Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius

thomas and christ

One of the lines of St. Thomas Aquinas's wonderful hymn "Adoro Te Devote" is this:

Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius,
Nil hoc verbo Veritatis verius

I believe whatever the Son of God has spoken,
And nothing is truer than this word of Truth.

This is the essence of the intellectual aspect of the Christian faith, I think — to believe whatever the Son of God has said, and to consider His words to be truer than other sort of words.

The same sentiment is found in Origen's Commentary on the Song of Songs, where he allegorizes the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon as the turn of the philosopher to Christ, the true Wisdom of God:

When, therefore, this black and beautiful one [cf. Song 1:5] one saw all these things in the house of the Peaceable King, that is, of Christ, she was amazed. And she said to Him: 'The report is true which I heard in my own country concerning Thy word and concerning Thy prudence. For because of Thy word, which I recognized as the true word, I came to Thee. For all the words that were said to me, and which I heard while I was in my own country, from worldly teachers and philosophers, were not true words. That only is the true word, which is in Thee' (Commentary on Song of Songs II, 1).

This was an experience that I shared in my own lifetime, as well. During my undergraduate years I did my share of philosophical "exploring," so to speak. Though I never left the bounds of theism, I experimented a bit in my readings, touching upon Eastern philosophies as well as ancient Greek ethical thought. By the end of my time at the university, however, through God's grace I was turned back to the true faith, and I realized what Thomas and Origen did — that there is no word truer than that spoken by Christ.

For this reason it saddens me to see Christians who subordinate the word of Christ to philosophy in one way or another. Rather than the believe the Son of God at his word, they prefer to believe what seems intuitively plausible to them, what makes sense to their rationality. Rather than being taught the truth, they presume to be able to discover it entirely on their own, which I judge to be a less than Christian attitude.


About Steven

I study theology and philosophy without ceasing. I have a B.A. in Philosophy from Arizona State University (2013), and an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary (2016). I am currently an adjunct professor of philosophy at Grand Canyon University and a Ph.D. student at Fuller Theological Seminary.
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