Classical Theism and Theistic Personalism
- Two different theories of the nature of God
- Classical theism is a view of God according to which God is very different from ordinary
- Creator of whole universe
- Theistic Personalism:
God is a mind without a body, like a human mind only more powerful and intelligent
1. Four differences between the two approaches to the nature of God:
a. The idea of creation.
- God is the Creator
- Most atheists attack theistic personalist’s views of God no classical theists
- Central to Classical Theism
- Classical Theists emphasize that God’s creation is utterly different than any creation
humans can do
- God’s causation of the universe is made out of nothing
- God causes things to exist he doesn’t act on things
b. The difference between God and creatures: Is God transcendent?
- Classical Theists: God is not just another being in the world, he is outside the world
- Nothing that one says about God and creatures can have the same meaning
- We must always purify our language about God
- Theistic Personalists:
c. The “metaphysical” attributes of God: simplicity, immutability (eternity), impassibility.
Classical Theism/ Theistic Personalism
God is not made up of parts
- He is the first being not dependent on any other thing
-God cannot undergo real change, if he did he would have to grow and become more or less
- God has a constant character
- God cannot be changed by anything
d. Omnipotence and Omniscience.
2. The religious significance of the differences:
The Classical Theist Barry Miller, in A Most Unlik