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The Church Courtyard => The Sacred Sciences => Topic started by: Xavier on September 12, 2018, 07:31:15 AM

Title: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Xavier on September 12, 2018, 07:31:15 AM
Can we discuss the Thomistic doctrine of Divine Simplicity? It is clear from the Summa and also from the Councils (and indeed Scripture itself, which speaks of God as Power and Wisdom and Love itself) that this understanding of how God has revealed Himself should inform our loving contemplation of Him. St. Augustine explains that in creatures it is one thing for them to be, and another for them to be wise (or powerful etc). But in the Almighty Being, the necessary First Cause of all other beings, which are contingent upon this Being and derive all they have from Him (according to "in Him we live and move and are" - St. Paul in Acts 17:28), His own Essence itself is Power and Wisdom and all other attributes. So that, all creatures can only be good and holy and wise and beautiful and so on by participation in Divine Goodness (whether in the order of nature, which is common to all, or the order of grace, exclusive to us Christians). What other important conclusions and reflections can we gain from this important doctrine the Angelic Doctor has taught us?
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Philip G. on September 12, 2018, 01:50:28 PM
What is the significance of divine simplicity?  It is presented as though it is interchangeable with divine goodness.  But, participation in goodness is not a simple matter.  Jesus didn't say "be wise as doves and simple as serpents", yet God has made no creature unclean.  Read that one twice.  Participation in divine goodness is not synonymous with a net good or a net positive.  And, if simplicity is not that, what use have I of it?  Children like fables, and children are good.  Those with itching ears like fables, but that is not good. 
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: james03 on September 13, 2018, 12:45:41 PM
It solves the E. paradox (I refuse to look up how to spell it):

a.  If God is a good god, then good is higher than God.
b.  If things are good because God says they are good, then good is arbitrary and really doesn't exist.

Answer:  God is goodness itself.  Divine Simplicity.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Philip G. on September 13, 2018, 02:14:20 PM
It solves the E. paradox (I refuse to look up how to spell it):

a.  If God is a good god, then good is higher than God.
b.  If things are good because God says they are good, then good is arbitrary and really doesn't exist.

Answer:  God is goodness itself.  Divine Simplicity.

Thanks James.

What are we then to make of Jesus saying, "Antichrist cometh, and in me he hath not a thing"?

Does antichrist not make use of good for evil? 
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: sedmohradsko on September 13, 2018, 02:35:39 PM
It solves the E. paradox (I refuse to look up how to spell it):

a.  If God is a good god, then good is higher than God.
b.  If things are good because God says they are good, then good is arbitrary and really doesn't exist.

Answer:  God is goodness itself.  Divine Simplicity.

Is it correct to say God can be reduced to goodness, and this is what is meant by divine simplicity?

I've always thought it meant he could not be reduced to component parts, or something like that.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: John Lamb on September 13, 2018, 04:39:19 PM
Contrary to a modern understanding of wisdom which typically sees it as an ever-increasing accumulation of facts, as in having an "encyclopedic knowledge" of a subject — true wisdom is simple and consists of intuitive knowledge of first principles, and in its highest form the simple contemplation of God's very essence. St. Thomas teaches that the higher and more intellectual an angel is, the fewer distinct things it knows, because by understanding higher and more simple principles it is able to comprehend many things at once.

The simpler and less dependent our life is, the more godlike it is. So to approach godliness it is not necessary to invent more and more machines & medicines, but to achieve detachment from things. The modern idea of a godlike man is the transhumanist cyborg with superhuman powers of strength and intelligence; but the really godlike man is the hermit in his cell who lives on bread & water and requires little of anything else.

There's a stage in the spiritual life where the less you know and the less you do, the more you know and the more you accomplish. This is because the spiritual life tends to greater and greater simplicity, where the soul relies less on its own action and more on God's working in and through it; in this way it approaches the divine simplicity. The highest point attainable is the mystical union with God, where the soul seems to be co-operating with God in the very creation of the universe itself because of its unhesitating assent to the divine will. This is where miracles begin to seem, as it were, no longer so miraculous.

Quote from: Sayings of the Desert Fathers
The old men said of Abba Agathon to Abba Elias, in Egypt, 'He is a good abba.' The old man answered them, 'In comparison with his own generation, he is good.' They said to him, 'And what is he in comparison with the ancients?' He gave them this answer, 'I have said to you that in comparison with his generation he is good but as to that of the ancients, in Scetis [the abode of the eldest desert fathers] I have seen a man who, like Joshua the son of Nun could make the sun stand still in the heavens.' At these words they were astounded and gave glory to God.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Xavier on September 14, 2018, 12:38:01 PM
Thanks, John and James. I agree.

Philip, these are listed as Catholic Dogmas by Dr. Ludwig Ott, "The divine attributes are really identical among themselves and with the
Divine Essence. God is absolutely perfect. God is actually infinite in every perfection. God is absolutely simple ... God is absolute ontological Goodness in Himself and in relation to others. God is absolute moral Goodness or Holiness."

Sed, yup, that's included as well. St. Thomas begins with proving God is without composition before proceeding to show that all that can be predicated of God - His attributes - are God - His Essence. This is a well known maxim in theology, the attributes of God are identical with the Divine Essence. That's why the Scripture says, "God is Charity" (1 Jn 4:8)

The CE has: "God is a simple being or substance excluding every kind of composition, physical or metaphysical. Physical or real composition is either substantial or accidental — substantial, if the being in question consists of two or more substantial principles, forming parts of a composite whole, as man for example, consists of body and soul; accidental, if the being in question, although simple in its substance (as is the human soul), is capable of possessing accidental perfections (like the actual thoughts and volition of man's soul) not necessarily identical with its substance. Now it is clear that an infinite being cannot be substantially composite, for this would mean that infinity is made up of the union or addition of finite parts — a plain contradiction in terms. Nor can accidental composition be attributed to the infinite since even this would imply a capacity for increased perfection, which the very notion of the infinite excludes. There is not, therefore, and cannot be any physical or real composition in God ...

Thus every actual contingent being is a metaphysical compound of essence and existence, and man in particular, according to the definition, is a compound of animal and rational. Essence as such in relation to a contingent being merely implies its conceivableness or possibility, and abstracts from actual existence; existence as such must be added before we can speak of the being as actual. But this distinction, with the composition it implies, cannot be applied to the self-existent or infinite being in whom essence and existence are completely identified. We say of a contingent being that it has a certain nature or essence, but of the self-existent we say that it is its own nature or essence. There is no composition therefore of essence and existence — or of potentiality and actuality — in God" http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06612a.htm#IC

St. Thomas: "...we have shown (I:2:3) that God is pure act, without any potentiality. Hence it is impossible that God should be composed of matter and form. Secondly, because everything composed of matter and form owes its perfection and goodness to its form; therefore its goodness is participated, inasmuch as matter participates the form. Now the first good and the best—viz. God—is not a participated good, because the essential good is prior to the participated good. Hence it is impossible that God should be composed of matter and form ... It is said of God that He is life itself, and not only that He is a living thing: "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). Now the relation between Godhead and God is the same as the relation between life and a living thing. Therefore God is His very Godhead ... God is not only His own essence, as shown in the preceding article, but also His own existence. This may be shown in several ways ... Thirdly, because, just as that which has fire, but is not itself fire, is on fire by participation; so that which has existence but is not existence, is a being by participation. But God is His own essence, as shown above (Article 3) if, therefore, He is not His own existence He will be not essential, but participated being. He will not therefore be the first being—which is absurd. Therefore God is His own existence, and not merely His own essence." http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1003.htm
 
And this is how St. Augustine proved it: Please see: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/130106.htm

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"For the Apostle says, "Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." And hence some on our side have reasoned in this way against the Arians ... If the Son of God is the power and wisdom of God, and God was never without power and wisdom, then the Son is co-eternal with God the Father; but the Apostle says, "Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God;" and a man must be senseless to say that God at any time had not power or wisdom; therefore there was no time when the Son was not ... For that certainly is the power which is the wisdom, and that is the wisdom which is the power; and in like manner, therefore, of the rest also; so that that is the greatness which is the power, or any other of those things which either have been mentioned above, or may hereafter be mentioned.

Chapter 6.— How God is a Substance Both Simple and Manifold.

8. But if it is asked how that substance is both simple and manifold: consider, first, why the creature is manifold, but in no way really simple. And first, all that is body is composed certainly of parts; so that therein one part is greater, another less, and the whole is greater than any part whatever or how great soever ...

And hence the nature of body is conclusively proved to be manifold, and in no respect simple. The spiritual creature also, that is, the soul, is indeed the more simple of the two if compared with the body; but if we omit the comparison with the body, it is manifold, and itself also not simple ... For it is on this account more simple than the body, because it is not diffused in bulk through extension of place, but in each body, it is both whole in the whole, and whole in each several part of it ... But, nevertheless, since in the soul also it is one thing to be skillful, another to be indolent, another to be intelligent, another to be of retentive memory; since cupidity is one thing, fear another, joy another, sadness another ...  it is manifest that its nature is not simple, but manifold. For nothing simple is changeable, but every creature is changeable.

But God is truly called in manifold ways, great, good, wise, blessed, true, and whatsoever other thing seems to be said of Him not unworthily: but His greatness is the same as His wisdom; for He is not great by bulk, but by power; and His goodness is the same as His wisdom and greatness, and His truth the same as all those things; and in Him it is not one thing to be blessed, and another to be great, or wise, or true, or good, or in a word to be Himself."
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Philip G. on September 14, 2018, 08:22:41 PM
xavier - can you provide me with some Ott page numbers?  I looked up attributes in the index, and divine, and there is nothing for either. 
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Quaremerepulisti on September 18, 2018, 08:14:43 PM
Actually, Divine simplicity is a key doctrine with astounding implications.  It's not just a revealed doctrine but a key tenet of natural theology, following directly from God as ipsum esse subsistens. 

Some have argued against it on the basis of modal collapse.  While it's true that modal collapse objections don't work as an argument against the doctrine (contra Bill Vallicella), what's important is why they don't work.  Let's give the following modal collapse argument which is certainly valid and cannot be objected to by reason of substitution in referentially opaque modal contexts (since necessity is the only modality we are using).

1.  Necessarily, God exists.
2.  Necessarily, God's essence is identical to His existence.
3.  Necessarily, an act of creation by God (referring to what is intrinsic to God) is identical to the act of God.
4.  Necessarily, the act of God is identical to the existence of God.
5.  Therefore, necessarily, God's act of creation is identical to the existence of God.
6.  Therefore, necessarily, God's act of creation is identical to the essence of God.
7.  Therefore, God's act of creation is necessary.
8.  Necessarily, God's act of creation entails what is created.
9.  Therefore, what is created necessarily exists.
10.  Necessarily, everything that exists that is not God is created.
11.  Therefore, everything that exists exists necessarily.


Only one possible objection to validity could be made and that would be to say that "an act of creation by God" in 2. is not a strictly rigid designator - it does not refer to the exact same thing across all possible worlds. However, this objection is shown to be begging the question - conclusion 6. shows that it is in fact the same thing across all possible worlds, since God's essence is the same across all possible worlds, and the act of creation by God is identical to it in all possible worlds.

Now, since the argument is valid, but the conclusion is incorrect (modal collapse), one of the six premises (1, 2, 3, 4, 8, or 10) must be incorrect.


1. is demanded by Divine aseity.
2. is demanded by Divine simplicity (as well as aseity).
3. is demanded by Divine simplicity (there cannot be a multiplicity of acts in God).
4. is demanded by Divine simplicity (there is no distinction between what God is and what He does).
10. is demanded by God as First Cause (everything that is not God is caused to exist by Him).

The only way to avoid the conclusion is to deny 8.  Which means that there is no pre-determination by God in the created universe, not even by way of "from eternity" - God's creation is non-determinative.  (A similar argument holds if, instead of creation, other objects of God's willing are used, so we can conclude His causation is non-determinative.)  To say the universe exists "because" God created it only means that the universe is ontologically dependent on God for its existence.  It does not mean God pre-determined that this universe should be the one which exists, or that any particular thing in it happens.  But, couldn't at least some things (even if not all) be entailed by God's act of creation?  No, because any of those things would likewise exist necessarily, meaning God creates them in all possible worlds.  Put simply, "God wills X to exist" has no real informational content beyond "God exists, and X exists".

Thomism would like to have it both ways (Divine simplicity and Divine pre-determination) but without success.  It adds something extrinsic to "God's act of willing", the object of God's will (X, say), and says that while God wills His own goodness necessarily, He only wills X contingently as a means of willing of His goodness, as willing X is not necessary for that end.  But that single act of will is identical to the existence of God and therefore can't predict whether X will or will not be willed and hence whether X will or will not exist anymore than the existence of God can.  There is nothing "about" God's will, considered intrinsically and in itself, that distinguishes between willing or not willing X (this is different from created wills, where willing X in particular is an accident).  What it actually means for X to be the "object of God's will" is quite murky.  Thomism falls back on X being "in the mind of God" before it is actually created but that is making it something intrinsic to God.  Or, if "in the mind of God" is not something intrinsic, then what is it then?  Anyway, if something extrinsic to God entails that He wills X, then He is ontologically dependent on that something and not a se.

We naively think there this is no conflict between Divine simplicity and Divine pre-determination because in created beings like ourselves existence and will are two different things.  That is not the case with God; there is no real distinction between the two but only a notional distinction.  Our wills are only analogously the same to God's will; they resemble it in some way such that it is not incorrect to use the same term and it is not equivocal (as in "The bank is closed" vs. "Walking on the west bank of the river").

Granted this has profound implications, but let's start with this in itself.

Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: james03 on September 22, 2018, 03:09:07 PM
Quote
The only way to avoid the conclusion is to deny 8.

Why would you want to avoid the conclusion?  Not following.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Quaremerepulisti on September 22, 2018, 03:52:06 PM
Quote
The only way to avoid the conclusion is to deny 8.

Why would you want to avoid the conclusion?  Not following.

Because the conclusion is a modal collapse, which means that every sin is logically and metaphysically necessary.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: james03 on September 22, 2018, 04:34:10 PM
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Because the conclusion is a modal collapse, which means that every sin is logically and metaphysically necessary.

Every sin is a modal necessity.  Every sin is not a metaphysical necessity.  This is due to God being outside of time and us being inside of time.  Since God is "already there", our sins are a modal necessity.  This is the teaching of Divine Providence.

Since we have Free Will, our sins are not a metaphysical necessity as we are "in time" and freely choose without compulsion to sin.

E.G.: It is a metaphysical necessity that an airplane have wings.  If I remove it's wings, it is not an airplane.  So apply this test to man.

1.  It is a metaphysical necessity that I commit a certain sin:  I look at porn on Wednesday.
2.  If I take away this sin on Wednesday, I am no longer me. 

"1" is false.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: james03 on September 22, 2018, 04:37:18 PM
Quick summary, I think your argument is an unintentional straw man.  If you hold that the Church teaches that sins are NOT modal necessities, then you create a contradiction, as you would then have to confront the teaching of Divine Providence.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: james03 on September 22, 2018, 04:42:04 PM
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What are we then to make of Jesus saying, "Antichrist cometh, and in me he hath not a thing"?

Please provide a cite so I can check the context.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Quaremerepulisti on September 22, 2018, 04:43:51 PM
Every sin is a modal necessity.  Every sin is not a metaphysical necessity.  This is due to God being outside of time and us being inside of time.  Since God is "already there", our sins are a modal necessity.  This is the teaching of Divine Providence.

If this world is the only metaphysically possible one, then everything in it is metaphysically necessary.

Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: james03 on September 22, 2018, 04:53:09 PM
Possibly true, I'd have to think about it.  Let's grant that for the sake of argument.

This is a non sequitur.  We are talking about freely chosen actions, not things.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: james03 on September 22, 2018, 05:16:28 PM
Q., thanks for an interesting discussion.  Hopefully I can check back soon enough.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Kreuzritter on November 14, 2018, 05:54:49 PM
The balderdash of philosophers and scholars, the logomachy of the Middle Ages, thenceforth held absolute sway. - A Rebours

Huysmans’s Jean des Esseintes was so right. When a mere string of words prevents one from grasping and accepting the clear and absolutely necessary distinction between actor, acting and the act, just as with willer, willing and the willed, thinker, thinking and the thought, seer, seeing and the seen, and so on, a blunder that seems to have its psychological origin in the spiritually stunted and stupid Westerner having no grasp on his self-indentical I in itself and its distinction from the changing soul and its “content”, a view reflected in the patent falsehood of the dichotomous anthropology of “body and soul” to exclusion of the transcendent I  not contained within them but belonging to it - when this semantic game played with Greek philosophical doctrines found nowhere in revelation degenerates into such blind stupidity, is it any wonder that the religious of the East, caught up in the experiential realities of hesychasm, never looked back after the schism? The proof is in the pudding of the endless cycle of contradictions in which Western theology lands itself; the former, lost in his textbooks and logomachic labyrinths of thought says “God” is x,y and z; the mystic, who knows himself, knows God. Thank God, literally, for the Cappadocian fathers’ understanding of ousia and hypostasis, so thoroughly misunderstood and perverted by Augustine and the Latins and their “essentia”, and for the light of Gregory of Palamas, whom these word-spinners could never understand.

By the way, I am created, but what I will is not, nor is it predetermined by some mechanistic causal chain from an Aristotelian first mover, for I am first cause of what I will, irrespective of that following from a judgment of something extrinsic to my self, whether that be a sensation, an impression, a desire or any of the other thing that are constantly mistaken, as above, with being a part of the subject when they are in fact objects of the subjects conscious observation.. So much for that premise of “modal collapse”.
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: TomD on November 23, 2018, 05:44:03 PM
For those interested, there is a rich literature on the dilemma of divine simplicity and modal collapse. Matthews Grant and Mark Spencer have a helpful article (https://philpapers.org/rec/GRAAIA-4) on how different Thomists approach the topic. I believe it can be found online at Academia.edu
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Daniel on November 30, 2018, 09:16:46 PM
I'm not sure if this has to do with God's simplicity or if it has more to do with His oneness (I get those mixed up), but I am wondering how we know that "Being" and "Truth" and "Goodness" all signify one and the same individual? And how do we know that this one individual is personal rather than impersonal?

edit - Here's another question: If Oneness is God, and if Threeness is God (as the Christians claim), then why is 1 not equal to 3? And what about the other numbers? Is Twoness God? Are all the numbers God? Further, what about the Forms in general? Are all of the Forms God? Is Triangularity God? Are Dogness and Catness God? (Some forms, such as individual human souls, are evidently not God. Is there some sort of test we can apply to figure out which things are God and which are creatures?)
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Xavier on December 01, 2018, 03:55:26 AM
Simply stated (pun intended), the doctrine of Divine Simplicity is: "the attributes of God are identical with the divine essence ad intra"

1. In Scripture, God is said not merely to be loving, but Love itself. Similarly, not merely to be living, but Life itself. So this is true of all the divine attributes.

I.E. to say, we do not say of God that He is merely good just as if goodness could exist apart from or independent of Him. No, not at all. We say He is Goodness itself, and the infinite source of the goodness by which all creatures can be good. It follows that no one can be good apart from some degree of participation in the goodness of God. St. Thomas proves this in the Fourth way.

"The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God."

Reply to Daniel: in the third way, it was already proven that there is One necessarily existent Being upon whom all contingently existing beings depend. In the fourth way, it is further proved and deduced that even those attributes in creatures that are reflections of the Creator's perfection and infinite attributes depend on and come from Him.

Dogness is not a divine attribute but the nature of one specific creature. That should answer your objections.

2.No creature can be perfectly simple, there will be some composition in it. Man is not simple but composed of soul and body. The body is not simple but composed of various parts. As for the soul itself, it is more simple than the body, as St. Augustine says, but not perfectly simple - its essence is not identical to its attributes, as is the case with God's Essence.

Re: regarding St. Thomas and Palamas and especially the divine energies. It should be noted carefully here that, while Divine Simplicity is certainly true and is dogma, that doesn't preclude a true Catholic evaluation of the doctrine of divine operations/manifestations of the attributes ad extra. The Greek word translated energies in the East, which sounds so surprising to modern western ears, is traditionally rendered "operations" (sometimes divine activities - this is relational and refers to God's interactions with His creatures) and pertains to God's activity

It is the view of some theologians (though that is contested by others) that the Thomistic and Palamite views (with the understanding of energies as the divine operations given above) can be reconciled. I tend to agree that it can be. That would be an interesting thesis. Basically,

I. Divine attributes are identical with the Divine Essence ad intra
II. Divine attributes differ in their manifestation ad extra

are not necessarily contrary to one another. But that is controversial and another topic.

Fr. Hardon on Divine Operations: "Term DIVINE OPERATION

Definition: God's activity outside of himself. Also called divine activity ad extra in contrast with divine activity within the Trinity. The Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of Florence teach that all of God's activity outside the trinity is done simultaneously and equally by all three persons. Thus everything that God does in the world of creatures, whether naturally or supernaturally, is the operation of all three divine persons." https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=33161
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Xavier on December 01, 2018, 04:09:49 AM
xavier - can you provide me with some Ott page numbers?  I looked up attributes in the index, and divine, and there is nothing for either.

Missed this. You can find the relevant parts of Ott's volume with eaxh of the doctrines and their degree of certainty online here, Philip. http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/councils/summary.htm

Divine simplicity as de fide is number 14. We note that Dr. Ott also mentions the Divine Operations. Those interested can read further.

Selected excerpts: number 55 deals with ad extra (exterior) operations.

Quote
11) The Divine Attributes are really identical among themselves and with the Divine Essence. (De fide.)

12) God is absolutely perfect. (De fide.)

13) God is actually infinite in every perfection. (De fide.)

14) God is absolutely simple. (De fide.)

15) There is only One God. (De fide.)

16) The One God is, in the ontological sense, The True God. (De fide.)

17) God possesses an infinite power of cognition. (De fide.)

18) God is absolute Veracity (De fide.)

19) God is absolutely faithful. (De fide.)

20) God is absolute ontological Goodness in Himself and in relation to others. (De fide.)

21) God is absolute Moral Goodness or Holiness. (De fide.) D 1782

22) God is absolute Benignity. (De fide.) D1782.

23) God is absolute Beauty. D1782.

...

53) The Relations in God are really identical with the Divine Nature. (De fide.)

54) The Three Divine Persons are in One Another. (De fide.)

55) All the ad extra Activities of God are common to that Three Persons. (De fide.)

56) The Father sends the Son: the Father and the Son send the Holy Ghost. (Sent. certa.)

57) The Trinity of God can only be known through Divine Revelation. (sent. fidei proxima.)

58) All that exists outside God was, in its whole substance, produced out of nothing by God. (De fide.)

59) The world is the work of the Divine Wisdom. (Sent. certa.)

60) God was moved by His Goodness to create the world. (De fide.)

61) The world created for the Glorification of God. (De fide.)

62) The Three Divine Persons are one single, common Principle of the Creation. (De fide.)

63) God created the world free from exterior compulsion and inner necessity. (De fide.)

64) God was free to create this worrld or any other. (Sent. Certa.)

65) God has created a good world. (De fide.)

66) The world had a begining in time. (De fide.)

67) God alone created the World. (De fide.)

68) No Creature can, as Principal Cause (causa principalis) that is, from its own power, create something out of nothing. (Sent. communis.)
Title: Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
Post by: Michael Wilson on December 01, 2018, 09:27:13 AM
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What are we then to make of Jesus saying, "Antichrist cometh, and in me he hath not a thing"?

Please provide a cite so I can check the context.
Here is the commentary from Cornelius A Lapide's "Great Biblical Commentary"
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/scripture/newtestament/Lapide.htm

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Ver. 29.—And now I have told you, &c. That is, and now I foretell to you My departure and death, My resurrection and return to you, not that ye should condole with Me, and look after your own safety, but that, when ye see those things fulfilled, ye may believe that I foreknew and foreordained them all, and therefore that I submitted to death, not of necessity, but of My own free-will, for your salvation and that of the world, and therefore that ye may believe that I am the Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour.

Ver. 30.—I will not henceforth talk much with you, &c. For this is not the time to speak much, but to conclude, for the prince of this world, to whom worldly men are subject, by sinning after their own will, cometh. That is, he cometh to take and kill Me. For Christ said this when Judas was approaching with the officers, who were sent by the chief priests to take Him.

But he hath nothing in Me, i.e., he cometh to take Me, but he hath no power over Me, because he will find nothing of sin in Me, nothing of that which caused Adam and his posterity to die. Wherefore he must unjustly bring death upon Me being innocent. And this I am ready to suffer, that by means of My unjust death I may despoil him of his power, and deliver men from his jurisdiction and tyranny. So Cyril and Chrysostom. The innocence therefore of Christ, and the death of that innocent One, hath delivered all of us, the guilty ones, from harm. And this was that supreme consolation of Christ, which He here brings home to the Apostles. Or, as Maldonatus puts it, “The devil cometh, to take and kill Me by means of the Jews, but in Me he hath nothing, i.e. he will not be able to overcome or destroy Me, as he hopes; for although I am about to die, I shall not do so through his power or strength, but of My own free choice, that I may fulfil My Father’s will.”