Read Our Idea of God: An Introduction to Philosophical Theology by Thomas V. Morris Online


Regent College Publishing, 2002, 192 pp. Softcover....

Title : Our Idea of God: An Introduction to Philosophical Theology
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ISBN : 9781573831017
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 196 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Our Idea of God: An Introduction to Philosophical Theology Reviews

  • Jacob Aitken
    2019-05-20 19:32

    This is a toned-down version of his Logic of God Incarnate and in many ways it is just as powerful and more accessible.. With the exception of his take on foreknowledge and eternity, I whole-heartedly recommend this book.Furthermore, this book is a skillful exercise in analytic theology. Morris invites us to think deeply on what we mean by God. And we mean by God:God is the greatest possible array of compossible great-making properties.Morris explains some of the terms:Great-making property: a property it is initially good to have.Compossible: a set or array of properties is compossible if it is possible that they all be had by the same individual at the same time, or all together.Morris’s take on God’s knowledge starts off well and cuts finite goddism off at the knees:If God has to depend on any intermediary for knowledge, then this defeats creation theology: God would then be the creator of the intermediary, yet also lacking the knowledge of what he creates. Morris then defines two useful concepts in analytic philosophy: de re and de dicto.The proposition(1) God is omniscientIs necessarily true. True in every possible world. It has both de dicto and de re status.G1: Necessarily, God is omniscience (de dicto status)G2: God is necessarily omniscience (both de dicto and de re).I am going to skip what Morris says about Molinism, Presentism, and Eternity. His true skill is in Christology. Is it logically incoherent to say that Jesus is both God and Man? Morris shows that when we gloss our terms, there is no problem. He writes,“Divinity, or deity, we shall continue to construe as analogous to a natural kind, and thus as comprising a kind-essence, a cluster of properties individually necessary and jointly sufficient for belonging to the kind, or in this case, for being divine” (162).Morris then capitalizes on the argument in several crucial sentences:“An individual-essence is a cluster of properties essential for an individual’s being the particular entity it is, properties without which it would not exist. A kind.essence is that cluster of properties without which, as we have seen, an individual would not belong to the particular natural kind it distinctively exemplifies. Of necessity, an individual can have no more than one individual-essence, or individual nature, but it does not follow from this, and is not, so far as I can tell, demonstrable from any other quarter, that an individual can have no more than one kind-essence” (163).Let’s cash this out. Humans are sinful. Jesus was human. Yet, Jesus was without sin, so how could Jesus be human? Morris shows that sin is a common human property, but not an essential one (since it wasn’t there originally and won’t be there in heaven). Further, we say that Jesus is fully human, not merely human.Fully human: exemplifying all of the properties in the kind-essence humanityMerely human: exemplifying only those H-properties.Two Minds ChristologyThey stand in an asymmetric accessing relation. Jesus typically drew upon his human resources.This book is easier to read than Logic of God Incarnate, and can probably be found cheaper than Logic. It ends with a short bibliography.

  • Tora
    2019-06-16 23:35

    Morris writes about the approach of philosophical to Christian doctrines about God. His approach combines perfect being theology with other methods to show that philosophical theology can provide some "inroads" into our understanding of God. While he present the first few chapters from a monotheistic view, the last chapter takes a distinctly Christian turn. A helpful introduction to philosophical theology, but not the best in terms of getting a grasp of the doctrine of God. Would recommend other books to serve that purpose.

  • Luke
    2019-05-28 22:23

    Wonderful little (very short!) introduction to philosophical theology. Succinct, clear, easy to follow. Morris does a good job of demarcating his views from the others he summarizes, and gives them all fair treatment.

  • Stephen Lake
    2019-05-21 19:39

    Best single volume introduction to the field of philosophical theology! It's not just a survey. Morris stakes out his own argument while fairly, even-handedly charting key positions on a full array of issues pertaining to the divine nature, human freedom, etc.

  • Yasin Ramazan
    2019-05-21 20:30

    a good overview of the arguments for a theistic view of deity. I especially like the chapter on creation in which the author deals with the problems related to dependence of the world to God.