Aquinas for Armchair Theologians
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Aquinas for Armchair Theologians (Armchair Theologians)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  56 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Thomas Aquinas was one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Christianity and in western civilization. But his theological views can seem complex, and presume acquaintance with technic
Paperback, 163 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published February 15th 2002)
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Justin Tapp
Unlike the previous Armchair Theologians book I read (on Calvin), this book discussed very little of Aquinas' life and instead focused on his philosophical works and their impact on the Western world. Renick is a professor of religion at Georgia State and does a good enough job making the complex somewhat humorous, and using some simple analogies to explain difficult concepts. Renick looks mostly at the Summa Theologica, but also explores some of Aquinas' other works. This is not a comprehensive...more
Very good intro into aquinas. Though a tad flip at times. Didn't need to smartass commets or references to current culture. But still a good introduction and insight into Aquinas.
Feb 23, 2013 Jimmy added it
This is the second book I read from the series of books “for Armchair Theologians.” I’m beginning to doubt these books are for armchair theologians. For this series, the editors picked a professor of religion at Georgia State University. In the beginning of the book the author reveal his interests for Aquinas through his professors in his graduate studies at Princeton University. The first chapter was a good and concise biography of Aquinas, and I learned that Aquinas was actually a name of the...more
Don Weidinger
Understand truth by thinking, via 1200's, prove truth thru reason, evil as a lack of good thus seek good, creation is only good, God makes only good and you can choose evil, evil is privation of good, metaphysics is after/beyond physical realm, trust in God/relationship with God, moral and natural law based on reason, what is end result of action, end result of sex is procreation--love/unity--pleasure(all 3), just war is just cause-authority-intent, double effect is 1 good/1 bad, do no harm, mor...more
I'm tempted to give this book three stars instead of four solely because of the terrible writing style, but credit where credit is due. Renick has indeed done the unlikely by giving a brief, readable, and somewhat comphrensive survey of some of the thought of Thomas Aquinas. It is impressive to engage Aquinas in less that 200 pages without being trite or fluffy, and Renick does it well.
Having said that, the book can be an annoying read at times. No doubt Renick is an excellent lecturer, but many...more
this is an informal, somewhat lighthearted (maybe even, occasionally irreverent) introduction to the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. In a few short chapters (9 i believe) you get a brief bio of Aquinas, why he matters and a gentle introduction to his thoughts on evil, sex, politics, just war and a few other subjects. The last chapter describes how the summa theologica is laid out and how to tackle reading it.

In all I am very satisfied with this first book of my summer reading program of becoming...more
Adam Shields
Short review: This is a short, very readable introduction to Aquinas. It is not going to go deeply into depth, but it does give a good overview to Aquinas' major contribution (understanding of God, Natural Law, Just War theory, sexuality, politics, etc.). People seem to be split on whether you like it based on if you think it is a funny book. It is a bit corny, but respectful of the subject and very easy to listen to and still get the point. This is the second of the armchair series I have read....more
I love these "...for Armchair Theologians" books. This is my fourth or fifth. Very enjoyable. Personally, I find Thomas Aquinas unreadable, but I get a lot out of reading about him and his thinking. What a remarkable mind he had. My late grandfather and namesake Michael J. Cremin Jr. was a Thomist, and has a quote from Saint Aquinas on his gravestone: Do Good, Avoid Evil.

Excellent advice.
Kessia Reyne
A basic, straightforward overview of Aquinas and his contribution to modern thought. Written with a touch of humor, Renick seems to have a healthy suspicion of Aquinas. It was a little more simplistic than I was hoping for, but it served as a great introduction. I especially appreciated his guide at the end about the structure of and how to read Summa Theologica.
The voice of reason regarding religion just before the Renaissance
I did this on the audio approach – only three CDs. A very accessible discussion of Aquinas, his methods, his effects on western philosophy, and some of his thousands of points. It motivated me to look into the actual writing - besides its messages, it is an excellent example of logical thought and presentation.
The book provides a general introduction to Aquinas, focusing more on his political and legal influence than on his theological insights. The book is greatly marred by the author's jokiness and entire absence of wit as he attempts to wink at the reader. Aquinas deserves better than such stupidity.
Pastor Jamie Strickler
Good introduction to the thought of St. Thomas. Most of Aquinas' writings are written like legal arguments and are not very fun to read. This book will give one an wntertaining overview of this great Christian mind.
The book is a surface read. It only delves into philosophy very lightly. The story of Aquinas resisting temptation as his canonizing miracle was funny. I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
Good introduction!
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