From: George Murphy (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Sep 04 2003 - 15:39:02 EDT
Howard J. Van Till wrote:
> Following are responses to a few selected observations by Josh.
> >From: "Josh Bembenek" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > -I don't see how this gets away from infinite historical time.
> > . . . . Again, my problem is with the whole time thing, but you're definitely
> > straining the limits of my imagination here.
> Help me understand why "infinite historical time" represents a problem to
> > I don't know that I find it
> > appealing to say that God's essence depends on something, it simply IS.
> But if it is essential to God's nature to be related to A World, then what
> is problematic about positing the co-existence of A World? Even Aquinas was
> willing to withhold theological objection to the existence of a world
> eternally dependent on God for its being.
This is an overstatement. In the _Summa Contra Gentiles_ Aquinas presents
various philosophical arguments for the eternity of creatures, then says (Bk.2, 34, 6):
"These, then, are the arguments through adhering to which, as though they were
demonstrations, some people say that created things must always have existed; in so
saying they contradict the Catholic faith, which affirms that nothing besides God has
always existed, but that all things, save the one eternal God, have had a beginning."
He then presents counter-arguments to the etrnity of the world and concludes
(Bk.2, 37, 7):`
"In the light of all this, then, it is clear that nothing stands in the way of
one's holding that the world has not always existed - a truth which the Catholic faith
affirms: 'In the beginning God created heaven and earth' (Gen.1:1): and in the Book of
Proverbs (8:22) it is said of God: 'Before He made anything from the beginning," etc.'
So while Aquinas held that one _could_ (but doesn't have to) maintain the
eternity of the world philosophically, theologically - & in particular because of the
church's understanding of scripture - it was necessary to say that the world is not
George L. Murphy
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