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What does Catholic Theology say about how it is possible for us to know God?

Michael_Jay's picture

What does Catholic Theology say about how it is possible for us to know God?

Are the proofs of God's existence as expressed by Aquinas part of knowing? Or are they just a natural scientific series of steps?

Are proofs really necessary or can theology take us straight into the understanding of the word knowing in terms of what God reveals to us through the OT and then made more explicit later when Jesus comes into this world historically through His Incarnation?

michael_legna's picture

When knowledge comes in faith is no longer present

Michael_Jay said -
What does Catholic Theology say about how it is possible for us to know God?

It all depends on how we use the word "know". To have knowledge (as in certainty) of something means there is no longer any need to have faith in that thing. So the RCC does not teach that we know God in that way. But we do accept that there is evidence of God in three ways; through His creation, through our personal lives and through Revelation.

Michael_Jay said -
Are the proofs of God's existence as expressed by Aquinas part of knowing? Or are they just a natural scientific series of steps?

There are "proofs" offer by Aquinas and others which try to show God is necessary and so a reality. But these are known to be philosophically to be insufficient having logical problems in their structure. So the Catechism says these are better seen as "convincing or converging arguments", not as scientific proofs.

So what does it mean to come to a "knowledge of God" as we are directed to do in Hos 6:6 and other places? It means to come to understand His plan for us and His teachings and what it is He expects of us.

Michael_Jay said -
Are proofs really necessary or can theology take us straight into the understanding of the word knowing in terms of what God reveals to us through the OT and then made more explicit later when Jesus comes into this world historically through His Incarnation?

Proofs are not necessary, anymore than Thomas should have required them.

Theology can be done by anyone, so theology also is no guarantee we come to a proper knowledge of Him. Only proper theology, with the force of authority behind it should be trusted.

That is why Christ built His Church and told us to obey and submit to those who watch over our souls, because only the leadership of the Church was promised the ability to do theology accurately so that they could bind and loose on earth as in heaven.

It is by faith in His Church to reveal to us His message (feeding the sheep) that we come to know God and can then do His will.




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