The Unchanging God of Love: Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary by Michael J. Dodds

By Michael J. Dodds

a lot modern debate surrounds the conventional instructing that God is unchanging. it's usually argued that an immutable God needs to be chilly, distant, detached, and uncaring―that an unchanging God can't be the triune God of affection printed in Scripture. those that reject divine immutability usually unmarried out Thomas Aquinas as its such a lot fashionable proponent. regrettably, such critics of his theology often misunderstand the basics of Aquinas's real educating.

The Unchanging God of Love presents a transparent and complete account of what Aquinas quite says approximately divine immutability, awarded in a fashion that permits his theology to deal with modern criticisms. The publication first experiences many of the methods Aquinas applies the concept of immutability to creatures, displaying that he's good conscious of either the optimistic and unfavorable implications of the concept that. It then analyzes all of his arguments for divine immutability which are provided in his writings, noting his care in settling on which features of immutability are to be affirmed and that are to be denied of God. It additionally demonstrates the uniqueness of Aquinas's educating by means of analyzing the biblical, patristic, and philosophical assets he employs.

Aquinas's unchanging God proves to be no static deity, however the dynamic, trinitarian plenitude of information, love, and lifestyles, to whom not just immutability but additionally movement may well not directly be attributed. A learn of "the movement of the immobile God" unearths how the suggestions of either movement and immutability functionality in Aquinas's knowing of the Trinity, the Incarnation, production, and windfall. via this examine, it turns into transparent that the unchanging God of Aquinas, faraway from being detached or distant, is really the God of compassion and love printed in Scripture, who stocks a such a lot intimate friendship with the folks he has created and redeemed.

ABOUT the writer:

Michael J. Dodds, O.P., is professor of philosophy and theology on the Dominican tuition of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California. he's coauthor of The Seeker's advisor to Seven Life-Changing Virtues and Happily Ever After starts right here and Now: residing the Beatitudes Today.


"In The Unchanging God of Love, Dodds fearlessly asserts that an unchanging God can certainly be a God of affection, and that any contradiction of this can be rooted in misrepresentation of Aquinas' actual theology. Writing in a prose inviting and readable even for non-theologian forms, Dodds deals a decent account of the way this theology applies to either God and earthly creatures." ― Maura Beth Pagano, Seattle college Magazine

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Extra resources for The Unchanging God of Love: Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Theology on Divine Immutability

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VIII,lecr. 2 (§98687 D. In the Commentary on theMetaphysics, Thomas shows first that Aristotle's arguments for [he eternity of motion "are neither demonstrative nor necessarily conclusive" (In meta. XII. leer. 5 [§2496-98D, and then that the conclusions regarding the eternity and immateriality of the first substance, which are drawn from the assumption that motion is eternal. are not thereby invalidared (§2499). 29-30 (§l09-10). Aquinas onMetaphysics (The Hague: M. Nijhoff; 1972). 328. 63 bile)" or the species of motion will be repeated.

12 [§ I049])· 60. In phys. VIII. §1051-53. 1068. 65 THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD· THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD Once the existence of this immovable first mover has been established, the precise nature of its immovability remains to be considered. For "immovability" might be taken either too extensively or too restrictively. Immovability would be understood too extensively if it were taken to refer to immanent as well as transient motion. To avoid such an interpretation. Thomas explains that when Aristotle says "exempt from all extrinsic change" he "does not intend to exclude that motion or operation which is in that which acts insofar as understanding is called a motion and insofar as appetite is moved by that which is desirable.

N66). 64. Ibid. (§lo80, 1081). 66 THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD lis). Therefore, although the bodies of the orbs are moved, their movers are not moved per accidens. But the souls which move animals are constituted in their being (esse) by a union to bodies, and they are connected with them in an inconstant manner (variabiliter). Therefore, according to the mutations of bodies, these souls are also said to be changed per accidens. 65 the summary resembles the arguments presented in Book VII more than those presented in Book VIII: At this point in the text, the arguments regarding the immovable mover are suspended and the discussion turns to the eternity of the first motion.

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