Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been going through the doctrine of God right now and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas has been our guide. This can be read for free at NewAdvent.org. We’re studying right now the doctrine of the Will of God. We’re on the eighth question tonight in this topic and asking if the will of God imposes a necessity on things. Let us go to the question.
This has a lot to do with human freedom and in fact the reason Aquinas states that God’s will does not impose necessity is because human beings do have free-will. However, he will not defend that here as Aquinas later on does defend that when he gets to the doctrine of man. For obvious reasons, he wishes to start with the doctrine of God first.
Aquinas is of the position that God’s will does not impose necessity, but whatever it is that you and I do, God willed that we would freely choose to do something. No parallel could be exact, but we in America can consider that we have freedom of religion, the press, etc. Thus, we can freely choose to do or believe what it is we do or believe, but we can only do those freely because our founders intended us to have that freedom. None of the founding fathers were Muslims, but their freedom does allow for someone to be a Muslim.
So why is it that it seems that many things he would desire does not happen? It is not because of a deficiency in God. That is impossible. Instead, it is then because of a deficiency in the object. It is God’s will that I be sanctified, but I can assure any readers that I realize I am a long way from that goal. I do believe that if I submitted to the Holy Spirit, I could avoid sin. However, I still sin every day. It is not because the Holy Spirit is weak that this happens, but it is because I am weak.
Now I have no reason to believe that God’s ultimate will is ever thwarted, with events such as the return of Christ. At the same time, I believe God is sovereign and nothing happens outside of his allowing it. How do those two work together? I would not dare say that I have a clear answer yet. I am willing to accept the freedom of man and the sovereignty of God and say that while it is fun to ponder, I see no place for dogmatism without conclusive arguments.
So in closing, I will simply say that whatever it is that you do, God willed that you would be able to freely do it. For the debates on secondary issues, I once again remind readers that I do not wish this blog to be about secondary issues. I am interested in helping Christians defend the issues that we all agree on regardless of how strongly I might hold to some secondary positions.
Finally readers, please keep in mind that this work that I do is in part supported by people like you and while there are many in hard times financially as I realize, I am as well. If you like what you see here and wish to support it, you may do so by going to the donate button. If you do, I thank you for your gift.
We shall continue tomorrow.