chapter
28 Pages

Divine Self-Existence

WithWILLIAM LANE CRAIG

At the heart of the classical conception of God is the doctrine of divine aseity. God is not conceived to be just one being among many. Rather, God is taken to be the self-existent ground of being for everything else that exists. Everything other than God exists ab alio (through another), whereas God alone exists a se (in Himself). The classical conception of God is fi rmly rooted in both Scripture and Church tradition. Speaking of the pre-incarnate Christ as the Logos or Word (1.14), who in the beginning was with God and was God (1.1-2), the prologue of John’s Gospel affi rms, “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being” (1.3). 1 Epitomising the Church Fathers’ thought about God, the Nicene Creed affi rms that God the Father is the “Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible” and that the Lord Jesus Christ His only Son is the one “through whom all things came into being”. 2

The principal challenge to the doctrine of divine aseity comes from Platonism, the view that there exist metaphysically necessary, uncreated abstract objects. If Platonism is true, then infi nite realms of beings exist independent of God.