Yesterday I released a video talking about the idea that God is simple. While it seems to me that far too many people either don’t appreciate or hold to this doctrine today, it is nevertheless the classical understanding of God in the Christian tradition.
This has always been the Catholic position on the nature of God as well. Take, for example, this statement from the first Vatican Council:
“The Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church believes and confesses that there is one true and living God, Creator and Lord of heaven and earth, Almighty, Eternal, Immense, Incomprehensible, Infinite in intelligence, in will, and in all perfection, who, as being one, sole, absolutely simple and immutable spiritual substance, is to be declared as really and essentially distinct from the world, of supreme beatitude in and from Himself, and ineffably exalted above all things which exist, or are conceivable, except Himself. “
Now Aquinas says reasons demands that we hold that God, the First Cause of all things, be simple. And the reason why is because God is the first being. There cannot be anything “prior” to God.
In this video, I’ll do my best to explain what this reasoning from Aquinas means.