Hello everyone. It’s good to see you back here at Deeper Waters where we dive into the ocean of truth and if this is your first visit, welcome aboard. I hope you’ll be a regular. We’re studying the goodness of God and we’re going to wrap that up tonight. Our guide has been the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. You can read it online at newadvent.org. Before that however, I ask for prayer requests. First off, I ask for prayer for my Christlikeness and realizing what I really need to spend my time thinking on. Second, I ask for prayers for my financial situation. Finally, I ask for prayers for a third related area of my life.
Are all things good by the divine goodness? This is an interesting one because I think for most of us, our first inclination is to say “Yes.” However, as I examine this question, I can see why Aquinas actually says no to this. Of course, he does clarify that no, but I believe in the way that he answers that he is wanting to avoid having a pantheistic belief.
For instance, let’s suppose that all had not their own being, but simply the divine being. In that case, they would in fact be included in the nature of God, which is something that Spinoza would have agreed with. The being that you and I possess in that case would of course be the divine being as we would not have any being outside of that being to have.
If that is the case, then why do the same with goodness? If all we have in us is divine goodness, then we do not have any goodness of our own. If we do not have any goodness of our own, then we do not have any being of our own. Our being is not ours, but is simply the divine being in us. We are not pagans however. We realize that we are not God.
Now I said that Aquinas does qualify the answer. He does say that we are good by the divine goodness as the exemplar cause. That is the cause after which something is. We could only have goodness if there was a divine goodness that our goodness was based on just as we could only have being if there was a divine being that our being was based on.
This is important because my being is my own. I am a human being. I am not an angel being. I am not a God being. I am not a dog being or cat being. I am human. I need to be that which I was meant to be. Humans are not meant to be angels and we’re not meant to be animals and we’re not meant to be God either.
Too often, we tend to move in such a way. We tend to act like animals in our morality often. Some of us in the Christian world try to act like angels in a bad way, in that we think the material world doesn’t matter. Now angels don’t really think that I believe, but we think its angelic to focus solely on spiritual matters.
We are humans. We are part material and part spiritual. We have a body and a soul. It is our being and it is a gift from God. We need to embrace it. Let’s pray the prayer of Soren Kierkegaard. “And now Lord, with your help, I will become myself.”
We shall start discussing the infinity of God tomorrow.