Let’s unpack a Dionysian-like Logic, where:
God is | x | is true kataphatically & trans-analogically;
God is | not x | is true apophatically & literally; and
God is neither | x | nor | not x | is true relationally & really.
Compare that to a Scotist- Peircean abduction of the Reality of God, where:
Being > Reality > Existence
The apophatic & literal statements work by metaphysically identifying God via such effects as would be proper to no known causes.
Because kataphatic & trans-analogical statements refer to God existentially, they must employ theophanic & theopoietic idioms, which don’t reduce to formal philosophical & metaphysical categories, as existence can’t be predicated of God, but which do express reality’s excess meaning in our stories & myths, liturgies & devotions.
While such statements offer no onto-theological, metaphysical leverage for our natural theology, descriptively & propositionally, they can still do theo-ontology, accomplishing a great deal of heavy lifting, normatively & dispositionally, discovering & crafting the idioms for our theologies of nature, whereby we affirm that our stories & myths, liturgies & devotions, “really relate” to God.
Therefore, we best formulate our real relational idioms of God in E-Prime (employing no verb forms of ‘to be’ or their equivalents), because, existentially, relational predicates will not successfully refer. With a Palamitic turn, real statements thus require the active voice as we refer to the manifold & multiform works done by God, energeia.
The statement “God is | x | is true kataphatically & trans-analogically” refers to Being, theophanically & theopoietically.
“God is | not x | is true apophatically & literally” refers to Existence, onto-theologically & metaphysically.
“God is neither | x | nor | not x | is true relationally & really” refers to Reality, theo-ontologically & intimately.
For moderate realists like Aquinas, Scotus & Peirce, the categories of Existence & Reality include, respectively, both entitial & relational created realities, i.e. the efficient acts & material potencies of entities and the formal acts & final potencies of teloi.
The category of Reality would also include the uncreated relational reality of Primal Telos, which, as Pure Act, sources created reality’s polydoxic teloi …
energetically diffusing divinizing finalities into divine substrative forms …
thereby synergistically harmonizing the instrumental, efficient acts & material potencies of created, entitial existents that they might imitate the divine esse intentionale, growing dispositionally in an ever-deepening relational intimacy.
Divine Simplicity, metaphysically, refers to the apophatic, metaphysical abduction of the Reality of God as Ens Necessarium, esse naturale.
Divine Freedom, theophanically, refers to the uncreated energies of the Reality of God, which invite transformative effects (dis-positions) as would be proper to no known causes, hence from putative theotic participations, both entitial, creative & imitative, and relational, diffusive & substrative.
Any tension between Divine Simplicity & Divine Freedom does not arise onto-theologically in natural theology, for freedom refers to Divine Esse Intentionale trans-analogically (descriptively weak, propositionally, but normatively strong, dispositionally).
While denying a strictly metaphysical impasse between divine simplicity & freedom and while suggesting we’ve thus avoided any logical inconsistencies (e.g. due to parodies grounded in conceptual incompatabilities), it’s not to suggest we’ve also thereby eliminated the aporetic confrontations that inescapably attend to all theo-kataphasis. At the same time, it’s just no small victory to dismiss the facile caricatures & snarky parodies of “devastating” neo-atheological critiques?
A theology of nature, following these speculative grammars, can affirm divine simplicitly as a natural theological argument, philosophically, going beyond it, theo-ontologically – not only invoking Thomistic distinctions between efficient & instrumental causes, primary & secondary causations, to preserve creaturely agencies & avoid modal collapse, but – to affirm a real & robust divine-nature interactivity, pneumatologically, thereby also going, coherently, beyond a mere deism.
Theophanies & theopoetics aspire to successfully reference entitial realities, existentially, employing the ever-cascading & collapsing metaphors of our stories & myth, signs & symbols, liturgies & devotions, alternately revealing the concealed, then concealing the revealed, Who remains always timid but ever coy.
Theo-ontologies & theologies of nature aspire to successfully reference relational realities, personally, relating the uncreated Primal Telos of divine esse intentionale & the polydoxic teloi of creation (note below), which culminate in human intentionality. The seductions of divine intentionale remain ineluctably unobtrusive but so utterly efficacious in the wooing of Sophia (created).
Cf. regarding methodological distinctions of God-talk, see:
the Spirit woos creation forth•
makes this way south & that way north•
invites each blade of grass to green!
horizons, boundaries, limits, origins•
perimeters, parameters, centers, margins•
we’re given freedom in between!
thus truth & beauty & goodness grow•
thus lizards leap & roosters crow•
and dawns break with each new day!
good news is ours to be believed•
love freely given if received•
the Spirit in our heart will stay!
very old poem of mine
N.B. regarding polydoxic teloi
• Veldo-poietic (field-like) entities present as teleopotent or end-unbounded;
• cosmopoietic – teleomatic or end-stated;
• biopoietic – teleonomic or end-directed or end-coded;
• sentiopoietic – teleoqualic or end-purposed; and
• sapiopoietic – teleologic or end-intended