give thee" two "tables of stone and the law, and the commandments which I have written." Therefore it seems that Christ also should have put His doctrine into writing.

Objection 3. Further, to Christ, who came to enlighten them that sit in darkness (Luke 1:79), it belonged to remove occasions of error, and to open out the road to faith. Now He would have done this by putting His teaching into writing: for Augustine says (De Consensu Evang. i) that "some there are who wonder why our Lord wrote nothing, so that we have to believe what others have written about Him. Especially do those pagans ask this question who dare not blame or blaspheme Christ, and who ascribe to Him most excellent, but merely human, wisdom. These say that the disciples made out the Master to be more than He really was when they said that He was the Son of God and the Word of God, by whom all things were made." And farther on he adds: "It seems as though they were prepared to believe whatever He might have written of Himself, but not what others at their discretion published about Him." Therefore it seems that Christ should have Himself committed His doctrine to writing.

On the contrary, No books written by Him were to be found in the canon of Scripture.

I answer that, It was fitting that Christ should not commit His doctrine to writing. First, on account of His dignity: for the more excellent the teacher, the more excellent should be his manner of teaching. Consequently it was fitting that Christ, as the most excellent of teachers, should adopt that manner of teaching whereby His doctrine is imprinted on the hearts of His hearers; wherefore it is written (Matthew 7:29) that "He was teaching them as one having power." And so it was that among the Gentiles, Pythagoras and Socrates, who were teachers of great excellence, were unwilling to write anything. For writings are ordained, as to an end, unto the imprinting of doctrine in the hearts of the hearers.

Secondly, on account of the excellence of Christ's doctrine, which cannot be expressed in writing; according to John 21:25: "There are also many other things which Jesus did: which, if they were written everyone, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written." Which Augustine explains by saying: "We are not to believe that in respect of space the world could not contain them . . . but that by the capacity of the readers they could not be comprehended." And if Christ had committed His doctrine to writing, men would have had no deeper thought of His doctrine than that which appears on the surface of the writing.

Thirdly, that His doctrine might reach all in an orderly manner: Himself teaching His disciples immediately, and they subsequently teaching others, by preaching and writing: whereas if He Himself had written, His doctrine would have reached all immediately.

Hence it is said of Wisdom (Proverbs 9:3) that "she hath sent her maids to invite to the tower." It is to be observed, however, that, as Augustine says (De Consensu Evang. i), some of the Gentiles thought that Christ wrote certain books treating of the magic art whereby He worked miracles: which art is condemned by the Christian learning. "And yet they who claim to have read those books of Christ do none of those things which they marvel at His doing according to those same books. Moreover, it is by a Divine judgment that they err so far as to assert that these books were, as it were, entitled as letters to Peter and Paul, for that they found them in several places depicted in company with Christ. No wonder that the inventors were deceived by the painters: for as long as Christ lived in the mortal flesh with His disciples, Paul was no disciple of His."

Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says in the same book: "Christ is the head of all His disciples who are members of His body. Consequently, when they put into writing what He showed forth and said to them, by no means must we say that He wrote nothing: since His members put forth that which they knew under His dictation. For at His command they, being His hands, as it were, wrote whatever He wished us to read concerning His deeds and words."

Reply to Objection 2. Since the old Law was given under the form of sensible signs, therefore also was it fittingly written with sensible signs. But Christ's doctrine, which is "the law of the spirit of life" (Romans 8:2), had to be "written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart," as the Apostle says (2 Corinthians 3:3).

Reply to Objection 3. Those who were unwilling to believe what the apostles wrote of Christ would have refused to believe the writings of Christ, whom they deemed to work miracles by the magic art.

Nov 6, 2018

Pints With Aquinas is funded by listeners like you, support on Patreon here.

Here's my previous episode on the problem of evil.

Here's how Aquinas formulated the problem of evil:

"It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word "God" means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist."

A bit about my guest Eleonore Stump:

Eleonore Stump is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, where she has taught since 1992. She is also Honorary Professor at Wuhan University and at the Logos Institute, St. Andrews, and she is a Professorial Fellow at Australian Catholic University. She has published extensively in philosophy of religion, contemporary metaphysics, and medieval philosophy. Her books include her major study Aquinas (Routledge, 2003), her extensive treatment of the problem of evil, Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering (Oxford, 2010), and her far-reaching examination of human redemption, Atonement (Oxford, 2018). She has given the Gifford Lectures (Aberdeen, 2003), the Wilde lectures (Oxford, 2006), the Stewart lectures (Princeton, 2009) and the Stanton lectures (Cambridge, 2018). She is past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the American Philosophical Association, Central Division; and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Oct 30, 2018

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Today we discuss the virtue of studiousness and the vice of curiosity.

Aquinas discusses in this in the Secunda secundae of the Summa (see below).

Here are some articles discussing the sin of curiosity:

A Monastic Vice For The Internet Age

Curiosity As the Enemy of Wonder

Here's what Aquinas wrote:

 

The knowledge of truth, strictly speaking, is good, but it may be evil accidentally, by reason of some result, either because one takes pride in knowing the truth, according to 1 Corinthians 8:1, "Knowledge puffeth up," or because one uses the knowledge of truth in order to sin.

On the other hand, the desire or study in pursuing the knowledge of truth may be right or wrong.

First, when one tends by his study to the knowledge of truth as having evil accidentally annexed to it, for instance those who study to know the truth that they may take pride in their knowledge. Hence Augustine says (De Morib. Eccl. 21): "Some there are who forsaking virtue, and ignorant of what God is, and of the majesty of that nature which ever remains the same, imagine they are doing something great, if with surpassing curiosity and keenness they explore the whole mass of this body which we call the world. So great a pride is thus begotten, that one would think they dwelt in the very heavens about which they argue." On like manner, those who study to learn something in order to sin are engaged in a sinful study, according to the saying of Jeremiah 9:5, "They have taught their tongue to speak lies, they have labored to commit iniquity."

Secondly, there may be sin by reason of the appetite or study directed to the learning of truth being itself inordinate; and this in four ways. First, when a man is withdrawn by a less profitable study from a study that is an obligation incumbent on him; hence Jerome says [Epist. xxi ad Damas]: "We see priests forsaking the gospels and the prophets, reading stage-plays, and singing the love songs of pastoral idylls." Secondly, when a man studies to learn of one, by whom it is unlawful to be taught, as in the case of those who seek to know the future through the demons. This is superstitious curiosity, of which Augustine says (De Vera Relig. 4): "Maybe, the philosophers were debarred from the faith by their sinful curiosity in seeking knowledge from the demons."

Thirdly, when a man desires to know the truth about creatures, without referring his knowledge to its due end, namely, the knowledge of God. Hence Augustine says (De Vera Relig. 29) that "in studying creatures, we must not be moved by empty and perishable curiosity; but we should ever mount towards immortal and abiding things."

Fourthly, when a man studies to know the truth above the capacity of his own intelligence, since by so doing men easily fall into error: wherefore it is written (Sirach 3:22): "Seek not the things that are too high for thee, and search not into things above thy ability . . . and in many of His works be not curious," and further on (Sirach 3:26), "For . . . the suspicion of them hath deceived many, and hath detained their minds in vanity." - ST II-II Q. 167, A. 1.

Oct 23, 2018

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Today I interview Fr. Chris Pietraszko about what Aquinas had to say about anger (or wrath). 

Fr. Christopher is a priest in the diocese of London, Ontario, Canada. He devotes himself to on-going studies and an apologetic ministry.

Check out Fr. Pietraszko's podcast, Fides et Ratio, here.

 

 

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