Category Archives: Philosophical Theology

Divine Simplicity: Into the Negative Zone

by David Mahfood, Ph.D. Introduction A clear set of premises leading to a conclusion is a remarkable intellectual gift, for then one’s options are clear: accept the conclusion, reject one or more premises, or find a fallacy in the way … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophical Theology | Tagged , , , , , , | 84 Comments

“As we human beings seek infinitely, we come to express lack infinitely, and this turns to unlimited violence when its lack is nothing but lack, turned against the surplus promise of agape”

With the hyperbole God being good, in a sense, everything is at stake. It effects how we relate to everything, as good or not. Is there a goodness to creation – in the first instance, and in the end? What … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | 2 Comments

“But beyond evil, there is yet a ‘being as nothing’ with the forgiving ‘yes’ that offers release again, beyond the ‘no’ that blights being”

What of God as the absolute judge? We tend today to be uncomfortable with judgment: we think it smacks too much of revenge. Can we evade judgment, finally? Justice is God’s, it is said. But true judgment is not vengeance, … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by

“God is absolute in the intimacy of its own being for self, and absolving in the releasing of creation that is the love of finitude of agapeic origination”

Is this the place to start: God as being, perhaps as over-being? I would visit the philoso­pher Paul Weiss in his old age, and coming in the door he would ask me, almost shouting: “How do you get from being … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | 11 Comments

“If there were no God, there would be no universe to be mysterious, and nobody to be mystified”

Although we do not and cannot know what God is, we can know that he is. Or, more exactly, we know and can prove that there is something or someone which human beings call ‘God’ or ‘Divine’. We know this, … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by

“There is something amoral in that play of life that is death”

What again of the torment of evil? Evil too shows a monstrous idiocy that demands hyper­bolic thought beyond the whole. Gnosticism saw the problem of evil as the problem of the creator God: the tyrannical God of jealous power. Classical … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | 14 Comments

“Tyrannical say so-ing Gods both reflect and produce tyrannical say so-ing humans”

The suspicion that God’s transcendence implies arbitrariness of divine power persists, nurtured by biblical stories such as the awful command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, the Voice from the whirlwind silencing Job. How distinguish the divine from irrational will and … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | 20 Comments