Introduction to Theology: Tradition, Doctrine, and Culture - DVD
Ronald Thomas, Ph.D.
Item No. C20301
Publication Date: 2013
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What is theology?
In order to understand and fully define what theology is, a few key terms must be understood and defined first - namely Faith and Divine Revelation.
- Faith: St. Anselm says that Faith is a kind of knowledge, an enlargement of understanding in first order. Faith is an ascent, caused by a gift of divine grace, to a type of knowledge, which is revealed, supernaturally, by God.
- Divine Revelation: Divine Revelation contains things that are revealed by God, most importantly in a person, Jesus Christ. St. John’s Gospel puts the matter into its classical formulation: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Christianity is an historical religion, not simply a symbol system or a mental event. It is embodied religion par excellence. It is embodied in time, in the Church, in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, both in Palestine long ago, and on our altars at every moment of every day until the Lord’s return. The Catholic faith cuts in every direction; it is whole and entire. Its effect on a human being is wholeness; its effect on history is total; its significance is eternal. God is God, and Jesus Christ has made Him known.
Theology as a science.
Theology is a science, the “divine science”, that requires intellectual effort to understand the presuppositions, content, and consequences of divine revelation. So, is that opposed to simple faith and humble piety? Not in the least, if the saints are to be trusted. According to some of them—St. Anselm, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine—not to undertake theological discipline, if one possibly can, would be an abdication of the faith and a falsification of the piety that one practices.
Is the study of historical, linguistic and cultural knowledge of theology artificial?
If one defines faith simply by feeling or emotion, then, yes, it could seem artificial. But the Christian faith is saving belief, saving knowledge. Not simply synonymous with the will, still less with feeling, faith is preeminently God’s work in us, not our own work in us. “God is greater than our hearts” (John 3:20) St. John says, and a good thing too! Our hearts can be very warped, indeed. God’s supernatural revelation, on the other hand, brings us what we cannot otherwise have or know, and this revelation is the subject matter of the science called theology.
Join Professor Ronald Thomas, then, as he introduces you to the most important study a person can undertake - the study of “the queen of all sciences.”
About The Author
Professor Ronald Thomas holds his Doctorate in Theology from the University of Cambridge, England, and his Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Atlanta Georgia. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Memphis, Tennessee. He was also a student of Theology at the University of Goettingen, Germany. Dr. Thomas has taught at Christian Brothers University, Crichton College, the University of Mississippi, and Rhodes College and currently teaches Theology at Belmont Abbey College located in North Carolina. Dr. Thomas is a convert to the Catholic faith after having served for five years as a Methodist minister and 13 years as an Episcopal priest. He both wrote and recorded the popular Meditations on the Stations of the Cross, distributed by Lighthouse Media.
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