(Book review) Thomas Aquinas (Great Thinkers)


Reviewed by: Hope Bolinger, a professional writing major at Taylor University.

 


Introduction

Title: Thomas Aquinas (Great Thinkers)

Author: K. Scott Oliphint

Publisher: P&R Publishing Company

Publication Date: 2017

Format: Print book

Length: 145 pages

OVERVIEW

Although Thomas Aquinas influenced both Christian and philosophical thought, some of his statements do not stand the test of time. Given his overreliance on secular resources opposed to Scripture, Oliphint pinpoints two areas in which Aquinas’s insights erred. First, in epistemology—the study of truth—and second, the foundation of existence.  The author first presents the views of Aquinas and then follows with a critique.

Oliphint merits a high score due to his vigorous and exhaustive study of every angle of the subject matter at hand. The book proves that even the greatest of philosophers rely on the cultural implications of the day. In Aquinas’s case, this meant a dualistic worldview. However, this book is so extremely academic there is an aspect of incomprehensibility to some of its content.  Granted, although the author gears his book toward a more intellectual audience, he argues that “students will benefit from [the author’s] clear, precise, and succinct analysis . . .”  However, speaking for myself as a college philosophy student—having wrestled with perplexing philosophers such as Kant and Nietzsche–I found Oliphints’s work very difficult to understand. Even Aquinas’s own writing is clearer and plainer than that found in this newer book.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians and philosophers interested in the works of Aquinas

Christian Impact

Aquinas was one of the philosophical patriarchs of the Christian faith. However, this book proves that no philosopher is without room for error, and all great Christian thinkers ought to rely on Scripture as the main source of truth.


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About Evangelical Church Library Association

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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