Every theology enthusiast – I would never use the term dork – has, at some point, identified himself with one of two factions: the Thomistic Aristotelians or the Augustinian Platonists. Granted, the whole debate is kind of dumb. Reading Aquinas’s commentary on Boethius, one realizes pretty quickly that the Angelic Doctor himself is as much an Augustinian as the more “Platonic” theologians like Bonaventure. Still, there are worse things to argue about over scotch and pipes. Most of my friends back home are alumni of Thomas Aquinas College, so I’m usually the lone Augustinian. But that’s fine. If Pope Benedict is for us, who can be against us?
Of course, Tertullian wouldn’t be amused. The man widely credited as the founder of Western theology had no use for pre-Christian thinkers. “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” he famously sneered. Yet this contempt for classical philosophy has gained little traction except among some radical Calvinists. Most Christians (and all Catholics) have followed Augustine, who taught that “truth belongs to his Lord, wherever it is found, gathering and acknowledging it even in pagan literature.”
[Read more at the Catholic Herald.]