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RE: Christ, the Unjust Judge - MagisterMusicae - 05-26-2020

(05-26-2020, 06:35 PM)Melkite Wrote:
MagisterMusicae Wrote:Key here is Christ saying that "God is a spirit" because we know that spiritual things are simple. That is the more direct proof from revelation for Divine Simplicity.

How do we know for certain that spiritual things are simple?

Well, first, it's a De Fide proposition (Dz 1782/DS 3001), so whether it can be shown by philosophy or some citation, the Magisterium teaches that "God as being one, sole, absolutely simple and immutable spiritual substance, is to be declared as really and essentially distinct from the world (which is composit and changeable)."

Secondly, it follows from the fact that God is pure act. If He were able to be divided into parts, then these would be in potency in at least some way, and God could not be pure act, which means God could not be God. 

Thirdly, it would make Scripture false if it were not true. "God is Charity" not "God has Charity" God is identified by his attributes. If God is these attribute and not mere possessor of these in eminent degree, then He must be His own Essence. God is the Deity, God does not have Deity.

Fourthly, God must be pure Form, without Matter, but Form is simple and uncomposed, and so God must be simple and uncomposed.

Fifthy, since every composite thing is posterior on the parts which composes it, if God were composed of parts and not absolutely simple, then His parts would be prior to Him, and so He would exist only after His parts. So he would not be the First Being. (This is not a temporal argument, but one of priority of nature).

Sixtly, every composite has a cause. God is uncaused, so God must be simple.


RE: Christ, the Unjust Judge - LionHippo - 05-26-2020

To the original post concerning justice and mercy, all theology aside, some people are just more interested in making sure that God exacts justice on certain sins and types of sinners. There is often a selective application to this desire for justice.

God's mercy frightens some people, which is a reflection of envy in that they may see the mercy of God as unfair compared to their own sense of holiness and repentance.

I believe that those of us blessed to make it to heaven will find that the vast majority of souls there were never formal members of the Catholic Church. There will be a great number of souls there who, in this life, would be seen by many today to be the worst of sinners.

An emphasis on justice seems to reflect a worldly and human view of fairness, as if us mere creatures of God can read the hearts and minds of our brothers and sisters.

Obviously both justice and mercy should be contemplated. However, it is human nature to be concerned with mercy for oneself and justice meted out to anyone else who may deserve it.

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."


RE: Christ, the Unjust Judge - Melkite - 05-26-2020

(05-26-2020, 10:05 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(05-26-2020, 06:35 PM)Melkite Wrote:
MagisterMusicae Wrote:Key here is Christ saying that "God is a spirit" because we know that spiritual things are simple. That is the more direct proof from revelation for Divine Simplicity.

How do we know for certain that spiritual things are simple?

Well, first, it's a De Fide proposition (Dz 1782/DS 3001), so whether it can be shown by philosophy or some citation, the Magisterium teaches that "God as being one, sole, absolutely simple and immutable spiritual substance, is to be declared as really and essentially distinct from the world (which is composit and changeable)."

Secondly, it follows from the fact that God is pure act. If He were able to be divided into parts, then these would be in potency in at least some way, and God could not be pure act, which means God could not be God. 

Thirdly, it would make Scripture false if it were not true. "God is Charity" not "God has Charity" God is identified by his attributes. If God is these attribute and not mere possessor of these in eminent degree, then He must be His own Essence. God is the Deity, God does not have Deity.

Fourthly, God must be pure Form, without Matter, but Form is simple and uncomposed, and so God must be simple and uncomposed.

Fifthy, since every composite thing is posterior on the parts which composes it, if God were composed of parts and not absolutely simple, then His parts would be prior to Him, and so He would exist only after His parts. So he would not be the First Being. (This is not a temporal argument, but one of priority of nature).

Sixtly, every composite has a cause. God is uncaused, so God must be simple.


Would it be correct to say that when we speak of divine simplicity, it's not so much simplicity as commonly understood, but just a logical necessity for God to be the uncaused cause?  If so, I think I kind of understand.  Mercy and Justice would have to exist prior to God as concepts if they could be measured in him, kind of deal?  And then he wouldn't be God, but a creature made of the substances of mercy and justice? 

Is it better then to say God is Mercy and Justice rather than he is merciful and just?  The former signifies something different from the latter.

Is there a book you would recommend that focuses on God being his attributes rather than having attributes, and all that entails?  Something not too dry?


RE: Christ, the Unjust Judge - josh987654321 - 05-26-2020

(05-26-2020, 10:19 PM)LionHippo Wrote: God's mercy frightens some people, which is a reflection of envy in that they may see the mercy of God as unfair compared to their own sense of holiness and repentance.

I believe that those of us blessed to make it to heaven will find that the vast majority of souls there were never formal members of the Catholic Church. There will be a great number of souls there who, in this life, would be seen by many today to be the worst of sinners.

Careful now, mercy is forgiveness, not indifference to right and wrong, truth and error. Christ called the path 'narrow' that 'few' find, those who speak of a wide road are clearly on the wrong one.

Those who think they can't fail a test or that it's going to be easy, will hardly study for it or try, and they will be the ones to fail it, but those who think they can fail and there is a high chance they may, they will study for it and try to succeed and they will be the ones to make it.

As I read in Private Revelation, this is why the end is always met with surprise, surprise because those who make it considered themselves great sinners and unworthy (Even St Faustina and she wasn't a great sinner by worldly standards at all), and surprise because those who don't thought they were a sure thing or didn't believe in such a place as hell.

Those who speak of a wide road when it comes to Heaven, are actually on the path to hell. Our Lord never rejects a contrite heart, but how can your heart be contrite if one has a wide view of good and evil, truth and error? Such wide view only has one logical outcome.... indifference, evil is good and good is evil.

God Bless You


RE: Christ, the Unjust Judge - josh987654321 - 05-27-2020

(05-26-2020, 10:19 PM)LionHippo Wrote: souls there were never formal members of the Catholic Church.

This is like when a Flight Manual tells you not to exceed a certain speed, and then saying "well they build them tough and there is room for error, so we can exceed it a little" but don't be surprised if you crash. In the same way, Christ clearly says nobody comes to the Father but through Him and unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the son of man you have no life in you, so yes there may be those in invincible ignorance who through God's mercy could be saved, but if you start flying outside the manual don't be surprised when you crash.

God Bless You


RE: Christ, the Unjust Judge - Melkite - 06-10-2020

Regarding divine simplicity, if it is not correct to say that God has love, or has mercy, or has justice, but that God is these things, logically then, doesn't that require us to arrive at a sort of pantheism of attributes?  If God is love, then wherever love is, that is God.   If God is mercy, then wherever mercy is, that is God.


RE: Christ, the Unjust Judge - whitewashed_tomb - 06-10-2020

Melkite Wrote:Regarding divine simplicity, if it is not correct to say that God has love, or has mercy, or has justice, but that God is these things, logically then, doesn't that require us to arrive at a sort of pantheism of attributes?  If God is love, then wherever love is, that is God.   If God is mercy, then wherever mercy is, that is God.
Not an expert in theology, but I think I can answer your question. In fact, I used to think of this sort of pantheism when I was a rebellious teen enamored of Eastern paganism. I remember having a debate with a Pentecostal kid in high school about just this topic. He was saying that "God is love" and I agreed with him, though we both meant completely opposite things by that statement. He was coming from the tradtional Christian viewpoint, whereas I meant it from a pantheistic sense - that wherever love is in the world, within and between people, that is God.

Of course, now I realize how foolish I was then. To answer your question, God is love or mercy not in a pantheistic sense, in that to love or to have mercy imbues us with some divinity or makes us a part of God or anything like that. Rather, because we are so inclined to sin and could never perfectly love or have mercy, all the good that we do is God acting through us. We can make no claim to or take credit for our righteousness because it doesn't belong to us as creatures inclined to sin (Romans 7:15-20). We may be able to will the good but we cannot do it; God does it through us when we align our will with His. God is present in these acts of love and mercy, but He is not a part of His creation that does His will.

Anyhow, that's just my layman's interpretation. Please, anyone, feel free to correct me if I have made any mistakes (I know you will).


RE: Christ, the Unjust Judge - Augustinian - 06-10-2020

(06-10-2020, 04:40 PM)Melkite Wrote: Regarding divine simplicity, if it is not correct to say that God has love, or has mercy, or has justice, but that God is these things, logically then, doesn't that require us to arrive at a sort of pantheism of attributes?  If God is love, then wherever love is, that is God.   If God is mercy, then wherever mercy is, that is God.

I don't have my theological thinking cap on tonight, but I'll give it a shot.

God is love insofar as love is a perfection of God, as God is the exemplar of all of these attributes unified within His essence. God made creatures to express these same perfections, but that does not make these expressions God.

A good image of this is to think of how light is refracted through a prism. Wherein the light which enters the prism is uniform (i.e. God's essence), once it passes through the prism (matter), it splits into a spectrum of colors each discernible from each other (the divine attributes). Wherein each of these colors come from the same source (the beam of light), they only become distinct insofar as they are expressed through the prism (as in creatures). Therefore, if we look at the spectrum of red, it appears as distinct from the other colors of the spectrum, but is not in itself the entirety of the spectrum as in the original beam of light.

While we can identify virtually distinct attributes of God in creatures, this does not mean that these same attributes as they are found in creatures are God essentially.

Further, I would like to point to the exemplarism of St. Bonaventure as an alternative manifestation of the same virtual distinction of God's attributes. Whereas Christ as the Eternal Art, the Divine Exemplar, serves as the means by which the attributes of God's simplicity are conveyed to creatures. Where in Christ do we find not only intelligibility of these attributes, but also their perfection in the Person of Christ, and therefore the unity of these same attributes within God. But to say that I am merciful, and mercy is found in Christ, does not mean that I am Christ; but that I am acting upon the example set forth by the mercy of Christ. And so the same distinction can be said of any creature which exhibits an attribute of God.


RE: Christ, the Unjust Judge - Daniel-AH - 06-11-2020

(05-26-2020, 10:05 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(05-26-2020, 06:35 PM)Melkite Wrote:
MagisterMusicae Wrote:Key here is Christ saying that "God is a spirit" because we know that spiritual things are simple. That is the more direct proof from revelation for Divine Simplicity.

How do we know for certain that spiritual things are simple?

...

I think you should read the question. He asks about spiritual things in general, not only God.