Document: M.C. Smit, Writings on God and History, Vol. 1 (Jordan Station, ON.: Wedge Publishing Foundation, 1987).

Excerpt: There is a general feeling that Roman Catholic theology and philosophy are basically unchanging quantities. No matter what theological or philosophical handbook one picks up, its content, it is generally thought, amounts always to the same thing; it is only in the form that one writer shows himself bolder and more original than another. We strongly doubt the correctness of this notion. In any case, it is not applicable to current Roman Catholic thought. In many areas of theology and philosophy Catholic thinkers are looking for new avenues. Sometimes the new insights gained are so surprising that one wonders whether they still really fit into the framework of the Roman Catholic worldview. That tensions should appear is obvious.

What is taking place involves more than mere resistance to a theory adhered to by a number of theologians. Rather, it is a reaction against a line that has been followed for centuries. The impulse for renewal finds its strongest expression in the area of theology. In this regard people often think immediately and exclusively of the so-called New Theology. However, it should not be forgotten that prior even to the rise of this theology a strong, dynamic development was observable in Roman Catholic theology. The study of modern philosophical systems and of the early Church Fathers influenced Roman Catholic thought more profoundly than anyone at first had suspected. The result was twofold. Some remained faithful to Thomism and attempted to harmonize elements of modern thought with it. Others, by contrast, detached themselves from Scholasticism and either denied the possibility of a metaphysics which, insofar as the essentials are concerned, can be valid for all times; or else found in the writings of the Fathers deeper and richer insights than those available in traditional philosophy.

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Writings On God And History, Volume I – M.C. Smit.pdf