1. Are there some elements of the universe that operate outside the control of the divine government?
2. What is the order of the universe?
3. To what extent is the rationality of beings beyond their control?
4. Are there proofs that the universe is under divine control?
5. Is it possible for anything to escape the control of the divine government?
Are there elements in the Universe that are beyond the control of the Divine Government?
In this section of the sacred text, there is attempt to give objections to the universe being beyond the control of the divine government. The text first brings out a justification of why there are effects of the Divine Government in the universe, as Dionysius stipulates that, “God contains all and fills all by His providence and perfect goodness.”
The objections to this position bring their arguments on the basis of the nature of providence to some elements in the universe. The first objection is based on writings in Ecclesiastes 9:11, which indicates that under the sun, things are not realized or achieved by the most appropriate or the one best placed to receive them. It indicates that blessings and accomplishments are achieved by chance. This is contrary to the providence under the divine government that cannot be said to occur by chance. It would, therefore, be most appropriate to conclude that since the things under the sun get their providence by chance, they cannot be said to be under the Divine Government (Thomas, 1947).
The second objection to the presence of Divine Government over the universe quotes the book of Corinthians where the scripture states that “God hath no care for oxen.” In so doing, the scripture points out that not all elements of the universe are under the control of God. If all were being governed by the Divine Government, there would be more concern of subjects under its governance.
The third objection to the existence of a Divine Government that is in charge of the based on the presence of rational creatures in the universe. The rational creature is one that has the comprehension of the environment, can reason, and can act independently in a manner best benefits it. Through the power of reasoning, the rational beings operate as masters of their own lives. This thereby beats the logic that there is a Divine Government controlling these rational creatures while it is evident that they act by virtual of their reasoning capacity.
The purpose of the above objection is to create a better understanding of how the universe works in an attempt to prove that not all elements are controlled by the Divine Government. It is clear that one way of determining the effect of any action is by judging it from its end. This is based on the fact that it is by the action that the achievement of an end is met. This implies that the end of the government would be a great justification of presence of a Divine Government, which would be understood through the presence of assimilation to the supreme good, two effects of the government, and the individual effects of the government to the world. The presence of achievement of providence by chance, operations of a rational creature and implication that God does not take care of all creatures provide point out the possibility of some elements of the universe operating outside the control of the Divine Government.
Are There Proofs That The Universe Is Under Divine Control?
The statement that some elements are beyond the control of Divine Government is a misconception as Augustine state that, “Not only heaven and earth, not only man and angel, even bowels of the lowest animal, even the wing of the bird, the flower of the plant or leaf of a the tree, that God has fitted every detail of their nature. This statement indicates that all things are subject to the control of the Divine Government. The acknowledgment that God is the ruler of all things comes from the idea that God is the creator of all things in the universe (Glenn, 2006). God cannot be said to have created only some things but rather is responsible for the whole universe thereby indicating that all that is found in the universe is under His control. Those claiming that God has abandoned the Earth, which is a quote from the book of Ezekiel 9:9, fail to acknowledge the fact if such scenario can occur, God must first have been on control (Thomas, 1947).
The response to the first objection on the role of Divine Government in controlling the universe points that the objection points to things under the sun being caused by chance. The first thing observed in this statement is the presence of the sun which occurs by no chance but by the creation of God. The notion of the presence of chance in the causal relationships of the mentioned things points out that there is a form of government for these things. If the occurrence of things would be corruptible, there needed to be under the control of a higher authority otherwise, they would have anything to conform to.
The statement that God does not take of the Oxen does not wholly imply that they cease to be under His control. This points out to the manner in which the governance under the Divine Government is conducted. There seems to be certain that God uses in effecting the Divine Government. There is the power of delegation through which the Divine Government operates where the irrational beings that do not act but are acted upon. This does not mean that they are out of control of the Divine government (Thomas, 1947).
The rationality of the creature does not warrant that they are beyond the control of Divine Government. This is a representation of the power granted by the Divine Government. Rationality in these creatures requires the presence of intellectual and will to help them master their act. The intellect and will is an example of Providence under the Divine Government.
As the book of Psalms states, “The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice, let the multitude of the island be glad! (Davies, 2014). This statement indicates that the whole universe and its components are under the control of Divine Government. While some elements may seem to act independently, a detailed look into the existence and operation of these elements reveals the possibility of control by a higher being. The concept of Divine Government is thereby not presented as one that is imposing. It has been portrayed as one that allows for elements of the universe to act independently to some extent, something that has been associated with their rationality, concept of chance, and even lack of care from God. The text has thereby presented a case and justified why the universe is under the control of Divine Government.
Davies, S. (2014). Divine Government- The Joy of our World. Retrieved from https://www.gracegems.org/Davies/divine_government.htm
Glenn, P. (2006). God’s Governing of Things. Retrieved from http://www.catholictheology.info/summa-theologica/summa-part1.php?t=7
Thomas, A. (1947). Of the Government of Things in General (Eight Articles). Retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/sum114.htm
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