Archive for the ‘Aseity’ Category

Craig’s Dilemma – Escape for Aseity, but Hello Grounding Objection

May 12, 2014

William Lane Craig says he doesn’t think aseity is threatened by middle knowledge, because he is an anti-realist with respect to abstract objects including possible worlds.  In other words, he views possible worlds as non-existent.  Thus, God’s middle knowledge is not dependent on something outside himself.

While that’s an understandable response, it runs smack into the grounding objection (discussed in more detail here).  By definition, middle knowledge is neither based on God’s nature (or else it would be natural knowledge) nor based on God’s volition (or else it would be free knowledge).

So, either what is called middle knowledge is based on something in God himself (in which case it is really free or natural knowledge, and there is no middle knowledge as such) or middle knowledge is based on something outside God (in which case we have the aseity problem).  It does not seem possible that grounds could be something that is outside God but that doesn’t exist, since – by definition – nothing meets that definition.


Learn a Word: Aseity (Self-Existence)

August 19, 2008

As one wise pastor recently pointed out to me, “very few people even know what aseity means.” He’s right, of course. So, what does aseity mean?

In general it refers to God’s property of being self-existent. By way of background, I provide the following explanation:

By self-existence we mean
(a) That God is “causa sui,” having the ground of his existence in himself. Every being must have the ground of its existence either in or out of itself. We have the ground of our existence outside of us. God is not thus dependent. He is a se; hence we speak of the aseity of God.
But lest this should be be misconstrued, we add
(b) That God exists by the necessity of his own being. It is his nature to be. Hence the existence of God is not a contingent but a necessary existence. It is grounded, not in his volitions, but in his nature.

Augustus Hopkins Strong, Outlines of Systematic Theology, p. 72 1908 ed.


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