Divine Simplicity and Divine Energies

Originally posted on Credo ut Intelligam:

The standard Catholic (Roman or Orthodox) understanding of the Divine Nature is that it is a simplicity. The standard complaint of the Orthodox against the Romans is that they make too much of this simplicity and forget entirely the Energies of God. That is, God is both Essence and Energies. This is highly technical and, as is often the case, confusing. I would like to offer some thoughts on perhaps understanding both positions in terms of each other, and perhaps thereby begin to show a synthesis.

What the Orthodox view seems to leave out, at least in the discussions I have had, is the act of God’s existence. Aquinas distinguishes real being as existence and essence. That is, the activity of existence and the whatness of essence. Real beings are “acting what-nots” to put it quasi-technically. This, it seems to me, is a wonderful insight. It is also, however, the…

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About J. Matthan Brown

Songwriter, blogger, and speaker, J. Matthan Brown currently resides in Wake Forest NC where he studies Philosophy of Religion at Southeastern Seminary.

One thought on “Divine Simplicity and Divine Energies

  1. Mystics add a third attribute of God: consciousness. In a simplistic analogy, E=mc² is divine Essence, Matter (energies) and Consciousness (cosmic/universal). There cannot be a ‘formula’ for God, but it is that one most people know.

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