“For the classical theist, what the doctrine of God Incarnate entails is that that which is subsistent being itself, pure actuality, and absolutely simple or non-composite, that in which all things participate but which itself participates in nothing, that which thereby sustains all things in being — that that ‘became flesh and dwelt among us.’ That is a truly astounding claim, so astounding that its critics often accuse it of incoherence. The accusation is false, but those who make it at least show that they understand just how extremely strange and remarkable the claim is — and how radically unlike the ‘incarnations’ of the various pagan deities it is. You can plausibly assimilate the incarnation of the ‘God’ of theistic personalism to those of Horus, Zeus, et al. You cannot so assimilate the Incarnation of the God of classical theism. It is sui generis.”
(Read the entire blog article by Edward Feser.)
Feser’s critique of theistic personalism seems spot on, but I keep wondering how Plantinga or Swinburne might respond. Is there a real difference here or is it just a matter of emphasis or semantics? Dale Tuggy, for example, has no problem stating:
God certainly belongs to a class we can call “Deity,” but that’s not a class that could contain other members. His radical difference is, for one thing, existing a se – not because of anything else. No other thing has that distinction.
What is the difference between saying “God transcends genus and class” and saying “God is the only member, and can only be the only member, of the class ‘Deity'”?