Aquinas and Calvin on Romans: Gods Justification and Our Participation

Aquinas and Calvin on Romans: Gods Justification and Our Participation by Charles Raith II

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Aquinas and Calvin on Romans is a comparative study of John Calvins and Thomas Aquinass commentaries on the first eight chapters of Pauls letter to the Romans. Focusing on the role of human participation in Gods work of salvation, Charles Raith argues that Calvins critiques of the schoolmen arising from his reading of Romans fail to find a target in Aquinass theology while Calvins principal positive affirmations are embraced by Aquinas as well.Aquinas upholds many fundamental insights that Calvin would later also obtain in his reading of Romans, such as justification sola fide non merito (by faith alone and not by merit), the centrality of Christ for salvation, the ongoing imperfection of the sanctified life, the work of the Spirit guiding the believeralong the path of sanctification, and the assurance of salvation that one obtains through the indwelling of the Spirit, to name only a few. Even more, numerous identical interpretations arising in their commentaries makes it necessary to consider Calvins reading of Romans as appropriating a tradition of interpretation that includes Aquinas. At the same time, the nonparticipatory dimensions of Calvins reading of Romans becomes clear when set beside Aquinass reading, and these nonparticipatorydimensions create difficulties for Calvins interpretation, especially on Romans 8, that are not present in Aquinass account. Raith therefore suggests how Calvins reading of Romans, especially as it pertains to justification and merit, should be augmented by the participatory framework reflectedin Aquinass interpretation. The book concludes by revisiting Calvins criticisms of the Council of Trent in light of these suggestions.
Publication Date:
08 / 05 / 2014

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