Aquinas and the Holy Scriptures on Free Will

Explores Thomas Aquinas’s thoughts on free will and how they compare to the Scripture’s approach to free will.

The paper presents a thorough summary, explanation, and analysis of Aquinas’s arguments and how they compare with the Scriptures. The paper looks at the ways in which Aquinas drew on Aristotle to support his ideas and how these ideas can, at times, be in conflict with the Scriptures and yet be supported by the Scriptures. Finally, this paper looks at how the Scriptures alone can be used to justify the concept of free will.
St. Thomas of Aquinas is recognized by the Orthodox as one of the foundational theologians, particularly in that he provided an important step in towards the Renaissance by helping to reacquaint Christianity with Aristotle, who he refers to throughout his as the Philosopher. As one who draws inspiration from Aristotle, he is particularly interested in rational philosophy as applied to the realm of religion and theology. This makes his defense of free will particularly strong, though at points one feels he lacks the necessary sense of ambiguity to completely address the Biblical texts. What is important to glean from his work, however, is a message that is also prominent in the Scriptures: that man is made to God’s image, in so far as the image implies an intelligent being endowed with free-will and self-movement…” (Summa Theologica, II:1:1) ”