Divine Simplicity, Divine Freedom, and the Contingency of Creation: Dogmatic Responses to Some Analytic Questions

In: Journal of Reformed Theology
Author: Steven J. Duby1
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Recent work from analytic philosophers taking an interest in Christian theology has sought to uncover an apparent tension between divine simplicity and divine freedom. In response, this paper contends for the compatibility of the simplicity of God with the freedom of God and contingency of creation. This response is undertaken, not by developing new counterarguments also in the analytic vein, but by recovering older insights of various scholastic and Puritan authors. With the help of these authors’ expositions of divine simplicity and its theological moorings, the paper identifies problems with postulating divine complexity and then maintains the coherence of divine simplicity and divine freedom through discussions of God’s relative attributes, God’s will to create, and God’s omnipotence.

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