If God is Eternal, Immutable, and Infinite (Pure Act), is it possible for God (defined as
such) to be the creator and provident redeemer of a world in which there is true
contingency, especially human freedom?
A.Proof three argues to necessary existence, existence by nature and thus without any
Aquinas fleshes out this assumption in q. 3, art. 4,
Whether Essence and Being are the same in God?
In the Reply, Aquinas argues:
“since being is the actuality of every nature …
And since in God there is no potentiality …
It follows that in Him essence does not differ from being.
Therefore His essence is His being.”
In art. 5 “Whether God is Altogether Simple?” Aquinas continues that God is
Because in God there is no composition of quantitative parts, since He is
not a body;
Nor composition of form and matter;
Nor does his nature differ from His suppositum;
Nor His essence from His being;
Neither is there in Him composition of genus and difference,
Nor of subject and accident;
Therefore, God is “altogether simple.”
B.Raises a serious problem:
Since God is absolutely simple in being and action (1-4, 10)
m. And since proof three requires that contingent (created) being derive from
necessary or absolute being, (esse a se),
How is it possible for contingent being to derive from necessary being
without either being necessary itself, and thus not contingent, or necessary
being becoming contingent by giving rise to contingent beings
(existentially contingent beings)?
C.Raises a second, more precise problem concerning the relationship between
necessity and contingency, the status of future contingent beings (especially
human free actions) relative to the divine knowledge and will, both of which are
identical with the divine being.
In other words, does
Divine foreknowledge and divine will impose necessity on contingent
Since … God has nothing in Him of potentiality, but is pure act, His
intellect and its object must be altogether the same; (q. 14, art. 2)
So that He neither is without the intelligible species …