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Monday, September 05, 2022


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"In this [Thomist] tradition, God is not described as a being with intentional power...."

I guess I need to go back and read up more on classical theism. I didn't think that classical theism completely ignored biblical testimony as to the personalistic nature of God. God is definitely a person, a "who," in the divine drama of the sacred scriptures, not merely some cold, abstracted entity. He wills, acts, reacts, intends, emotes, etc. The God of the Bible is a Who who is active in human and cosmic history, creating a series of covenants with people—covenants that, taken together, indicate an evolving relationship with humanity. Since I know laughably little about St. Thomas's thought, I can't imagine how Thomas could take the position he took. I suspect I'm misunderstanding something or several somethings, but I read this blog to be enlightened (or to "get schooled" as the kids say).

Hi Bill,

As someone not trained in philosophy, I am struggling to understand this difficult question. After reading your post, I found and read this recent article by Daniel J. Peterson and Christopher Lilly, "Divine Simplicity, God's Freedom and the Supposed Problem of Modal Collapse," which appeared in the Journal of Reformed Theology in April of this year. It is available on line (https://brill.com/view/journals/jrt/16/1-2/article-p127_8.xml), and it may interest you both because of your post and your upcoming revision of your article on divine simplicity in the SEP. It argues against the notion that modal collapse results in the abandonment of God's simplicity or God's freedom. I lack the intellectual resources to evaluate the article's merit, but you certainly possess them, so I call it to your attention.
Regards, Vito

Hi Vito,

When I clicked on the above link I got Page Not Found. But thanks for the reference. I should be able to track it down. Ah yes, here it is: file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/[15697312%20-%20Journal%20of%20Reformed%20Theology]%20Divine%20Simplicity,%20God%E2%80%99s%20Freedom,%20and%20the%20Supposed%20Problem%20of%20Modal%20Collapse.pdf

I downloaded it and printed it out. Will read it before long and 'blog it.' Stay tuned.

DDS is a hot topic theses days with a lot of philosophers and theologians writing about it. It's as if we are back in the Middle Ages. The logical positivists must be rolling over in their graves.

I tried the link you give Bill, that didn't work for me. I found the following link did work:https://brill.com/view/journals/jrt/16/1-2/article-p127_8.xml?rskey=Jqy7iY&result=9

Thanks, Nigel. Your link is good!


I just found your comment in the spam corral. I need to check that place more often. If past comments of yours did not appear, no you know why.

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