Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Latin Quote of the Day

"Non in dialectica complacuit Deo salvum facere populum suum."
--- Aurelius Ambrosius, 378 AD, De Fide I:5, 42

"It is not the will of God to save his people through dialectics."
--- St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (333-397 AD), On the Faith I:5,42


deepoctave said...

Thank you!

Tallmon said...


"God has not deigned to save His people by means of dialectic."

Alex Mike Frank Roth said...

Dialectic might better be translated as 'logic', 'paper logic', or 'dialectic disputation'. I think Ambrose's point here, as Newman suggests, is that all the logic in the world can't bring one to true knowledge, that is, knowledge guided by the wisdom of faith.

As Newman writes, "And then I felt altogether the force of the maxim of St. Ambrose, 'Non in dialecticâ complacuit Deo salvum facere populum suum;'—I had a great dislike of paper logic. For myself, it was not logic that carried me on; as well might one say that the quicksilver in the barometer changes the weather. It is the concrete being that reasons; pass a number of years, and I find my mind in a new place; how? the whole man moves; paper logic is but the record of it."