Jonathan Edwards on God’s relation to creation

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In this paper I shall focus on the old and difficult classical theological question of whether God has a real relation to the created order. The worry is this: if God is really related to the creation (as, say, I am really related to my children) then this seems to jeopardize his doctrine of divine aseity. God is metaphysically and psychologically independent of the created order (i.e., exists a se). So he cannot stand in a real relation to the creation. However, this poses serious conceptual
problems for the Christian theologian. In particular, it generates a worry about how God can have a true relation to his creatures if he doesn't have a real relation to them. I consider Jonathan Edwards's idealist account of creation to see whether what he says about God's act of creation provides resources for addressing this issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-16
JournalJonathan Edwards Studies
Issue number1
Early online date26 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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  • Religion
  • Philosophy


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