Gods relations to our thoughts


I read this book “Ignatius av Loyolas teologiska profil” (‘Theological Profile of Ignatius of Loyola’), unfortunately available only in Swedish (I am from Sweden; so I hope you can accept my not so good English), written by a Jesuit priest Rainer Carls. From Ignatius writings, like Spiritual Exercises and varies writings, he has constructed Ignatius thought in various theological topics.

One of the topics is Gods relations to creation. He writes that Ignatius rejected the deistic view and adopted a “presentic creation theology” from previous scholastic theologians like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Petrus Lombaruds, Ludolf etc. He calls this a form of “pan-en-theism” (not panteism), with roots in scholasticism and theologians like Thomas Aquinas. It means that God is not separated from any of the created things (like in deism) but is in them by his essence, power and presence. God allows the creation participate in his own being. God, despite his unchangeable nature and absoluteness, is immanent in all the creation. God is the continuously dynamically acting foundation to everything that happens. If God was to cease to operate in his creation dynamically, the creation would cease to exist. God is the all acting cause to everything that happens. He is the sovereign creator of all things, even of all actions. God not only creates beings that freely can choose and operate but is also working in their free actions. God works in everything that on its own works, because he not only creates all beings ability to work but also is the outmost foundation to their every action. God not only creates beings with intellect, but is the ground or foundation for their every individual thought. But, even if God is the all working cause behind everything that happens, that does not exclude the fact that created tings, especially humans, can act in a “genuine way”, says Rainer Carls.

I basically accept the scholastic theory that God not only preserves the creation but also continuously creates it and is the ground or foundation for everything that happens, even to our individual thoughts, by his presence and power; but that raises several questions about Gods relations to our thoughts.

  1. Do we have freedom of thought? How does that work if God continuously creates everything and is the ground for all of our thoughts? How can there be freedom of thought?

  2. Regarding to evil and God there is no problem as long as we think thoughts like: “I should really help that poor old lady to cross the street.” But gets problematic when we think thoughts like: “I should really beat up that old lady, steal her purse, buy a bottle of buuze, drink myself drunk…” and so on.
    Where did that latter thought come from? I have learned that God does not create evil but can permit it for punishment and for greater good in the end that was not possible without it. But how can that be maintained if God is ground for apparently evil thoughts like the later one?

Has anyone a glue of how that with God and our thoughts work?

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