Divine simplicity : a dogmatic account
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This thesis offers a constructive account of the doctrine of divine simplicity in Christian theology. In its methodology, the thesis aims to present this divine perfection as an implicate of the scriptural portrayal of God, to draw upon the insights and conceptual resources of Thomas Aquinas and various Reformed orthodox theologians, and to respond to some objections to divine simplicity. The focus on exegetical elaboration of biblical teaching and the use of Thomas and the Reformed orthodox distinguish this work from a number of recent accounts of God in both systematic theology and analytic philosophy. The case for God’s simplicity is made by examining God’s singularity, aseity, immutability, infinity, and act of creation in Holy Scripture and then tracing the ways in which these descriptions of God imply that he is (negatively) not composed of parts. Rather, he is (positively) actus purus and really identical with his own essence, existence, and attributes, each of which is identical with the whole being of the triune God considered under some aspect. In light of the constructive work, this study then addresses the three most pressing objections to divine simplicity: (1) that it denigrates God’s revelation of his many attributes in the economy; (2) that it eliminates God’s freedom in creating the world and acting in history; and (3) that it does not cohere with the doctrine of the Trinity.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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