Today’s Aquinas: The Many Names of God

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Up until now, Thomas has mostly been working from Aristotle’s playbook.  He has shown us that:There is a First Cause That it is metaphysically simple That it is infinite That it is the Creator of all other beings and the source of all of their perfectionsAt this point, then, we have a divine creator, but Thomas has not yet shown that this divine cre … [Read more...]

Today’s Aquinas: There’s Nothing Accidental about God

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Thomas is always careful to dot all of his I's and cross all of his T's, and that's what we have going on in Chapter 23 of Compendium Theologiae: Absence of Accidents in God.In the previous two chapters, Thomas has shown that God contains all perfections found in creatures without losing His metaphysical simplicity. Covering all of his bases, Thomas now shows … [Read more...]

Today’s Aquinas: God is One, though He Creates Multitudes

ThomasAquinas

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In chapter 21, Thomas showed that all perfections—good qualities—in created things reflect some perfection in God.  But the perfections in created things are many; how can one metaphysically simple God contain multitudes? Thomas addresses this in Chapter 22.God is one, simple, having no parts (Thomas hasn’t forgotten the Trinity, here; but it will be some cha … [Read more...]

Today’s Aquinas: Creation Reflects God’s Perfection

"So, you're telling me that I exemplify a perfection found in God?"

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Not only is there no imperfection in God's infinity, says Thomas in Chapter 21 of the Compendium Theologiae, but He is necessarily more perfect than anything finite.  And this has an obvious consequence:The further inference clearly follows that all perfections found in anything at all must originally and superabundantly be present in God. Whatever moves somet … [Read more...]

Today’s Aquinas: Infinity and Imperfection, or God and the Oaks

Two imperfect birds.  But they'll grow.

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Just because something is infinite doesn't mean that it is infinitely perfect—depending on how you define "infinite" and how you define "perfect".  I can imagine an infinite patchwork quilt, infinitely long and infinitely wide, that contains an infinite number of stitching errors.  It might be perfectly huge, and yet by no means perfect.But as Thomas expla … [Read more...]

CT 19: Infinite Power of God

Bread: more act, less potency!

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Having now established that God is infinite, and having distinguished between this and a purely mathematical notion of infinity, Thomas now goes on to say what it means for God to be infinite.The further inference is drawn that God is infinite in power. For power is consequent upon a thing’s essence; anything whatever possesses a power of activity consonant wi … [Read more...]

CT 18: The Infinity of God According to Essence

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In the previous chapter, Thomas showed that God does not exist bodily according to His essence (the Incarnation is a separate concern).  And then he says, perhaps surprisingly,This leads to the question of God’s infinity.We think of a body as the physical part of a human being or animal.  In Aristotelian terms, though, a body is any material thing that t … [Read more...]

CT 17: God Neither the Form of a Body nor a Force in a Body

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.And so we continue the long march through the categories, showing that God isn't any of the normal things of our experience.  We've shown in the past that God isn't a species predicated of individuals, so He isn't the essence of an individual being.  We've shown that God isn't a body that has an essence.  And now we see that God isn't something that pertains to a … [Read more...]

CT 16: God Not A Body

These bodies clearly don't move by themselves.

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.A body, in philosophical terms, is a material thing that takes up space.  Stones, trees, dogs, and human beings are all bodies, that being the most general physical genus on the Tree of Porphyry.  God, however, is not this kind of thing.It is evident, further, that God Himself cannot be a body. For in every body some composition is found, since a body has part … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X