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Show Notes

What is the analogy of being and why is it so essential to the Creator-creature distinction? In Part 2 of this Credo Colloquy, James Dolezal and Matthew Barrett continue their conversation on the importance of Thomas Aquinas but this time talk about why our language for God is analogical rather than univocal. As it turns out, thinking analogically is key to understanding everything from the language the Bible uses to describe God to our participation in the likeness of God and much more.

Dolezal also warns against the rise of voluntarism and nominalism in the centuries that followed Aquinas, the late Middle Ages. For Dolezal, voluntarism and nominalism chipped away at the foundation of natural theology and when they were applied to salvation they provoked Reformation, as seen with Martin Luther. In the past Protestants have been blamed for carrying voluntarism and nominalism into the modern era, as if they were responsible for the modernism to come. But as a Protestant himself Dolezal models a better way. Looking not only to Aquinas but to the Reformed Scholastics before him, Dolezal encourages Protestants today to return to the insights of that perennial philosophy called realism.

You can also listen to part 1 of this colloquy. Or watch a video of this colloquy. These Credo Colloquies have been sponsored by Reformation Heritage Books.


James E. Dolezal is professor of theology at Cairn University in Langhorne, PA, and visiting professor of theology at International Reformed Baptist Seminary in Mansfield, TX. He is the author of God without Parts (Pickwick, 2011) and All That Is in God (Reformation Heritage, 2017). He is a contributor to Divine Impassibility: Four Views of God’s Emotions and Suffering (IVP, 2019), Classical Theism: New Essays on the Metaphysics of God (Routledge, 2023), and to the T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Christian Theology (forthcoming). He resides in the Philadelphia suburbs with his wife and children.

Matthew Barrett is the editor-in-chief of Credo Magazine, director of the Center for Classical Theology, and host of the Credo podcast. He is professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the author of several books, including Simply Trinity, which won the Christianity Today Book of the Year Award in Theology/Ethics. His new book is called The Reformation as Renewal: Retrieving the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. He is currently writing a Systematic Theology with Baker Academic.

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