Abstract
Being questioned about the nature of Christian faith, Mark Twain famously declared it as 'believing what you know ain't so'. Indeed, the role of reason for faith is a matter of dispute. Jesus, some argue, was not a philosopher or a teacher of wisdom. Rather, he is the saviour because of his unassuming sacrificial death and resurrection. Not reason, but the leap of faith is the ultimate condition of salvation. The Enlightenment however epitomises a Copernican revolution in favour of reason. According to Charles Taylor, the dissemination of Jesus' message into Hellenistic culture contains within itself the risk of a secularisation of the faith. At the same time, voices opposing the overemphasis of reason have also been raised throughout the ages. Paul's speech to the Athenians was one such occasion that deals with the ambiguous relationship between faith and reason. Relying purely on divine grace and the Bible alone, Martin Luther rejected any form of speculative theology. According to the Reformer, it is a type of theology that trusts more in human reason than in God's revelation. In Luther's opinion, it also reverses the moral order because theological speculation justifies evil as good while professing as good what is evil. To such a theology of human glory, Luther prefers a theology of the cross that 'calls the thing what it actually is'. For the former Augustinian monk only God's grace is good beyond reasonable doubt. Hence true theologians are lovers of the cross while theologians of glory misuse their reason for the worst. Luther's theology of the cross, Marco Barone claims, has its root in Augustine. Hence, Luther's Augustinism appears to have decidedly broken with Aristotelian scholasticism. In this context, Thomas Aquinas was criticised for his threefold failure. First, the Dominican friar's speculative theology lacks an experiential human dimension. Secondly, it gives too much credit to Aristotle. Thirdly, Thomas is reprimanded for his serious deficiency of a theology of justification.
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