Brian H. from the United States writes in response to article The importance of correct history and theology. CMI’s Shaun Doyle responds with his comments interspersed:

 

Everything in our experience is composed of parts. Is God also composed of parts?
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Dear CMI,

Dear Mr H.

Thank you for your feedback. My comments are interspersed below.

I was reading this article tonight and was in agreement with you until you got to the part about God being a ‘simple entity’, at that point you lost me. It seems as though you are arguing that the Creator is less complex than His creation. How does the fact that God is spirit lead to the conclusion that He is ‘simple’? To the best of my knowledge we have no idea what spirit is, or how it might work. Why should we therefore assume that spirit is less complex in internal nature than matter? Your comments remind me somewhat of Darwin concluding that cells were small blobs of simple jelly because he was ignorant of what they were made of or how they work. We might just as easily assume that spirit is more complex than matter as it is responsible for things beyond the ability of matter i.e. the creation of matter from nothing.

 

When we say that God is simple, we mean that He is not composed of parts, not that He is easy to understand. God has no parts—He is a whole, unified and indivisible being. So God is not made up of x amount of ‘spirit stuff’, and He is not something that we can dissect (physically or otherwise) so as to find out how He works. What that would actually do is ground God’s being in something other than Himself; i.e. the ‘spirit stuff’ that He is supposedly made up of. If God is truly the self-existent one (Exodus 3:14), then what He is composed of cannot be distinguished from Himself. In sum—God is what He is, and that cannot change.

God’s simplicity is usually used as a way of talking about God’s attributes. According to the principle of divine simplicity, God is not merely the sum of His attributes, nor are they additions to His being….

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