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One-Minute Aquinas [Paperback]

PhD Vost Kevin
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Sophia Institute Press (11 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1622821580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1622821587
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 639,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kevin Vost, Psy.D. (b. 1961) has taught psychology at the University of Illinois at Springfield, Lincoln Land Community College, and MacMurray College. A former powerlifter and Highland Games Heavy Events competitor, Dr. Vost has also served as a weightlifting instructor, fitness writer for the International Association of Resistance Trainers, Research Review Committee Member for American Mensa (the high IQ society), lector for St. Agnes Catholic Church, and fast food fries and drink man (a few decades back). His voice (and sometimes the rest of him) travel the globe sharing themes of faith, philosophy, and fitness on radio, television, and in live presentations.

Dr. Vost's latest books are St. Albert the Great: Champion of Faith and Reason (TAN, 2011), and (with the help of co-authors Shane Kapler, Peggy Bowes, and some special guests including author and Son Rise Morning Show producer Matt Swaim) is Tending the Temple: 365 Days of Spiritual and Physical Devotions (Bezalel Books, August, 2011). On the plate for 2012 for TAN are Three Irish Saints: A Study in Spiritual Styles and for Catholic Answers, Memorize the Reasons! The Catholic Art of Memory for Apologetics.

A self-styled Aristotelian/Stoic/Albertine/Thomist, this author lives with his wife, two sons, and their dog Mindy (who makes a cameo appearance in Chapter 1 of Unearthing Your Ten Talents).

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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3.0 out of 5 stars a usefeul summary of this great philosopher 27 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book presumes no previous knowledge of philosophy but it expects a Christian reader. In its attempt at popularity it must somewhat fail t to demonstrate the brilliance, range and objectivity of the author's monumental work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY accessible introduction to Aquinas 21 Feb 2014
By Jason Neff - Published on
I have read four other books by Dr. Vost - Memorize the Faith, Unearthing Your Ten Talents, From Atheism to Catholicism, and Fit for Eternal Life. One Minute Aquinas is his best work yet. Among all of the books I have read seeking to provide a lay person's introduction to Aquinas, this one is the most accessible.

Anyone who has attempted to read Aquinas, especially the Summa Theologica (his "introduction" to theology) can attest to the difficulty. Aquinas is brilliant, and the subjects he traverses are often very abstract (such as delving deeply into the mystery of the Trinity). Add to that philosophical language that has very precise meanings that are often unknown to non-philosophers...and most people give up on the Summa. I have managed to preserver with the help of guides like Pieper, Garrigou-Lagrange, Feser, and even notes from a seminary course on St. Thomas's thought. I wish I could have started with "One Minute Aquinas" first and then progressed to these works.

Vost does a masterful job of giving a 30,000 foot view of the Summa in less than 300 pages. He explains in laymen's terms some of the key concepts that St. Thomas discusses in the Summa, taking us on a lightning tour of all three parts. He consistently references the Summa throughout the book, which is very helpful when you want to go back to the Summa and compare the original work against Vost's explanations.

In One-Minute Aquinas, Dr. Vost has done much to introduce a new generation of truth seekers to the Angelic Doctor. I hope he will someday consider a sequel that delves even further into the thought of St. Thomas, especially what Thomas wrote in part 1 about the nature of God, which can be some of the most challenging material. For anyone who wants a further exposition of Thomistic thought on the virtues, I also recommend Vost's "Discovering Your Ten Talents."

As with Vost's other books, this work could have used slightly better editing by the publisher - I found a few typos and misprints. However, the frequency is much reduced relative to his previous writings, and this book is too good to reduce the rating for a publishing issue.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aquinas For Everyone 27 Feb 2014
By Cheryl Dickow - Published on
As I write this review, I am charged with trying to find new ways and enticing words to describe the work of Kevin Vost. Having had the pleasure of offering endorsements for his work (St. Albert the Great), writing reviews for his numerous titles (such as Memorize the Reasons), and having published the wholly unique, daily devotional he wrote with Peggy Bowes and Shane Kapler (Tending the Temple), I realize that I am forced to repeat myself and go with this tried and true summary: Vost is a brilliant author. Everything he writes is witty and shaped by his intelligence and insight.

The One-Minute Aquinas is no exception.

In fact, as I thumb through it, it occurs to me that this book is actually way more fun that any non-fiction book ought to be! But that's Kevin: a man who walks the talk and shares it with all in an inviting, warm way. If anyone is going to convert lost souls, it will be Kevin through his work as an author. He is intelligent without being brash; he is a gift to those of us who wish to know the likes of an Aquinas because Vost can present the works of such a thinker in a way that you and I get it without bringing it down a level.

As I read this book it becomes apparent that what Vost does--and what is so incredibly evident in this excellent book--is raises us, the readers, up to a level that we did not know we could achieve.

The One-Minute Aquinas is made up of three parts: How Can We Be Happy--on Earth and in Heaven?; God; and, Who Is Christ? Each part is made up of chapters wherein Vost uses questions you and I have (or should have) and then uses Summa Theologica to answer but in a way that is much clearer than you or I will remember from our own efforts to tackle the work.

The Table of Contents is excellent--which in a work such as this is important.

The content itself lives up to its name--also very important. So you can pick this book up and thumb through it and be enlightened in a minute...but I am willing to bet that before you know it, that one minute is an hour that only felt like a minute.

Finally, I have to give kudos to Sophia Institute for their awesome cover. It absolutely captures the essence of Vost's work.

Bravo, Kevin, bravo!

Tending the Temple: 365 Days of Spiritual and Physical Devotions
Memorize the Reasons!: Defending the Faith with the Catholic Art of Memory
St. Albert the Great: Champion of Faith and Reason
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly thorough crash-course in Thomas' theology 24 Jan 2014
By Shane Kapler - Published on
Anyone who has cracked the Summa for the first time quickly realizes that he or she is on semi-foreign soil. Yes, Thomas wrote about the God we love and the Faith we are devoted to living, but 13th century philosophical vocabulary can be immensely difficult to follow. I have purchased a number of thick commentaries in the hopes of making headway, but I've never come across one like Kevin Vost's "The One-Minute Aquinas." At less than 300 pages, it is an insightful, comprehensible (and fun) treatment of the entire Summa.

As hard as this may be to believe, in only 42 brief sections, Dr. Vost is able to lead us through Thomas' theological understanding of man, God in Himself, the Incarnation and life of Jesus, and the life of grace. The section on Thomas' five "proofs" of God's existence, for example, is penetrative. Vost moves from quoting and explaining Thomas' proofs in more accessible language to addressing the New Atheists' misunderstanding of them. Then, memory master that he is, Dr. Vost translates the information into both a chart and diagram (take your pick) to aid in forming connections and later recall. I appreciated the way he tried to draw attention to fine points as well. An example: While we can affirm that God's existence can be known through reason, it is a mistake to say His existence is "self-evident." And if we have questions and want to delve deeper into Dr. Vost's summation, his explanation of Thomas' terminology and copious footnotes help us dig deeper into the Summa for ourselves - it's right there online! Take a subject as profound and as intricate as the Incarnation, simply Google Vost's footnote to "ST, Part III, Question 2" (and following), to continue mining.

Sprinkled throughout the book are also insets labeled "Dumb Ox Box"es (after Thomas' nickname while at university). These address questions of interest to readers that don't easily fit into the schema of the book, and range from the whimsical, "Is it a sin to be boring?," to the grave, "Is it fair to lay an ambush in war?"

This book is a wonderful contribution to the growing body of literature dedicated to equipping the laity for the New Evangelization. Pope St. Pius X stated his conviction that, "a man can derive more profit from [Thomas'] books in one year than from a lifetime spent pondering the philosophy of others." If you are looking to not just meet the Angelic Doctor but to spend time meditating upon his Summa, then I can't think of a better resource than Dr. Kevin Vost's "The One-Minute Aquinas."
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aquinas For Dummies 8 May 2014
By Ronald J. Garofalo - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have not fully absorbed this book yet but find it very helpful in getting a better grasp on the Angelic Doctor's theology. But I am disappointed in the rather lamentable failure of the publisher in proofreading this work. I have found several sentences unfinished when they start at the bottom of one page and do not continue on the following page (you don't know how many words have been omitted)! This offsets the author's intent to present Aquinas's work more clearly. Disappointing.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If I ever have a desire to read Aquinas, this will be the book I turn to 18 April 2014
By Stuart Dunn - Published on
The One-Minute Aquinas is Dr. Vost's attempt to make St. Thomas Aquinas' writings understandable to the masses. Instead of using the line-by-line approach of walking through the Summa Theologica, Dr. Vost instead focuses on important questions Aquinas answered in his writing. Topics include, but are not limited to, salvation, the Trinity, sin, free will, and evil in the world. The beauty of this book is that you can choose to read it from beginning to end or simply skip to topics, which are of interest to you. I chose the latter approach.

One chapter that particularly caught my interest was "Your Soul and its Eleven Passions." Thomas Aquinas divided the passions into two main groups - "concupiscible appetite, fueled by love, whereby we have affinity for good and are repelled by evil; and the irascible appetite, which motivates us to remove difficult obstacles to the attainment of what we love." In the concupiscible appetite category are the passions of love, desire, joy, hatred, aversion, and sorrow. And in the irascible appetite category are the passions of hope, despair, daring, fear, and anger. The chapter then goes on to offer a remedy for sorrow and later it contrasts anger and hatred. In this latter subject, he shows how both anger and hatred are wrong, but states that "hatred is more incurable than anger." It really makes you think twice before you casually say that you hate someone.

Getting to the heart of Aquinas' writings and making them accessible for the average person is not an easy feat, but Dr. Vost does a fine job...and in under 300 pages! Included in this book are flow charts and tables to help better illustrate ideas more clearly than just reading through paragraph after paragraph of text. There is also a bit of humor in little asides called "Dumb Ox Box." Some topics in these boxes include "Is it a sin to be boring?" and "Is it a sin to drink wine?" Though I wasn't the intended audience for this book, I see the merit in this book and think that it will have mass appeal to seminarians, philosophy majors, or just those who want to better understand the Angelic Doctor. If I ever feel the need to try and read St. Thomas Aquinas, this is the first book I will reach for.
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