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De Moor IV:21: God's Power, Actual and Absolute

This Power of God is divided into Actual and Absolute; from which distinction one and the same thing is able sometimes to be said to be possible and impossible to God. The Actual Power of God denotes the divine Sufficiency, insofar as by it what things by the eternal Decree were determined for the state of existence are actually created in the fullness of time; or it denotes the determination of the divine Virtue to actualize those certain sorts of possible things that God by the perfectly free good pleasure of His Will ordained were to be made by Himself. The Absolute Power signifies the mere Sufficiency of God of itself, insofar as whatever in the Understanding of the first cause does not involve a contradiction is able to exist by His power: this entails no relation to the Decree, since according to our manner of conception it precedes the discriminating act of the Will, while for that discriminating act of the Will it underlays its own object, namely, merely Possible Things. From these two perspectives on the divine Power compared together it is evident, 1. That a great many things now are in fact impossible for God, as a consequence of the assumption of God’s Immutable Decree and Infallible Prescience, indeed sometimes even of Prediction; which same things, if you have regard to the mere Power of the Deity, of themselves ought to be called Possible Things: compare what things SUICERUS[1] offers on this subject from the Fathers, Observationum Sacrarum, chapter XI, pages 275, 276. 2. Hence it is also evident that one may by no means conclude from the Power of God alone the present or future existence of any thing, unless it at the same time consist His Will toward us.

[1] John Caspar Suicer (1620-1684) was a Swiss theologian and philologist. He studied at Saumur and Montauban, and served as Professor of Hebrew and Greek at the University of Zurich (1660).

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