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Within the Love of GodEssays on the Doctrine of God in Honour of Paul S. Fiddes$
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Anthony Clarke and Andrew Moore

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198709565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198709565.001.0001

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Freedom, Necessity, and Suffering in God

Freedom, Necessity, and Suffering in God

(p.134) 9 Freedom, Necessity, and Suffering in God
Within the Love of God

Keith Ward

Oxford University Press

This chapter aims to set out some agreements and some disagreements with Professor Fiddes’s concept of the freedom and suffering of God. First, it suggests that God is not free in the sense that God can be whatever God chooses. God has a ‘given’ nature. For instance, God necessarily exists and is powerful and loving. Secondly, God is dipolar, necessarily possessing such properties, but contingently free in the way God exercises creativity and love. Thirdly, God is changed by creation, and suffers in empathy with the sufferings and evils of creation. Fourthly, there is a distinction between what God wills and what God creates by necessity, which explains how God can oppose much evil and suffering in creation. Fifthly, although God suffers, there is no desolation or alienation in the divine being, since the victory of goodness is assured. This is true even, or especially, of the cross of Christ.

Keywords:   compatibilism, contingency, dipolar, divine freedom, goodness, love, necessity, predestination, suffering

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