Junius: There Are Two Kinds Of Theology

Now indeed these two kinds of theology are so different that they cannot truthfully be related to some one, definite head and shared genus. Of course the first kind of theology, which we have named divine and a prototype, does not belong to the one genus nor indeed to the other. The nature of the first kind of theology and of the second kind makes clear that its genus is not common with this created theology. For that essential, archetypal theology is a characteristic of the nature of God, and part (as we would put it) of that infinite knowledge which in God is essential. Whatever is essential, moreover, it is agreed that this is properly assigned to the same genus, together with the actual essence of which that thing is essential; so we speak of part for whole, and limb for body of the same kind, and sharing in the genus. God, however, is above every genus, essence beyond essence, as the holy fathers very aptly called Him. This theology in fact does not belong to the essence of those things to which it pertains, but attaches to them like a garment, as it were, enrobing their essence so to speak. And hence it is as far removed from that essence (so that I may use a common expression) as is heaven from earth. That it is not a part of that genus which we were discussing in the second passage, nature itself and reason show with all possible clarity. For if in fact it is essential, as it is, and in that respect of the same kind as the nature of God, certainly its reason will be the same and of the divine essence. But since that divine essence or nature is truly beyond essence and is limited by nothing shared with any other genus whether properly or improperly, that is, simply or by reduction, we claim most properly and certainly that this theology is beyond essence.

—Franscicus Junius, A Treatise On True Theology, 105.

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    • Richard,

      Yes, he is saying something very important. He is articulating the fundamental Christian distinction between the Creator and the creature. This is a vital truth taught repeatedly and holy scripture and confessed by the catholic faith and by the Reformed churches. What we humans know is true but it is analogical. We are image bearers not the image maker. Our language about God is true as appropriate for humans. I wrote a chapter about this in Recovering the Reformed Confession. This distinction is something that has been neglected in the modern period and that neglect has led to know little confusion.

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