One of the central characters in Berke Breathed’s wonderful comic strip Bloom County was a penguin named Opus. One day Opus decided he wanted to give up television and become more learned. As he walked up the steps of the “Publik Library,” Opus announced: “Attention, dark world of electronic gratification . . . I would like to announce my intellectualization!
If there was one intellectual development in living memory that separates the “grandparent” from the “parent” generation of British theology, it was the rise of logical positivism and analytical philosophy.
A striking aspect of contemporary Protestant theology is the amount of interest shown in the great medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas, who was long regarded as the champion of rationalism and the “natural” knowledge of God—a theology at odds with a Protestant understanding of the limits of reason.
Thomas Aquinas has had a long but, on the whole, not very happy history among Protestants. While some early Protestant reformers were well versed in Thomistic theology, Martin Luther was not among them.