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HNQ
HNQ
12:17 AM
2
Q: During the reformation what was the common view on how the Law ‘increased sin‘ rather than reducing it?

MikeHow is was this verse understood by the early reformers, such as Luther or Calvin? Romans 5:20-21 NIV The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.

 
16 hours later…
4:41 PM
@LukeHill @PeterTurner @curiousdannii Yesterday I read the Preface of Eleonore Stump's book on Aquinas (2003, Routledge, one review here) which was a culmination of her scholarly research on Aquinas for decades and purposely constructed NOT along traditional guide to Aquinas's thoughts, or biography, or textbook format, but from the angle of philosophical theology.
To my surprise, Eleonore Stump is a Protestant! I have always thought she is Catholic. A quote from the Preface that also contains the Acknowledgements of debts:
> The Jesuit and Dominican communities at Saint Louis University have also been an unparalleled blessing to me in this time. Married female Protestant that I am, I have found in those communities deeply comforting company for the road. The Dominican Prior has pronounced me the world’s most improbable Thomist and with exemplary patience has welcomed me into his fold. The Jesuits I am grateful to call my friends have made ‘consolation’ a word in my working vocabulary.
I don't know whether she has converted to the Catholic Church since then, but I'm pleased to see how a Christian philosopher whom I agree with can stay Protestant and Thomist, while I'm straddling both ecclesial communities with Dominican Fr. Thomas J. White serving as the other half, as the Catholic Thomist who has worked out the cultural and academic mandate for Thomism today (see here).
@Matthew I have occasionally been using ChatGPT as a research assistant, a better Google (in some regards), to yield some potential avenues that I can then fact check. Here's my interaction about Eleonore Stump's church affiliation, which shows me that ChatGPT at least can express doubt from conflicting data:
That dialog shows potential conversion happening in January 2022.
5:28 PM
Christianity Today's Atonement book review authored by Mark Galli (previous chief editor) said she's a "devout Catholic". Hmmm.... I doubt Christianity Today would make a mistake without correction.
I cannot find an interview with The Journey Home featuring Eleonore Stump, where other converted philosophers have been interviewed. Will email Marcus Grodi to do an episode before it's too late.
> Would you do an episode for the conversion of Eleonore Stump, a well published Catholic Thomistic philosopher? In the Preface of her 2002 book on Aquinas she said she is a "married Protestant" but in a 2019 Christianity Today book review of her book on Atonement, Mark Galli refers to her as a "devout Catholic".
> I cannot find any reference to her conversion, or any public statement from her about it. I think she would be an excellent candidate for the show. Would you please email me if an episode has been planned or whether she has declined?
6:23 PM
If Stump converted shortly after the Aquinas book, she would be in her late fifties, about the same age as when famous moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre (who authored frequently cited book After Virtue) converted from Presbyterian to Catholicism. Looks like being a Thomist makes one susceptible to convert to Catholicism ! Quote:
> Although baptised a Presbyterian, from his early twenties MacIntyre abandoned religion for a quarter of a century. He appears to have shared for a time AJ Ayer’s assertion that the only significant propositions are those that can be empirically or scientifically verified. MacIntyre’s conversion to Catholicism in his fifties, he tells me, occurred as a result of being convinced of Thomism while attempting to disabuse his students of its authenticity.
> Aquinas combined Aristotle’s account of a universe knowable through observation with Christian philosophy, arguing that such a world still required God’s existence as its sustaining creator. An Aristotelian-Thomistic view of society and the world, as set out in After Virtue, offered the best philosophical underpinning for human flourishing, and the only alternative to the fragmentation of modern moral philosophy.
But after Googling around, I don't think MacIntyre's Thomism is genuine (I trusted Eleonore Stump's Thomism a lot more). A quote from this 2008 MDiv thesis on MacIntyre's Thomism:
> Maclntyre has expanded on his work in After Virtue, but he has also made some important adjustments to his thought, perhaps most significantly his conversion to the Catholic Church and his assumption of the Thomist tradition. We have already seen how this shift has helped him to overcome the relativist charge against his project. But with this change came new questions and challenges.
> We will examine the two most fundamental of these, the first that Maclntyre's theory is not authentically Thomist, and the second that his Thomism is driven by an ideology and is not true, impartial philosophy.
On the other hand, reading Stump's preface to her Aquinas book shows how much she is aware of various ways to misread Aquinas and how her approach is to use Aquinas's less frequently cited writings including his Biblical commentaries to obtain an insight into key architectural principles driving Aquinas's theology.
Fr. Thomas White in the above cited video also does the same things to promote Thomism for today, in ways very different than when Pope Leo XIII's 1879 Aeterni Patris (which leads into sterile scholastic manualism) instead of adopting how Aquinas engaged even Jewish and Muslim medieval philosophers which was then the new philosophical threats to Christianity.
Conclusion: sedevacantists loves to quote Aquinas but they quote mine Thomism (thus manualist) instead of using Aquinas's way of doing theology. I think this is similar in early 20th century Reformed tradition for those doing theology like Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology (he is often cited in my childhood church).
I think that's why C.S. Lewis had reservations about the version of Thomism he knew (manualist), for he was a creative thinker who engages modern philosophies on their terms. But early 21st century Thomism is much wiser, adopting Aquinas's method instead of his 13th century results. I wonder how C.S. Lewis would interact with the kind of Thomism that Fr. Thomas White envisioned in that video.
@Matthew I engaged ChatGPT some more on that topic, and basically it gives up:
 
2 hours later…
8:52 PM
Got reply from the Coming Home Network. Matt Swaim, a convert himself now on staff with CHN (whose conversion is featured March 14, 2011) responded:
> Thank you for your note! We haven't had any contact with Dr. Stump, and I wasn't quickly able to find anything referencing her conversion. I'll do some digging-- seems like there could be an interesting story there!
 
2 hours later…
11:01 PM
@GratefulDisciple surprised me too! But I hardly know anything about her

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