Aquinas and Divine Freedom: The Willing God

Eclectic Orthodoxy

If God is eternal, immutable, and incomposite, how is it that his creation of the cosmos is not a necessary and thus unfree and fettered act? St Thomas Aquinas addresses this question in his Summa Contra Gentiles. In the previous article I presented, in abbreviated fashion, the first three steps of his argument. I continue with the next three.

4) God has will, and his will is his essence (SCG I.72-73).

If God is intelligent, then he also possesses will, for to know reality is to know the goodness and perfection of reality. “For, since the understood good is the proper object of the will,” Thomas writes, “the understood good is, as such, willed“ (I.72.2). The act of knowing and the act of willing are thus indivisible and co-implicative. To know the good is to will the good. This is preeminently true for the transcendent Good:

Hence, he…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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