Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Four views of God

OT:  wrathful; demanding obedience and piety

Scholastics: rational; inviting us to explore and celebrate His creation  

Humanists: Neoplatonic;  beyond truth and goodness

Nominalists:  pure will; arbitrary and unpredictable 

["The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."] The wisdom referred to in the proverb is thus not questioning and thinking, that is, not philosophy or science, but piety and obedience. Is this, however, what Descartes means when he puts the proverb at the head of his text? And which Lord is he referring to that generates this fear? It is hard to believe that the God that Descartes has in mind is the rational God of scholasticism or the Neoplatonic God of humanism.I want to suggest that the God the young Descartes has in mind is rather the arbitrary and unpredictable God who first appeared in the thought of Ockham and who found his preeminent form in the hidden God of Luther.

Michael Allen Gillespie. The Theological Origins of Modernity (pp. 170-171). Kindle Edition.


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