The Oneness and Simplicity of God

By Barry D. Smith

The Oneness and Simplicity of God

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  • ISBN: 9781625641250
  • Pages: 154
  • Publication Date: 11/13/2013
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
Web Price: $16.00

The Oneness and Simplicity of God

By Barry D. Smith

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781625641250
  • Pages: 154
  • Publication Date: 11/13/2013
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00

About-

That YHWH is numerically one is foundational to the theology of the Hebrew Bible. Christian theologians historically have affirmed that there is a more fundamental type of oneness attributable to God. God is one not merely in the sense of being the only God, but also in the sense of being simple or non-composite, having no parts of any kind. In this way, God is said to be an absolute unity. After a consideration of all the evidence, Barry D. Smith reaches the conclusion that there is no basis for ascribing simplicity to God. The simplicity doctrine is not found in Scripture and the traditional arguments used to establish it are unconvincing. In addition, the recent defenses of the simplicity doctrine prompted by Alvin Plantinga's work Does God Have a Nature? are unsuccessful. It should not be thought, however, that the rejection of divine simplicity means that by default God must be conceived as composite, not even as a perfect composite with maximally great, God-making properties. Rather, there is a third option: God should not be conceived as either simple or composite. The question of in which mode God has attributes or exemplifies properties should be set aside.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Steeped in Scripture and utterly conversant with philosophical strategies from ancient to contemporary, Barry Smith has canvassed reasons old and new, for and against, insisting that God must be simple. A skilled teacher could use this study to introduce students into the intricacies of philosophical theology, while leading them to see how the 'point of it all'--characterizing a free creator in relation to creatures--can sometimes elude so detailed a study, though apophatic finally wins."
--David Burrell, Hesburgh Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

Contributors-

Barry D. Smith

Bio(s)-

Barry D. Smith is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Crandall University in New Brunswick, Canada. He is the author of The Indescribable God: Divine Otherness in Christian Theology (2012) and What Must We Do to Be Saved? Paul Parts Company with His Jewish Heritage (2007).

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