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St. Thomas Aquinas on Justification, pt. 1

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Series Introduction

C.S. Lewis once said, “It’s a good rule after reading a new book never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to three new ones.... Every age has its own outlook. It is especially good at seeing certain truths and especially liable to make certain mistakes. We all therefore need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period.... None of us can fully escape this blindness, but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our guard against it, if we read only modern books....The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds and this can only be done by reading old books.” 1

This principle becomes more evident in our own time. When we peer into those old books of each of our respective traditions, we see something fuller, deeper, more precise than those books of our day. Books today are beggarly in comparison to those of old. They are treasures that have been uncovered. They provide paradigm-shifting perspectives never thought of. The work of our Theological age is not providing “new,” “original,” or “fresh” perspectives as many have taught. Instead, the labor of our age is to labor to uncover those works that have been lost before we even think of building something new.