theism, classical

theism, classical
   Classical theism is an approach to the doctrine of God that emphasises unchanging being, divine transcendence and sovereignty as captured in a set of divine attributes that typically includes atemporal eternity, immutability, impassibility and divine simplicity. Classical theism was developed over centuries by theologians critically interacting with important pagan philosophical theology including that of Plato (God as Form of the Good), Aristotle (God as Pure Act and Unmoved Mover) and Plotinus (God as transcendent One). Exponents of classical theism come from all the major monotheistic traditions including Judaism (Philo, Maimonides), Christianity (Augustine, Anselm and Aquinas), and Islam (Averro¨es, Avicenna). Within Christian classical theism, Anselm's conception of God as the greatest conceivable or most perfect being, and Aquinas' identification of God's existence and essence have also been influential concepts. Many Christians today reject classical theism, claiming that concepts of Greek origination like impassibility produce a 'God of the philosophers' that has little relation to the God of biblical revelation. While admitting that there may appear to be tension between scriptural revelation and classical theism, advocates of the latter argue that there is a deeper concord, and indeed that this is the best way to ensure a theology that is both biblically sound and philosophically coherent.
   Further reading: Aquinas 1963-80; Parrish 1997; Swinburne 1993a

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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