Re: Van Till's Ultimate Gap

From: George Murphy (
Date: Thu Sep 04 2003 - 20:05:01 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Davis: "Re: Van Till's Ultimate Gap"

    Howard J. Van Till wrote:
    > >From: "Ted Davis" <>
    > > George's comments on Aquinas are on target. Thomas is sometimes mis-used
    > > today, when it is claimed that he allowed the eternity of the world. He did
    > > not.
    > Please read carefully what I said:
    > > Even Aquinas was
    > > willing to withhold theological objection to the existence of a world
    > > eternally dependent on God for its being.
    > I fully realize that Aquinas ultimately rejected the eternality of the
    > world. He did so, as I recall, on BIBLICAL grounds, not by THEOLOGICAL
    > argument alone. His primary concern, if my memory serves me correctly, was
    > to maintain that the world's existence was radically dependent on God's
    > effective will, whether that be eternally or for a finite duration. For
    > BIBLICAL reasons, however, he felt warranted in rejecting the eternal
    > option.

    > > Thomas' point is precisely as George presented it: philosophically one
    > > cannot prove that the world was created (ie, that it is not eternal), but
    > > theologically one can b/c the Scripture tells us as much.
    > I am making a distinction between a theological argument and an appeal to
    > the biblical text. I think that's a reasonable distinction. Furthermore, I
    > believe Aquinas was more concerned with the God/world RELATIONSHIP (the
    > world is a creation whose existence is radically dependent on the Creator)
    > than with matters of temporality vs eternality.

            Aquinas rejected the eternity of the world on theological grounds. Whether you
    feel that the basis for his theological conclusion (i.e., the authority of scripture)
    was adequate or not is not the question. You have the right to disagree with his
    theological method or conclusions, but don't portray him as accepting a view that he
    simply didn't accept.

    George L. Murphy

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Thu Sep 04 2003 - 20:15:41 EDT