“As we shall see, his Summa theologiae was not a university text, but was intended to serve the educational needs of the average Dominican friar, preparing him for the task of preaching and hearing confessions. As I hope will become apparent over the course of this book, keeping this in mind gives us a somewhat different picture of Thomas and his work.”
-Bauerschmidt, Thomas Aquinas, 22.
In light of which, in light of the fact that the Summa really is top quality in terms of the doctrine of the Trinity, see also this.
* * *
I did notice that Michael Horton was worked up about who is praying for Trump’s inauguration. It generated some scenarios, quite apart from whatever it was he has to say, which, because it is Michael Horton, I didn’t bother to read.
Perhaps they will amuse you.
Trump Tower, 11:44PM.
Melania enters. “Trump, what are you doing still up?”
“I’m reading Bavnik and Turrenip, honey.”
“I’ve got to find people to pray for the inauguration. I’m trying to figure out the right theology.”
“What has that got to do with the president of the United States? I’m an immigrant, so I actually know the history and civics. What has the theology got to do? It’s a country, not a church.”
“We can’t just have the Catholics pray. Like, say ten Hail Marys–wrong signal! We have to have representation. I was talking to Mitt Romney and when he suggested one of the apostles, I was like ‘ok’ but it got me thinking. I need to make judgments based on good theology and not be mainstreaming Joel Osteen and heretics. How can I live with myself if I mainstream heretics?”
Melania raises her eyebrows. “I see.”
“This country is God’s, you know, and it looks bad for Evangelicals if they vote for me and then I mainstream heresy. They deserve better.”
“Can’t you just ask Jerry? What’s the point of Jerry?”
“Jerry gets me, ok, and he has a better sense of what’s going on than other evangelical leaders I could mention, but I’m not sure he gets theology, you know?”
“Why not, Trump? What’s wrong with Jerry?”
“For one, when they posed for a picture with me it was in front of my playboy cover award. I don’t think he can get up and pray before a whole country now. For another he’s not reformed.”
“Trump, what’s reformed? Are we reformed?”
“Course we’re reformed. Where did we get married? Every time I get married its in a Presbyterian church, sweetie. You know that. That’s reformed, ok? We get baptized and try not to swear in public a lot. That’s reformed. I need some space to read Turrenip, ok? I can’t be asking the Generals, and Kellyanne just recommends Catholics. Ivanka has a Rabbi lined up, I just need someone who’s not a heretic, so I have to figure out what kind of things to ask them about, ok? Don’t worry, it won’t take me long.”
Trump Golf Course, 3:30PM
“Trump, who’s going to pray at the inauguration?”
“I don’t know, Reince. They usually have somebody pray, do they?”
“Course. This is the USA. You can’t start something big without a prayer. Bad precedent. Bad luck too. They’ll be all over you if you pick the wrong person.”
“They’ll be all over me, Reince, no matter who gets picked. Who do you think?”
“Get somebody from a small denomination, controversial, a theonomist or something really obscure like that.”
“Reince, are you stabbing me in the back?”
“No, man. What are you going to get if you get a big name? Just wishy washy religion. The bigger the congregation, the looser the theology. You want something small. Maybe someone who still calls himself a fundamentalist, who is prepared to do battle royal for the fundamentals of the faith.”
“And who would those be?”
“We can find out.”
“Not feeling it, Reince. I want big.”
“Aw, c’mon Trump. I’m telling you, otherwise you’d be mainstreaming heresy. Do you want to mainstream heresy?”
“Will it bring back jobs, Reince? Answer me that. Church staff, janitors, facilities, upkeep, power, trash removal. Jobs Reince. I’m bringing them back.”
“Aw, c’mon Trump.”
“I was thinking of Ted Cruz’s dad’s pastor, actually.”
“That guy even looks fake. Just look at his h . . . uh, I mean, his theology is bogus. Hey, Ted Cruz’s dad is a preacher.”
“Are you trying to stab me in the back, man? He’ll go on a rant about voting your conscience.”
“How about . . . John Piper?”
“Too weird. I do like the hedonism, but maybe we should tone that stuff down, you know? Be presidential.”
“Dispensational. The slogan is make America great again, not watch it slide into Armageddon from the clouds.”
“How about a Barthian?”
“I don’t want to mainstream Barthianism, are you crazy. All the mainline places are Barthian. That’s why I never go to church, man.”
“Ok, I got it. Russell Moore. He’s in the SBC, isn’t he? Aren’t they big?”
“Wasn’t he a diehard nevertrump, Reince? Are you trying to stab me in the back? We need someone who shares my values man, not some loser who doesn’t even know what [smirks] people he’s supposed to be leading want.”
“How about Al Mohler then?”
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THOSE GUYS HAVE BRUCE WARE AND ARE MAINSTREAMING ETERNAL FUNCTIONAL SUBORDINATION!!! Are you trying to stab me in the back, Reince? I gotta have better theology at my inauguration. Don’t give me all these people outside of my theology.”
“Shucks, what is your theology, Trump?”
* * *
Tolkien’s birthday was yesterday. I cannot imagine trying to make sense of the world without Tolkien. What if I had been born before the Lord of the Rings? All I can say is that I’m glad to have been born to my times.