5 thoughts on “Thinking Divine Simplicity from a Grace-Alone-Frame

  1. I don’t see an opposition between God’s grace on the one hand, and an ontological, analogical similarity on the other. Neither is it necessary to read ontological similarity as ‘neutral’ or as diminishing dissimilarity, i.e. as void of Christ or of of God’s grace, or as closing the gap between God and creation. The analogy exists (by grace) ontologically from the very beginning of creation by reason of it being the handiwork of the Word, and from the very beginning language about God hasn’t changed, made possible by God’s gracious making himself evident from his works. To suppose this means that analogia closes the infinite abyss of difference between God and creation is to fundamentally misunderstand the dynamic of analogia and the mechanics of language.

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  2. Yeah, I’m with you on this on this Robert. Bobby and I go round and round on analogia entis, but he’s always been a good debate partner on this one – he’s a Barthian, and among the few who I have interacted with that hasn’t totally assimilated into some of the most liberal aspects of the tradition (there are more out there, I just haven’t interacted with them in conversation). Despite my own Barthian sympathies, I think he got the analogia dead wrong. I think that where Barth and TF Torrance did a great service to the Reformed tradition was in upending the ghastly errors surrounding election and atonement. Generally speaking, they did a better job of interacting with the Fathers, especially Torrance with Athanasius. I’m kind of an odd duck in Reformed circles because I tend toward a synthesis between the Barthians on soteriology, and the older sources on classical theism. The confessions basically left the Thomistic elements of theism intact. Mind you, this comes out of the period of high Reformed orthodoxy in the late 16th-17th centuries (which perhaps isn’t so orthodox), not Calvin himself – Calvin’s theology proper was relatively weak. Couple this with the fact that I think that the only way for the Calvinist system to not degenerate into theological incoherence or attributing evil to God (providentially or otherwise) is to affirm universalism and I am a strange creature indeed in terms of the Reformed world today. Perhaps I would’ve gone a different route in terms of which denominational affiliation I belong to if I had interacted with the Fathers earlier in my life, but my family and I are part of a great church and I think it would be unduly rough on them making the switch to Orthodoxy or Anglicanism at this point. Perhaps we might look at making a change at some point in the future, but for now I think we are where God wants us.

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