Saturday, 1 August 2015

Helm's Deep: Christian Theism and the Particular Baptists

Helm's Deep: Christian Theism and the Particular Baptists

And closely connected with God’s simplicity and his atemporality is his aseity. ‘Aseity’, independence, is an unfamiliar word, yet the idea behind it is a vital one. It is the root idea behind the affirmation of the underivedness of God,, that God is a se, from himself. This does not mean that God has created himself, he is uncreated. This idea of aseity has a strong element of negativity to it, as all the expressions we are considering have. So aseity does not mean that God has made himself, that would be incoherent, but that the child’s question ‘God made me, but who made God?’ rests upon a misunderstanding. In learning the grammar of his faith, the child has slipped up, misspoken. But the mistake is easily corrected. How could anything or anyone have made God, for he is the Creator of everything except himself? He is uncreated. It makes no sense to say that God was made, for to do so once again confounds the Creator-creature distinction. It is a mistake in the grammar of our language of God. The Creator-creature distinction is fundamental to all Christian theology; we must never lose sight of it.

The interconnectedness of the simplicity, the timelessness, the immutability and the aseity of God, (and of God’s full activity) lies at the heart of Christian theism. It is important to stress that this connectedness is not only a work of human reason, but that it is first and foremost grounded in God himself, and made known in Holy Scripture. We noted this about immutability, and it is so with eternality and aseity and the rest. We may make distinctions in our thought of God, as when we say that God is three persons. But such distinctions are not divisions in the reality of God.


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