Methods Of Determining The Divine Attributes

We have seen that the existence of God is a first truth. It is presupposed in all human thinking, and is more or less consciously recognized by all men. This intuitive knowledge of God we have seen to be corroborated and explicated by arguments drawn from nature and from mind. Reason leads us to a causative and personal Intelligence upon whom we depend. This Being of indefinite greatness we clothe, by a necessity of our thinking, with all the attributes of perfection. The two great methods of determining what these attributes are, are the Rational and the Biblical.

1. The Rational method. This is threefold: ?

(a) the via negationis, or the way of negation, which consists in denying to God all imperfections observed in created beings;

(b) the via eminentia, or the way of climax, which consists in attributing to God in infinite degree all the perfections found in creatures; and

(c) the via causalitatis or the way of causality, which consists in predicating of God those attributes which are required in him to explain the world of nature and of mind.

This rational method explains God?s nature from that of his creation, whereas the creation itself can be fully explained only from the nature of God. Though the method is valuable, it has insuperable limitations, and its place is a subordinate one. While we use it continually to confirm and

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment