St. Thomas distinguishes between “science,” “faith,” and “opinion.”

We have seen how “reason” differs from “faith”: reason is used in verifying a claim directly, while faith is in the testimony of another person.

One is not free to doubt upon seeing a rigorous scientific or logical demonstration; but one is always free to believe or disbelieve a given testimony.

Thus, the truth of the articles of Christian faith is testified to by the Holy Spirit. Since God always tells the truth, it is a virtuous act to accept that testimony, and a vicious one to reject it.

Smith is aware of this position:

Faith, according to Aquinas, “is an act of the will moved by the grace of God.” Retaining this element of voluntary consent permitted Aquinas to argue that acceptance on faith is a “meritorious act.” (181)

He is, however, dissatisfied with it, apparently because things other than love for truth are supposedly used to “bribe” the believer into accepting the faith. But, in fact, no such unbecoming shenanigans take place. What is wrong with the Holy Spirit’s internal witness, either for an individual or for the Church as a whole? Smith never tells us.


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