Can Anything Be Like God?

Hello everyone. Welcome back to Deeper Waters where we dive into the ocean of truth. We’re going through the Summa Theologica now which can be read at newadvent.org. We’re looking at the doctrine of God and today, we’re going to wrap up our talk on God’s perfection. First, I wish to give my prayer requests. I’d appreciate prayers for my continued Christlikeness. Yesterday was a hard day and last night a difficult night. I am becoming increasingly aware of many aspects of my fallenness that need to be changed. Second, I ask for prayers for my financial situation. Finally, I ask for prayers for a third related area in my life. The Lord knows. He is perfect after all.

Can anything be like God? It’s quite interesting the ways that religions can go on this one. Mormonism, for instance, teaches that God was once a man as you and I are (Excepting women who get to be joined to their spouse in an eternal celestial marriage) and that if someone is a good Mormon including going through temple services, then they will become gods of their own planet just like God became the god of this planet.

Islam, on the other hand, has a God who is quite unknowable. He is totally unlike his creation. This would seem to have someone end up in agnosticism in the nature of God. These are the extremes we want to avoid. God is not just a pumped-up man, as Mormonism has enough problems with God’s simplicity which we’ve already studied. However, in Christianity, we are to know God and for that, we need to know something about him.

Can anything be like God? Aquinas says that there are three ways one can be like something else. The other is to be an exact representation, in which in this case, there would be an equality of the forms between the original and the object that is like the original.

The second way is for two things to have the same form but to have it in different degrees. The favorite of Aquinas to use is whiteness. It is to have something that is white and then to have something else that is more or less white than that.

The final is the same form, but not in the same way. Now for God, this is being, but Aquinas gives an example of how the sun can give its heat, but it is not received the same way. For this, we must remember that the medievals spoke of superhot to describe the heat of the sun. We could have heat here, but the sun’s heat was different by kind and not degree.

This is how beings can be like God. They receive being, but they do not have it in the same way. An important distinction must be made here. We are like God. God is not like us. Consider if you were to look in a mirror. What you see in the mirror is like you. You are not like what you see in the mirror.

Prepare for a good time tomorrow as we start talking about goodness.

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