Aquinas: Does God Know Sin?

We’ve got some fun coming up now – we’re about to get into God’s will, which includes discussions of whether or not God wills evil, or whether or not God wills people to go to hell. Predestination, kiddies, it’s coming. As an entrée, we’ll look at God’s knowledge. Does God know evil? If He does, then evil has its roots in God – “for God’s knowledge stands to all created things as the artist’s to his products”, according to Aquinas (1a.14.8). If He doesn’t, then… God doesn’t know everything? This is one of the things I love about Aquinas – he sets up a framework of how something works, and then goes ‘Right, how can I break this?’ (more…)

Dating Video Game Architecture

It’s just you and a Gothic Revival church, alone in a musky bar. Heh – no, dating as in telling when it’s from. One of the things about cities is that the buildings in it are from a bunch of different periods. If your city was built in the 1850s, like mine, there will be stuff that dates all along that line – there’s some stuff from the 19th century, and a bunch of 20th century stuff, and ooh just a little dash of 21st century magic. But there’s a spread, right. (more…)

Outreach? Here?

A while ago I was talking to a guy about my blog here, and I mentioned that it alternated between theology and video games, which – well, you know, I don’t imagine there’s a lot of other people who do a similar thing. It was an oddity that he commented on – something along the lines of “Don’t know who you’re trying to reach with that combination”. It’s been swimming around in my mind ever since – and now I’ve got something to say about it. (more…)

Aquinas: Speaking about God

Last week we talked about how we can know God – or at least how Aquinas theorises that knowledge of God works. This week, we’re talking about his next question: how we can speak of God. He’s already established how God is infinite and all-powerful, and (drawing back to Dionysus) there aren’t really any words that are suitable as containers of meaning when we talk about God. This is the beginning of 1a.13.1 then:  (more…)

Hurtin’ Protagonists

Film and video games have a visual similarity in that both of them happen on screens. It creates an issue for the way that we think about games, because we it’s very easy to think about them in filmic terms. That becomes a problem when things don’t translate well between the two mediums. For example, suffering. Because film is such a visual medium, watching the hero get beaten up is super gratifying. It’s appropriate to the form. That’s not necessarily true of video games.  (more…)

Aquinas: Knowing Form, Knowing God

Aquinas’s twelfth question asks in what way we ‘know’ God. It ties in nicely with the idea of subjectivity that’s dominated this half of the blog for, uh, over a year now. This particular volume is actually the first I ever read of Aquinas, so it’s nice to be returning to it now. I read this and then decided that I’d better read Pseudo-Dionysus first, because Aquinas refers to him a bunch. 1a.12.2 asks whether we see God by way of “created likeness”, which – well, it’s complicated.  (more…)

Literary Criticism: How It Works

So talking with some friends at work today, and the question came up as to what I actually do (or did, rather) in my English degree. It’s often something people ask as a quick and easy joke at someboy else’s expense – one of those low-hanging fruit reached for by those who don’t have the intelligence to get any higher. In this particular situation, however, the question was pleasantly genuine. It’s interesting, because beyond sort of high school, people might have very little experience with what we actually do. So I thought I might take a quick break from the usual stuff and talk about that for a minute.  (more…)