Friday, April 07, 2006

Q13 A2: Whether any name can be applied to God substantially?

Yes. Some names signify the divine substance, and are predicated substantially of God, although they fall short of a full representation of Him because these names express God so far as our intellects know Him, as the excelling principle of whose form the effects fall short.

Some names signify the divine substance, but in an imperfect manner, even as creatures represent it imperfectly.

So when we say, "God is good," the meaning is not, "God is the cause of goodness," or "God is not evil"; the meaning is, "Whatever good we attribute to creatures, pre-exists in God," and in a more excellent and higher way.

Hence it does not follow that God is good, because He causes goodness; but rather, on the contrary, He causes goodness in things because He is good.