ST II-II.3

Question 3 is a short piece on the exterior act of faith, “confession.”  My comments will also be brief.

In Article 2, St. Thomas indicates that every believer would be obliged to speak his faith in certain circumstances, namely when the honor of God or a neighbor’s need require it.  This, he says, is because the act of faith should be directed by the double love of God and neighbor.  But he also comments that not everyone is equally obliged:  those who are by office teachers of the faith are more often obliged to speak their faith—to “confess.”

This seems to show that, in St. Thomas’s mind, “doing theology” in the classroom or in the lecture hall is in fact an exterior act of faith, a “confession.”  And this conclusion fits with his reasoning in Article 1, where he says that confession is an act of faith because speech is intended to express outwardly our interior concepts; the same can be said of teaching or writing theology.

Of course, I’m sure one could do a falsely academic kind of theology in which the teacher divorces what he is saying from his interior convictions, but the trend of these blog posts would be to question whether that activity is “theology” in any but a remote sense of the word.

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Author: Dr. Holmes

Dr. Jeremy Holmes teaches Theology at Wyoming Catholic College. He lives in Wyoming with his wife, Jacinta, and their eight children.

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