Gods Goodness

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“There can therefore be no good in any creature except it have its source in God. “God is the causa efficiens, exemplaris et finalis of all good, howsoever diversified this good may be.” – Cornelius Van Til

“It is this notion of the goodness of God that forms the foundation of true Christian ethics. God must be man’s summum bonum. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. For non-Christian ethics of every sort the ultimate summum bonum can be no more than an abstract principle of goodness. Idealistic philosophy may speak of the eternal idea of the good, but this idea is not as eternal as it seems to be. It is no more than the correlative to a universe of change. For all non-Christian ethics change is ultimate, and therefore correlative to any ultimate principle of ethics men may think they have. The result is that there is nothing that is absolutely unchangeable. For idealism, too, personality cannot be ultimate. God himself is next to and therefore really subject to the principle of the Good. Thus the subject and the adjective or the particular and the universal of ultimate ethical reality are separated. Once this separation is effected, there is no telling to what lengths men may go in their ethical theories. If the kingdom of the absolute God is not made the summum bonum for man there is nothing. In the end, to keep man from making himself his own summum bonum. There are those who worship and serve the creator, and there are those who worship and serve the creature. No third class exists.”

Cornelius Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979), 238.

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