Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I apologize for being absent. I had to move some furniture around here and in the process, had to unhook my computer and then I had to get it re-installed and I was without internet service for a long time. I just now have it back so we can get back to where we were. We’ve been going through the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas and studying the doctrine of God. The Summa can be read by anyone by going to newadvent.org, though I would have no objections to your reading it yourself. Right now, we’re on the third article in the topic of the life of God and we’re asking if life is properly attributed to God.
The question is largely based on the idea of movement and how it means for God to be considered self-moving. In a sense, can we really say that. After all, we can all move ourselves, but that movement refers to a change of some kind. On the other hand, we can all be moved externally. That refers to a change as well though self-movement is that which is necessary for life. However, we hold to the immutability of God. How can we hold to that and still hold that God is moving or rather, changing?
Those who have been keeping up should realize that there is analogy going on here. We have life, but we do not have it in the way that God does. To say that God is not moving in the sense that he is not changing and going from A to B is correct. To say that he is not moving in the sense that he is not active is entirely false however. In fact, God is the most active of all.
God is acting in the sense that he does all that he does eternally. He is not affected by anything external to himself. Even with prayer, he does not respond so much as he pre-answers. He knows what we pray even before he asks us and he acts in accordance with that knowing how we will pray in advance. Some of you might be saying “That doesn’t make much sense.” I agree. It’s hard to wrap one’s head around, but that is because I am a being limited by time and I cannot fathom what it is to not have this limitation.
Thus, God is the one who is truly living as he is the most actual of all beings. We live in a different sense. Because he lives, we also live. Our life has an origin and his doesn’t. He is his life. As Paul said to the Greeks, in him we live and move and have our being. Yes everyone. Paul engaged in metaphysics. We as Christians should recognize this. He is called the living God for a reason. He is the one who is in fact the most active and we dare not simply have a God who is entirely passive. That would be contradictory to good Thomistic thought. We serve the God who lives and is the source of life in all others. Let us celebrate that today. We serve the LIVING God.
We shall continue tomorrow.