Does God Love All People Equally? image

Does God Love All People Equally?

Few books make you feel as much of an intellectual pygmy as Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica (which, if you haven't read it, I recommend getting in Peter Kreeft's nicely abridged version). Yet somehow, in feeling small, you thank him for it: his clarity of reasoning is both an example to all teachers and a bracing source of humility to those who, like me, like to think we are pretty clever. Here's a great example of him in action, from I.20.3:

Article 3. Whether God loves all things equally?

On the contrary, Augustine says: “God loves [1] all things that He has made, and amongst them [2] rational creatures more, and of these [3] especially those who are members of His only-begotten Son; and much more than all, [4] His only-begotten Son Himself.”

I answer that, Since to love a thing is to will it good, in a twofold way anything may be loved more, or less.

In one way on the part of the act of the will itself, which is more or less intense. In this way God does not love some things more than others, because He loves all things by an act of the will that is one, simple, and always the same.

In another way on the part of the good itself that a person wills for the beloved. In this way we are said to love that one more than another, for whom we will a greater good, though our will is not more intense.

In this way we must needs say that God loves some things more than others. For since God’s love is the cause of goodness in things, as has been said, no one thing would be better than another, if God did not will greater good for one than for another.

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