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How God Can Know and Cause a Universe of Things

Nature of the Problem God is absolutely simple, meaning that he is not composed of parts, principles, or things. He is a spiritual being, since what is physical is subject to motion and God, as Unmoved First Mover, cannot be subject to motion. It seems unimaginable that a simple, pure spirit could both know and cause the nearly infinite myriad of things that God has created. Yet, it is demonstrable that he causes each creature and knows each one individually. That God causes all finite... Read More

God: Eternity, Free Will, and the World

Rather than present a systematic defense of all the divine attributes involved in this article, my purpose here is to explore some philosophical doctrines about God whose interrelationship appears perplexing, if not outright contradictory – drawing on whatever elements of natural theology are needed. Starting with a proof of God’s immutability, I will then consider his eternal life and how it is possible for him still to have free will. Finally, I will consider how it is possible for... Read More

How Proofs for God Lead to Divine Simplicity

According to the First Vatican Council, the existence of God can be known with certainty by the natural light of human reason through those things that have been created. (De Fide)1 Pope Pius X specified this statement more exactly by affirming that God’s existence can be known “as a cause is known with certainty through its effects, from those things that have been made, that is, by the visible works of creation….” (Sententia fidei proxima).2 Since every being must have a sufficient... Read More

How God’s Nature Is Known: The Three-Fold Way

Acceptance of God’s existence is conditioned for many on whether or not a convincing proof thereof can be presented to them. But for others, it is not a problem of proving that God exists, but rather questions about whether the  concept of a Supreme Being is even coherent. Many atheists or agnostics simply find the classical conception of God to be unintelligible. God is said to be omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, all good, omnipresent, and so forth. But to many it is not at all... Read More

Why You Continually Need a First Cause for Your Existence

NOTE: Today we continue an occasional series of exchanges between Catholic theologian Dr. Michael Augros, author of Who Designed the Designer?: A Rediscovered Path to God's Existence (Ignatius Press, 2015), and various email interlocutors. Enjoy!     Dr. Augros, Your response to Mark's question of why the First Cause still has to be with us today was much anticipated, but unfortunately, left some of us disappointed (e.g., the will causes the body to act by moving the paint brush).... Read More

Is God Too Complex To Be The Creator?

Richard Dawkins believes that if the universe began to exist—it was caused by nothing. In a debate with Cardinal George Pell in 2012 he asserted: "Of course it's counterintuitive that you can get something from nothing! Of course common sense doesn't allow you get something from nothing! That's why it's interesting. It's got to be interesting in order to give rise to the universe at all!" He was right about at least two things: to get something from nothing is both counterintuitive and... Read More

The Grammar of Existence

In this age of scientific and empirical reductionism, when we hear the word “grammar” we are likely to think of what takes place in an elementary classroom. Education in the modern age is a mere shadow of an authentic education. Its constituent parts have been hollowed out and husks are dangled in front of students followed by an assessment of temporary recall of quickly fading shades. Grammar has been reduced to a mere empty shadow of its former self as well. It used to be the primary... Read More

How TO Talk About God

This is part two of a two-part series, adapted from Stephen Bullivant's new book, The Trinity: How Not to Be a Heretic (Paulist Press, 2015). Read part one here.   "A time to speak" I ended my last post in this short series with the apparent affirmation that silence is the only appropriate mode for Christian thought and prayer. This is what is known as apophatic theology, the “negative way”, or – as I like to call it – the via Alison Krauss-a. Far be it from me to denigrate... Read More

How NOT to Talk About God

This is part one of a two-part series, adapted from Stephen Bullivant's new book, The Trinity: How Not to Be a Heretic (Paulist Press, 2015).   A Parable Here’s a cheerful thought: imagine that the only food you have ever eaten has been bought from a McDonald’s. All your knowledge of eating and drinking, and all your taste experiences have come from Big Macs, McNuggets, McFlurries, and those little carrot sticks you can get with Happy Meals. Every word or concept you have to... Read More

Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Filed under God's Nature

A reader once wrote to me to ask: "I have a quick question, and I apologize if it’s awfully trite, but I haven’t been able to find a satisfactory answer after (admittedly, not-so-exhaustive) searching.  Here it is:   From the standpoint of the Catholic Church: does everything happen for a reason?   If it does, it smacks a bit of predestination; if it doesn’t, does that mean that God is out of control or doesn’t care? Say a flower grows on a mountaintop and it dies, and... Read More

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