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Doctrine of Divine Simplicity: Does it Matter for the Church? Part 1 of 3

The Invasion: The Bankruptcy of Dualism[1]


In C. S. Lewis’s (1898-1963) Mere Christianity, composed is a chapter called “The Invasion” where he punctures the ideology of dualism while, simultaneously, painting an accurate and winsome picture of the biblical paradigm between a kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of the Beloved (Col. 1:13; cf. Rom. 6:1-23; 2 Cor. 4:1-6).[2] Dualism, accordingly, is the notion that within the known universe there is a cosmic battle between two eternal forces: the force of the good versus the force of the evil. Lewis—with his charismatic rigor—moves to dismantle this pagan ideology. He accomplishes this task, first, by asking the simple but necessary question: if these two forces exist eternally, what makes “good” good and what makes “evil” evil? If there is a good and if there is an evil, there would seem to be an assumption—a presupposition—that a governing force is beyond or behind these entities which gives rise to their efficacy and validity.[3]This governing force, by definition, would become the ultimate and, therefore, good and evil could not rule nor govern the phenomenological contours of the created kosmos.[4] Good and evil, then, would become contingent and dependent entities. To this end, despite its effort, dualism stands bankrupt amid the responsibility of being an absolute structure in understanding and comprehending the created universe.


And yet, this coalesces with Lewis’s second point which begs an additional question: are the constructs of good and evil two separate entities; that is, does good and evil exist independently from one another? As Lewis probes, he realizes that evil is not a construct that can exist on its own; that is, no one steals, kills, or destroys for the sake of stealing, killing, and destroying. Rather, they do these things out of an understanding of the good—a perverted understanding albeit.[5] Even within their perception of good, which turns out to be a horrid evil, it is dependent upon an objective standard of goodness. They steal for security, and security in and of itself is good. They kill for self-preservation, and life in and of itself is good. They destroy for the common good, and universal goodness is built upon the supremacy of good.[6] Simply put, evil is not an autonomous entity. Rather, evil is a corruption, a deformation of goodness. To this end, dualism cannot be a universal construct in comprehending the function and foundation of the created world. And as a result, dualism is not an idea that can be embraced as an ultimate structure in apprehending reality, in formulating an honest and consistent metaphysic.


Nonetheless, in establishing the bankruptcy of dualism, Lewis also affirms the biblical narrative’s pseudo-dualistic structure found amid a kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of the Beloved (cf. Col. 1:13).[7] They are not, however, on equal footing; that is, they are not two autonomous entities vying for control. Rather, they are necessary constructs in understanding the natural perversion found within humanity’s everyday encounters, a natural perversion found within the very hearts of fallen image bearers. As Lewis articulates, evil by nature is parasitic in that it is dependent upon a host. Thus, when thrust into the biblical storyline and introduced to the Divine Warrior Christ Jesus Himself, it is quickly realized that the messianic figure is the good that has become incarnate—the Logos that has taken on flesh—in order to drive out the parasitic injustices of sin that has so enthralled and captivated image bearers (cf. Jn. 1:14; Phil. 2:6-8).[8]Outside of Christ, the notion of moral neutrality is undermined by the contours and effects of human depravity; that is, the unregenerate person loves their sin (cf. Prov. 2:14; 26:11; Jn. 3:19). Yet, those who are found in Christ have put to death the sinful desires of the flesh and have been gifted rebirth through the power of His resurrection (cf. Rom. 6:1-14; 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:20-22; Phil. 3:7-11; Col. 3:5).[9] It is this understanding of the Gospel that finds Jesus entering His earthly ministry, yes, as the sacrificial lamb, but, also, as the Divine Warrior King who strikes down the iniquities of the world through His active and passive obedience.[10]


Consequently, the doctrine of divine simplicity stands at the metaphorical forefront or the proverbial substructure—depending upon how one views it— of this moral conundrum. The doctrine strives to articulate the metaphysical paradigm and phenomenological contours that necessitates a consistent and rational appropriation of reality. From a Christian orthodox standpoint, it is the triune God who has brought forth this redemptive pedigree in order to reconcile a people back to Himself and, in so doing, glorify His sovereign Name in all the earth (cf. Eph. 1:6-7; Titus 2:14; 1 Pet. 1:20-21). In the same way, classical theism has rightfully asked, who is this God and what is He like? How are we to construe an understanding of the infinite Creator in accords with His self-revelation?[11] And yet, how do we balance describing the infiniteness of God with finite language? Augustine, in turn, provides a balanced perspective amid the quest in depicting the transcendent Creator: “If you understand a being, it is not God.”[12] Yet, how does this construal shape and inform our witness as a covenant community of faith? How do these meditations upon the divine Creator color the church’s engagement with a rebellious and fractious world?


Therefore, the premise of this paper will be to identify the relevancy of the doctrine of divine simplicity in the nature and essence of the triune God for the benefit of God’s covenant people—the church.[13] This will require a multi-varied process in formulating an initial response to this massive question. The initial feat will include a groundwork in determining and defining the doctrine itself. Not only will propositional truths be set forward, but an examination on the implicit corresponding doctrines be searched, skewered, and addressed. Secondly, an examination upon the connotative denials of simplicity will take precedent amid a traditional framework found within evangelical theology. Thirdly, an interrogative approach will be applied upon a practical outworking of the subject; that is, does it really matter? Fourth and lastly, the notion of relevancy toward an ethos in ecclesial development will be examined. The fundamental question that drives the foci of this research will be built upon its aim and end toward an ecclesial context: how does the doctrine of divine simplicity positively benefit the expression and mission of the local church?


What is the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity and Its Implications?


The medieval scholar Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)[14] follows a long lineage of philosophical thinkers who conclude that the multitude within the created universe could be comprehended and perceived amid the One—the Supreme Being.[15] Though the patristic fathers did not associate the God of the Scriptures wholesale with the Supreme Being found within Hellenistic philosophy, the baseline similarities warranted philosophical categories amid theological formation in the composition of theology proper for the early church.[16] The arrangement brought forth a necessary and much needed structure to the indispensable means of articulating the religious posture found within Judaism and Christianity respectively. Though Hellenism assisted in the dialogical approach, the patristic fathers—Augustine (354AD-430AD) in particular—leaned heavily upon the sacred Scriptures to affirm the philosophical expression found within the nature of God.[17] Accordingly, Augustine asserts, “No one has come closer to us than the Platonists.”[18] Consequently, the metaphysical constructs of Plato (428/427BC-348/347BC) and Aristotle (384BC-322BC) played a significant role in conveying intelligible nuances to the understanding of an absolute being found within the Christian faith—Yahweh Elohim. The North African theologian appreciated Hellenism’s metaphysical pursuit and affirmed their foundational premise by saying,

They saw that no material body is God, and therefore they went beyond all bodies in their search for God. They saw that nothing mutable is the supreme God, and therefore they went beyond every soul and all mutable spirits in their search for the supreme God. They also saw that, in every mutable thing, the form that makes it what it is, in whatever measure and of whatever nature it is, can only have its existence from Him who truly is because He exists immutably. It follows, then, that the whole material world, with its shapes, its qualities, its ordered motion, with the elements arrayed from heaven down to earth, and with whatever bodies exist in them, and that all life, whether life which only nourishes and sustains existence, like the life in trees, or life which also has feeling and sensation, like the life in animals, or life which has all this and has intelligence as well, like the life in human beings, or life which has no need to take nourishment but still sustains existence and has sensation and intelligence, like the life in angels—it follows, then, that all these can only have existence from him who simply is. For, to Him, it is not one thing to exist and another to have intelligence, as if He could live without having intelligence; nor is it one thing to have intelligence and another to be happy, as if He could have intelligence without being happy. To Him, rather, to exist simply is to live, to have intelligence, and to be happy.[19]

To this end, when assessing the doctrines of immutability and aseity, divine simplicity is safely implied. Though there are no clear prooftexts to secure certainty amid its phraseology, careful theological deduction within philosophical constructs assure confidence to the doctrine’s fidelity.[20] Prior to elaborating upon the interconnectedness of each respective doctrine, it will better serve our purposes at this point to define the central component of our present investigation—divine simplicity. James E. Dolezal provides a comprehensive and succinct definition when he writes,

The principle claim of divine simplicity is that God is not composed of parts. Whatever is composed of parts depends upon its parts in order to be as it is. A part is anything in a subject that is less than the whole and without which the subject would be really different than it is. In short, composite beings need their parts in order to exist as they do. Moreover, the parts in an integrated whole require a composer distinct from themselves to unify them, an extrinsic source of unity. If God should be composed of parts—of components that were prior to Him in being—He would be doubly dependent: first, on the parts, and second, on the composer of the parts.[21]

By describing the doctrine in this manner, we are given ample opportunity to break down its assertions and assess how these implications give rise to a cogent and rational understanding of God’s divine nature.


The doctrine of divine simplicity, for all intents and purposes, does not refer to an elemental understanding of the Creator God nor is it built upon any notion that He is in Himself a simpleton of sorts. Rather, the initial description provided above emphasizes upon the notion that God’s being is not fundamentally composed of parts. There are no components found within His essence nor is He formed through a myriad of composite mixture of complexities.[22] If this were so, “there [would need] to be something prior to anything composite,” describes Aquinas, “since components are by nature prior to the composite.”[23] Simply put, if God were composed of parts there would by necessity be a composer proceeding Him and, therefore, functioning over Him. This, by definition, would put to question the ultimacy of God Himself. In addition, composite beings imply a paradigm grounded within the created order; that is, composition assumes finitude. Since God is the Unmoved Mover and transcends the created order, He must be simple; that is, His actuality gives rise to the potentiality that is found within the created kosmos. He is, then, in Himself most absolute.[24] Meaning, God does not look to anything or anyone outside Himself for assurance or existence, nor does creation itself find existence outside the Creator God Himself. At the most fundamental level, He in His nature is simply simple.


In addition to God’s divine simplicity, classical theists have conveyed two central components implied in the doctrinal formation. The first consist of negligence within the notion that God’s existence and essence are individual, constituent components found within Himself.[25] Said positively, God’s essence and His existence are one in and of the same; that is, God is both actus purus (pure act) and ipsum esse subsistens (subsistent being itself). The Dutch Reformed theologian, Herman Bavnick (1854-1921), describes it as such, “God is the real, the true being, the fullness of being, the sum total of all reality and perfection, the totality of being, from which all other being owes its existence. He is an immeasurable and unbounded ocean of being; the absolute being who alone has being in Himself.”[26] The second implication, then, states that each divine attribute comprised as distinct properties amid a low creaturely perception are in God identical with His essence. Simply put, God is His attributes. That is, when Scripture conveys God as love (cf. 1 Jn. 4:8) or God as truth (cf. Jn. 14:6), He is not measured by a standard outside Himself in order to vindicate His loveliness or His truthfulness. To the contrary, He is those things by virtue of His Godness, or rather, those properties find their efficacy in Him as most absolute.[27] Therefore, God is love! God is truth! As Aquinas asserts, “all the perfections in God are really one thing.”[28]


To this point, simplicity stands as the basis by which all other forms are sanctioned and affirmed. Notwithstanding, doctrinal progression fuels and is fueled by the notion that God is most absolute and, thus, is in Himself simple.[29] To this end, simplicity implies that He is self-sufficient, or rather a se (Lat. “from himself”). Matthew Barrett identifies, then, this foundational necessity in the cohesiveness of the doctrines of simplicity and aseity when he asserts that the “difference … between a simple being (God) and a composite being (everything else) comes down to aseity.”[30] If God is to be self-sufficient in Himself, He must, in turn, be simple because to be otherwise—that is, to be composed of parts—would be to depend upon something prior to Himself.[31] And this, by definition, would undermine His very own aseity. Or as Van Til qualifies, “We have in the case of God absolute numerical identity and, therefore, internal qualitative sufficiency.”[32] Thus, the biblical notion of God’s aseity implies, with deductive reasoning, the simplicity of God’s very own nature. As John 5:26 asserts, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself.”


Likewise, the doctrines of aseity and simplicity ascertains the immutability of God. As Bavnick articulates, “But God who is cannot change, for every change would diminish His being. Furthermore, God is as immutable in His knowing, willing, and decreeing as He is in His being… As He is, so He knows and wills—immutably.”[33] Thus, if God has life in Himself, He must be immutable because immutability eliminates necessity and dependence which, in turn, affirm His self-sufficiency. Mutability implies lack and reducibility within the essence of God. If God is becoming, it means He would have been imperfect. If God is perfect and changes, He would be reduced from His perfection. To this point, the seventeenth century English theologian Stephen Charnock (1628-1680) depicts God’s immutability by saying, “If He changed for the better, He could not have an infinite pleasure in what He was before the change, because He was not infinitely blessed, and the pleasure of that state could not be of a higher kind than the state itself, or at least the apprehension of a happiness in it; if He changed for the worse, He could not have a pleasure in it after the change; for according to the diminution of His state would be the decrease of His pleasure.”[34] Furthermore, immutability assumes divine simplicity in that change within the essence of God would impart a composite notion to the nature and substance of God’s divinity. Change, as was stated above, would imply finitude and a finite rendering would put into question the absoluteness of the Creator God Himself. The doctrine of immutability, then, is essential in upholding divine simplicity and vice versa.[35]


The last and final doctrinal assessment, which coincides with the previous three, is the doctrine of God’s infinity. Though many theologians would articulate its apprehension and association apophatically—that is, God is without finitude—the doctrine, according to Dolezal, can be emphasized otherwise. “Infinity conceived as the limitlessness of God’s perfection does not denote that God is ever in potency toward a further intensification of being, but rather that He eternally subsists as the fullness of being and perfection in Himself.”[36] Simply put, the infiniteness of God does not allude to the boundless progression of numerical growth; that is, it is not based upon a quantitative measurement of God. Rather, it points to His qualitative nature, His perfection. Therefore, to undermine God’s perfection would be to assume mutability which, in turn, puts His aseity and divine simplicity into question. These doctrinal positions—beginning with simplicity and progressing forward—fuels and are fueled by one another amid the canopy of dogmatic claims. By upholding their truthfulness and cogency, like classical theism strives to do, the church and her people are served well and, in turn, are strengthened by meditating upon the glories of the One, simple, unchanging God of the universe.

 

***footnotes***

[1] This content is taken with permission from a doctoral assignment in “Philosophical Theology” at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I am indebted to Dr. Thor Madsen for their critique and assessment. His instruction was a tremendous help and has propelled me toward greater studies in the metaphysical realm. [2] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, NY: Harper One, 2009), 2.2. [3] See Cornelius Van Til, Christian Theistic Evidences, ed. K. Scott Oliphint. 2nd Ed. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2016), 161-187. Van Til lays out the foundation of teleology and how God must be presupposed to bring purpose and order to the created kosmos. He traces the historical development of teleological studies but, ultimately, makes a case that without the God of the bible, one cannot understand or make sense of the known universe. God, then, is the Designer and Sustainer of creation. [4] Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God (Minneapolis, MN: Klock & Klock Christian Publisher, 1977), 36. Charnock argues that God is the first cause by which there is nothing beyond Him. There is nothing that causes itself, according to Charnock, thus, there must be One who is uncaused. To this end, God is the uncaused causer of all things. [5] Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 4, Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation. ed. John Bolt, trans. John Vriend (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 436. Bavinck holds that sin is not substantial nor material but “formal;” that is, it is not identical with creation. This is consistent with the idea that by design creation is good (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). When sin entered the world, it did not come as an entity fromcreation but rather a form that is removed from creation seeking to pervert its goodness. [6] Saint Augustine, The City of God: De Civitate Dei, Abridged Study Edition (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2018), 19.1. Augustine lays out four components that by human nature individuals gravitate toward. Of the four, the primary goodness of nature is in its midst. He argues that creaturely beings are inherently attracted to the enterprise of goodness. [7] See K. Scott Oliphint, Covenantal Apologetics: Principles & Practice in Defense of our Faith (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), 30-33. Oliphint lays out a similar paradigm to the biblical narrative of a kingdom ruled by the serpent and the kingdom of God. He affirms that these dominions do not possess equal power or sovereignty. However, the paradigm is what the biblical storyline provides for us as His covenantal people. See also Andrew D. Naselli, The Serpent and the Serpent Slayer. SSBT. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020. [8] See Tremper Longman III and Daniel G. Reid, God is a Warrior. Grand Rapids, MN: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995. [9] See Brandon D. Crowe, The Hope of Israel: The Resurrection of Christ in the Acts of the Apostles. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2020. See also Patrick Schreiner, The Ascension of Christ: Recovering a Neglected Doctrine. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020. [10] See Brandon D. Crowe, The Last Adam: A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospels. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017. Crowe articulates and defends the Reformed understanding of the active and passive obedience of Christ for salvation. He winsomely portrays the significance of Christ’s active obedience built upon His overcoming work grounded in the temptation narrative (Matt. 4:1-17; Lk. 4:1-13). It is within these parameters that Christ engages His earthly ministry is pushing back the darkness as well as atoning for the sins of the world upon the cross. See also Brandon D. Crowe. Why Did Jesus Live a Perfect Life? The Necessity of Christ’s Obedience for Our Salvation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2021. [11] Cornelius Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology: Prolegomena and the Doctrines of Revelation, Scripture, and God, 2nd ed. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2007), 241-281. Van Til posits divine inspiration which correlates with the incomprehensibility of God. These doctrines move hand-in-hand in the broader make-up of epistemology. God can be known not at the whim and ability of the human creature. Rather, knowledge of God is dependent and intrinsically tied to the notion that God has revealed Himself, first, within creation and, secondly, through the sacred text of Scripture. Either way, according to Van Til, all knowledge is contingent upon revelation which is wholly dependent upon God’s movement in making Himself known to the created universe. Therefore, logic and facts—built toward the purpose of coherency—must presuppose the God of Scripture as its basis. [12] Augustine, Sermons, trans. Edmund Hill, ed. John Rotelle, 11 vols., The Works of Saint Augustine, A Translation for the 21st Century (New York, NY: New City Press, 1991), 4.117.5. [13] Ip, Pui Him. “Re-Imagining Divine Simplicity in Trinitarian Theology.” International Journal of Systematic Theology 18, no. 3 (July 2016): 274–89. Ip traces trinitarian theology in light of the doctrine of simplicity and affirms their cohesiveness as well as the necessity of a simple God. Simplicity, according to Ip, magnifies the beauty and majesty of the trinitarian nature of God. [14] Wittman, Tyler R. “‘Not a God of Confusion but of Peace’: Aquinas and the Meaning of Divine Simplicity.” Modern Theology 32, no. 2 (April 2016): 151–69. [15] Craig A. Carter, Contemplating God with the Great Tradition: Recovering Trinitarian Classical Theism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2021), 201-303. Carter provides a provocative historical trace throughout the patristic era and how their metaphysical commitments shaped their exegetical methodologies in constructing a doctrine on the nature of God. An affirmation to the metaphysical claims grounded amid their cultural milieu assured the transcendent notions of the biblical God as well as its implications to the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. The polemical nature of the covenantal Scriptures opposed the pagan ideologies of their context which asserted itself well within the confines of metaphysical discussions. Though the early church did not buy wholesale the Hellenistic enterprise of philosophical discourse, it did provide a conversation partner through the rigors of discernment and articulation. [16] Gerald Bray, God Has Spoken: A History of Christian Theology (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014), 71-73. [17] Craig A. Carter, Interpreting Scripture with the Great Tradition: Recovering the Genius of Premodern Exegesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2018), 72-76. Carter traces the influence Platonism played upon Augustine’s conversion and its use in formulating philosophical constructs to better discern the theological formation of the Christian faith. Not only that, but Augustine also utilizes Platonism over and above all other pagan ideologies to construe a metaphysical framework in grasping the reality of the created kosmos. [18] Augustine, The City of God, 8.5. [19] Ibid., 8.6. [20] See James E. Dolezal, God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God’s Absoluteness (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2011), 67-92. Dolezal dedicates a chapter to defending the doctrine through a theological rationale. By seeing all the attributes of God as a cohesive whole, Dolezal argues for the natural progression of God in being simple. By examining the doctrines of aseity, unity, infinity, and immutability; God, in turn, must be simple. [21] James E. Dolezal, All that is in God: Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Classical Christian Theism (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017), 40. [22] Matthew Barrett, Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2021), 125-154. Barrett defends the notion of divine simplicity amid the distinctiveness in personhood found within orthodox trinitarian formation. God’s unity is based upon His divine essence (Gk. ousia) whereas His distinctness is collated from personhood (Gk. hypostases) in Father, Son, and Spirit. Affirmation in divine simplicity amid trinitarian structures, then, is built along the premise of God’s essence which conveys His oneness while upholding Christianity’s monotheistic conviction. That is, God is not three parts within the Persons of the trinity. Rather, the three distinct Persons subsist in the one divine nature. Therefore, divine simplicity is not subverted when describing God’s trinitarian nature within Christian orthodoxy. See also Stephen R. Holmes, The Quest for the Trinity: The Doctrine of God in Scripture, History and Modernity (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012), 97-120. [23] Thomas Aquinas, Compendium of Theology, trans. Richard J. Regan (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2009), 1.9. [24] See Dolezal, God without Parts, 1. Dolezal affirms that the Westminster Confession of Faith strives to make a distinction between the Creator and creation. These necessary divisions, at its root, are to affirm God as “most absolute.” Therefore, the central focus of the doctrine of divine simplicity, according to Dolezal, is how the Christian will affirm and defend the primacy of the triune God in all of creation. [25] Ibid., 93-124. Dolezal dedicates a chapter to articulating the distinction between esse-essentia and how these differences are consistent within the created sphere. Yet, within the divine nature there are no such distinction in the simple God. God is, therefore, ipsum esse subsistens. See also Steven J. Duby, God in Himself: Scripture, Metaphysics, and the Task of Christian Theology (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2019), 188-231. [26] Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 2, God and Creation. ed. John Bolt, trans. John Vriend (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 123. [27] Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology, 268. Van Til argues that without the God of the bible operating as a fundamental basis, one could not make sense nor comprehend reality. He goes on to assert, “One could not talk about God at all except in terms of His revelation to man. Without the presupposition of God’s revelation to man there could be no predication of God at all. God would be not incomprehensible, but inapprehensible. That is, no predication could be made of Him or of anything else. Failing to make the presupposition of the self-contained character of God and the doctrines of creation and revelation fundamental in their thinking, the Romanist and Arminian are unable to distinguish clearly between the Christian notion of the incomprehensibility of God and the non-Christian notion of the incomprehensibility of reality.” [28] Aquinas, Compendium of Theology, 1.22. [29] See Peter Sanlon, Simply God: Recovering the Classical Trinity (Nottingham, EN: IVP, 2014), 57-61. Sanlon argues that the doctrine of simplicity is the basis by which all other attributes can be conceived. He goes on to say, “The simplicity of God is the most fundamental doctrinal grammar of divinity.” [30] Matthew Barrett, None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2019), 78. [31] Baddorf, Matthew. “Divine Simplicity, Aseity, and Sovereignty.” Sophia 56, no. 3 (September 2017): 403–18. Baddorf holds that complexity in God does not put into question His aseity. He also asserts that complexity does not undermine nor eliminate His sovereignty. I am aware that there are those who would hold this notion contrary to what is stated within my paper. [32] Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology, 341. [33] Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 2, God and Creation, 154. [34] Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God, 107. See also 106-119. [35] See Barrett, None Greater, 99. [36] Dolezal, All that is in God, 79.

 

McYoung Y. Yang (MDiv, SBTS; ThM, MBTS) is the husband to Debbie and father to McCayden (13), McCoy (12), McColsen (10), and DeYoung (6). He is a Pastor of Preaching/Teaching at Covenant City Church in St. Paul, MN. Along with his ministerial duties, he is a homeschool dad. In addition, McYoung is continuing his doctoral studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. His ambition is to use his training as a means to serve the local church in living life through the Gospel lens.


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