Summary Against Modern Thought: You Can Know Some About God

Summary Against Modern Thought: You Can Know Some About God

Summary Against Modern Thought: Limits Of Our Knowledge Of God

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Last few weeks we learned there are limits to how well we can know God. This week we learn that having an intellect means knowing a small part of God.


1 Since the created intellect is exalted to the vision of the divine substance by a certain supernatural light, as is evident from what has been said, there is no created intellect so low in its nature that it cannot be elevated to this vision.

2 It has been shown, in fact, that this light cannot be connatural with any creature, but, that it surpasses every created nature in its power. But what is done by supernatural power is not hindered by a diversity of nature, since divine power is infinite. And so, in the case of the healing of an afflicted person, accomplished miraculously, it makes no difference whether the person is much or little afflicted. Therefore, the varying level of the intellectual nature does not hinder the lowest member of such a nature from being able to be brought to this vision by the aforementioned light.

3 Again, the gap between the intellect, at its highest natural level, and God is infinite in perfection and goodness. But the distance from the highest to the lowest intellect is finite, for there cannot be an infinite distance between one finite being and another. So, the distance which lies between the lowest created intellect and the highest one is like nothing in comparison to the gap which lies between the highest created intellect and God.

Now, that which is practically nothing cannot make a noticeable difference; thus, the distance between the center of the earth and our level of vision is like nothing in comparison with the distance that lies between our eye level and the eighth sphere, in regard to which sphere the whole earth takes the place of a point; this is why no noticeable variation results from the fact that astronomers in their demonstrations use our eye level of sight as the center of the earth. Therefore, it makes no difference what level of intellect it is that is elevated to the vision of God by the aforementioned light: it may be the highest, the lowest, or one in the middle.

Notes Again we have a kind of mathematical proof about infinities by our good saint!

4 Besides, it was proved above that every intellect naturally desires the vision of the divine substance, but natural desire cannot be incapable of fulfillment. Therefore, any created intellect whatever can attain to the vision of the divine substance, and the inferiority of its nature is no impediment.

Notes This means atheists, too.

5 Hence it is that the Lord promises men the glory of the angels: “They shall be,” He says, speaking of men, “like the angels of God in heaven” (Matt. 22:30). And also it is said that there is “the same measure for man and for angel” (Apoc. 21:3-7). For this reason, too, almost everywhere in Sacred Scripture angels are described in the shape of men: either wholly, as is evident of the angels who appeared to Abraham in the likeness of men (Gen. 18:2); or partially, as is the case of the animals of whom it is said that “they had the hands of a man under their wings” (Ez. 1:8).

Notes Something to look forward to. Or to be fearful of, if you end up on the wrong side of the empyrean.

6 By this conclusion we refute the error of those who have said that the human soul, no matter how much it be elevated, cannot attain equality with the higher intellects.


  1. Joy

    To say, that you ‘beg God for forgiveness’, then to write posts that betray a lack of understanding of the nature of the entity to which you are ‘begging’, or pretending to beg. God does not forgive if you don’t show repentance, mean it! So if you robbed a bank and kept a million dollars to yourself, then begged God to forgive you? How’d ya’ think that would work?

    God is cleverer than you, cleverer than Dr Strangelove, Imagine that! When (you), have no goodness, or mercy, hold adolescent, petty grudges, which you evidently do, about unimportant subjects, fret about who’s blocked you on Twitter lately? people you’ve never met, nor are likely to, so, God will show you none, you will have no peace.

    Internally, you will be hollow. He will teach you this. If you’re not listening, you’ll know all about it at the end. Either way, God still loves, EVEN you.

    Dear Atheists, who don’t care anyway,
    God loves EVERYBODY. There IS ultimate justice. Not to be confused with the convenient claim that this has anything to do with social justice or the latest fad playground phrase.

    Scripture says that God saved all the world. If you ignore the New Testament in favour of a treasured permissive text to keep your righteous anger burning, you are not a Christian. He is not there to save you from imperial domination, or from some little local difficulty, or from a major train wreck, (that was the contemporary Jewish error), but from sin. The other suff is up to you. Your control is ultimately only over yourself, not others.

    Personal, petty, self destructive, sin. That salvation is not hanging in the air waiting for people to grab a golden ticket. THAT is sales pitch of the Charleston variety. I’d say like a protection racket and potentially as dangerous.

    “come to me and I will help you get saved”.
    “Don’t come to me and I’ll throw fire and brimstone and “”murder your soul.””
    Those are the words of lost souls, maniacs, sad followers, gangsters or Satan.

    If you think there are some matters of grave concern in the world? you can obviously chose to do something about those. You might even put your money where your mouth is.

    IF you don’t sort out your own understanding of salvation and sin, permanently, daily, and for all time, you will not have the light to know which way you should fight your ‘good fight’.

    Salvation is not just for a few special people, chosen people. Those people are deluded.
    The shallow and hard line fundamentalism taught tacitly or overtly, is not true. It is not the mainstream Christian faith. Some are mixed up. Understandably so.

    It is inconvenient to fundamentalism and political activism, but,
    God loves everybody. EVEN the people you Hate, so this poses an immediate problem for a true believer. Obvious questions and profound changes in behaviour arise from that notion.

    That some think medieval literature will give them the answers they need on matters of salvation? Reveals an odd understanding of the nature of God. As if he’s an exercise in intellectual argument or proof. Obviously Aquinas makes claims otherwise. Briggs enjoys forgetting.

    Life is given by God, not s a test of faith or obedience, of endurance, of ability to suffer and especially, it seems, around here, ‘act’ poor, It is patently clear to me, that such notions of God’s providing meritocratic purpose in life are NOT true. Life is not a university course or an assault course, spiritually speaking. It may be that way by descriptive realism. THAT is a separate matter. You don’t need God in that description.

    So it is a waste of your life and everybody’s time if you reinforce such punitive notions of God, but you are making your life miserable. Maybe justifying your misery. However, misery loves company and he’s rarely ever punished for that.

    It matters not that others believe differently up to the point where they begin using threatening or mind bending manipulations to spread their fakery and Charleston style understanding of the nature of God and the nature of Christianity. What they are doing is recruiting ‘church’ members, which any charity can do, but with a smile and with more success than the evilAngelist. Usually with a cuddly toy, too!

    In some ways, some Atheists, or people who don’t even talk about God, are closer to him.
    As for angels? It’s on a need to know basis. They do often have wings, although some are just mobile in a particularly individual way.

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