-One of the things theologians are trying to get at by the idea of “creation ex nihilo” – which is so often muddled by confusion over what “nothing” is supposed to be doing in the claim – is that God suffices to account for any thing.

-Secondary assisting principles are clear enough in the generation of things, but the first principles of these material things are thus an immediate procession from the divine substance. Unlike the procession of the divine persons these processions do not terminate in divinities. In this sense, there is a dualism of divine processions into the divine and non-divine, but such processions clearly reduce to an ontological primacy of divinity.

-Matter, energy, or whatever the first principle of nature is, is necessary of itself and will be described by a conservation law. But to be necessary per se is not the same as to be necessary first: fire is hot necessarily and in itself, but it is not what heat is; a means to an end (like aspirin or punching someone) can be desired in itself, but it is not what is desired first. There is a dualism if we consider things that exist per se, but not if we consider what exists per se and first.

-God does not bring forth things other than himself by mingling his own being with nothing, but by bringing forth entities that do not exhaust his substance. The supernatural, in this sense, is not what what is merely other than nature but what exceeds it. Again, the divinity is “the ground of being” only according to this limited portion of himself.

-We understand God only to the extent that he is restricted to being the ground of being.

-Nature, for us, brings forth equals while art brings forth inferiors. Art brings forth only slaves.

-Redemption must be viewed as a way in which creation somehow enters into the procession of the divine persons. Creation as such could create only slaves and not sons. Adoption is a crucial metaphor here, but still only a metaphor.  There is also the metaphor of “making friends”, which involves overcoming the inequality of creator and creature.

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