Dogmatic Theology 1.14: Immutability of God

Many 20th century theologians, even Catholic ones, present us with a God that changes. “The unchanging God is dead,” they say. They premise their musings on God, esp. on his inner Trinitarian life, on this thesis that God changes.

In fact, the thesis that God changes is heresy. The Church in her constant and universal teaching condemns it. Thus, a good theologian should condemn it. Not to do so is heresy.

It helps us to see why God must be immutable. We attempt to do that in this podcast. We also consider and reply to various objections from recent thinkers who argue that God is mutable. While these thinkers are trying to get God closer to them, in fact they push him away. For the God who is beyond all change is more interior to me than is the god who changes, who is on the level with me, only bigger … but in a corner of the universe, far away.

Dogmatic Theology 13a: Simplicity of God (1)

In this podcast, we examine God’s simplicity. The upshot of the proofs for God’s existence has tremendous yield. In order to be the Act without potency that is source of the world, God must be utterly simple. So, we have a theological reason for affirming divine simplicity. We also have a dogmatic reason for affirming it: The Church teaches it. And since the Church teaches it, there is a Scriptural basis for this affirmation as well. If it is not explicitly in Scripture, it is at least not contradictory to Scripture. But the great Old Testament is built around the unicity and oneness of God. So, it is a Scriptural affirmation as well. If you’d like to follow the argument more closely, you might acquire my text (linked here) that outlines this and other treatments of dogmatic issues.

Dogmatic Theology 1.12b: Does God Exist? (Part 2)

In this podcast, I first indicate the range of the “First Way,” its analogical extensions. These extensions indicate the richness of the yield of the first way. I consider the First Way to be demonstrative; however, even if one only considers it invitational to thought, the yield to which it invites is rich.

Second, I offer a reading of the Fourth Way indebted to some great thinkers of the 20th century and also to Edward Feser. As sketched in the ST, the 4th Way needs supplementing. It is, as are the other arguments, a “thumbnail sketch” of a deep line of argumentation. The 4th Way is often called the “Platonic” way. However, Aquinas cites only Aristotle. Indeed, elsewhere, when he approaches God’s existence in this line of argumentation, he cites Aristotle. I suggest, following the above thinkers, that there is an Aristotelian causal argument underlying this way. The global, macroscopic picture is Platonic, in the manner of Christian Platonism, but the underlying argument is Aristotelian. In short, Platonic Participation calls for an Aristotelian causal analysis. But Aristotelian causal analysis is shored up and macroscopically expressed in the Platonic idiom.

Dogmatic Theology 1.12a: Does God Exist? Part 1

Today, the first of two podcasts concerning proofs for the existence of God.

If you’d like to follow the argument more closely, you might acquire my text (linked here) that outlines this and other treatments of dogmatic issues.

Just as St. Paul reasoned with the Athenians towards the existence of the God he proclaimed, so human reason can argue with those of good will towards the existence of the God who transcends all reason, who is a Fire, Terrible and Marvelous, Forgiving and Tremendous.

 

 

Dogmatic Theology 1.11: Pluralism in Theology

This is a podcast on Legitimate and Illegitimate pluralism in theology.

First, we paint two caricatures of errors. Two extremes, as it were. These are obviously problematic.

Then, we argue for a more profound understanding of this issue. God is one. All differences among the saints and doctors must not be prized for their own sakes. Rather, we must let truth build lovely upon truth. Thus, all that rises must converge.

Grace Builds on Nature? But Don’t You Do So!

Some urge us to first work out a natural plan of action, a natural goodness, a natural way of life, before turning to grace and things that are higher. This is very bad advice.

The theological virtues rank above the cardinal virtues, since the theological virtues order one to the ultimate end. True, grace builds on nature. STILL, we should not think that because grace builds on nature we should first work on a purely natural foundation only subsequently to establish a supernatural foundation. Such would be a mistaken conception, misleading in its direction and founded on pride.

We must found our lives on Christ’s foundation. He chose us. We must first accept Him and build our whole foundation on him. Enough talk of natural virtues as the starting point! Christ and the theological gifts he gives us are the starting point. Faith and Baptism; Charity and the Eucharist.

You give them Food in Due Season

Two things to note in this marvelous verse.

First, God feeds. He does not withhold food, except to the incorrigible (the damned) and, for a reason and a time, for the hard-hearted, for He draws them back through good discipline.

Second, God feeds in due season. It would not be “in season” for a person not in the state of grace to be fed. Hence, the Church’s constant and irrevocable Tradition of not granting those in the state of sin to receive the Holy Eucharist. When my child is sick, and vomiting up good food, I wait a while, offering just a very little drink (and one that goes down and stays down). This is to accompany the sick person. To feed the sick person the Eucharist would not be accompanying.

This little verse teaches us, gives us much to reflect on.

Send us Good Shepherds, O Lord

Shepherds we do not deserve, for our sins are many and our confidence wanes. We are like sheep, wandering without direction. Each of us would fail the Truth if we simply pointed to the one “whom You gave to be with me” as the reason for our confusion, sadness, and lack of faith.

Yet wandering we are, weary, wanting for solid food, wanting for firm direction, wanting a word of confidence in us: “You can do this, because with Christ, all things are possible,” wanting in ourselves the fulfillment of the Law by your gift (Rom 8).

Send us Shepherds who do not write mercy with the erasure of Law, who call not cancer development, who hack not apart the tree of life imagining a rotting “newness” with lowly thoughts so far from Yours.

Send us Shepherds who pander not to our basest wants, but call us to the measure of your pure riches.

Send us Shepherds who edify and unite around the Perennial Truth that is Ever Ancient, Ever New, and always Beautiful.

Before you consume us in your Anger, and we be destroyed.