Sunday, June 08, 2008

Book Review: The Limits of Orthodox Theology, Chapter Four, Creation Ex Nihilo

"The Fourth Principle affirms God's priority to other being (not his eternity, as has often been assumed), and creation ex nihilo, i.e. creation after absolute non-existence."

This is one of the shorter of the chapters in this book and will probably be the shortest review in this book. In other words, I don't feel I'd be cheating you for giving a quick summary.

No major figure denies God's priority to other beings. But there are examples of Jewish authorities denying creation ex nihilo (creation out of nothing). Most followed a Platonic conception that matter was eternal.

This can be best summed up by the following quote:
[Gersonides] is quite adamant that creation of matter out of nothing is impossible, and this is the basic stumbling-block for creation ex nihilo as far as he is concerned. That even God cannot do this does not limit him in Gersonides' eyes, for, as we have already seen, inability to do the impossible imples no imperfection.

So, in this principle, we do see the rather uninteresting qualification from the Second Principle (God not being able to do the impossible/meaningless) come into play for those who denied

All disagreements with this principle seem to be due to philosophical considerations.

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2 Comments:

Blogger George Burke said...

I just thought I'd let you know that I have no clue what your talking about. Understandable book reviews.

6/08/2008 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Did you start from the beginning of this series or are you unfamiliar with some of these concepts?

6/08/2008 10:26:00 PM  

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