Having just finished a round of Church History in my seminary training, I found this posting to be of some significant interest. Thomas was an interesting fellow...A Dominican monk who’s life-long endeavor was to reconcile or synthesize the natural philosophy of Aristotle (had reemerged as a popular philosophical line) with Christian teachings in the Church.
I would equate this with today’s “post-modern” blend of humanism with Christianity that some call “emergent” church.
He is also know for rationalizing and promoting the Catholic Church’s selling of indulgences.
And then this bit from the posted article just finishes it off for me:
“The fourth and final reason is that Christ might free the just who were in hell”
The Bible is clear that Hell is for the unjust. So how could Christ have a need to literally rescue “just” people from Hell?
read the endnotes ?
One nice thing about reading one's Breviary is that one gets just about all the psalms every month. And certainly one theme that shows up there is the (on the one hand) notion that when we croak we descend into, well into some place that is not full of whoopee, and (on the other hand) an unquenched hope.
I wouldn't say that Aquinas sought to synthesize Aristotle with Xty. It's more like Aristotle supplied him with a manner of thinking that enabled him to articulate Xtian doctrines in a systematic way. Aristotle supplied tools which which Thomas sought to carve out an explanation and exposition.
I guess I think this is an important difference. There is not a merging of "Athens and Jerusalem." The end product of THAT would be a kind of adulteration of Christianity. There is something more like the application of a hermeneutic, or like an architect (Jerusalem) engaging a contractor (Athens) to bring into discourse what the architect designed.
Okay, that analogy is lame ....
The "hell" of the Apostles' Creed is Sheol, the abode of the righteous dead before Christ's coming. It's not the hell of the damned and the fallen angels.
The Latin -- the Apostles' Creed is originally the Roman baptismal creed -- makes this clear. It says that Christ descended ad infernum -- "to the depths" or "to the lower regions". No implication that he went to save the damned.
Aquinas had nothing to do with the "selling" of indulgences.
There's no Protestant seminary on earth that will give you a fair and unbiased view of Catholicism, just like there's no GM dealership that will give you a fair and unbiased view of Fords or Toyotas.