Wednesday 9 November 2022

What Is God? - Dr. Kevin Vost - Answering the World's Most Important Question

What Is God? 
Answering the World's Most Important Question
Dr. Kevin Vost
Catholic Answers
eISBN 9781683572961

This is the 14th volume that I have from the masterful pen of Dr. Kevin Vost. At least three of Dr. Vost’s earlier books that I have read are about Saint Thomas Aquinas, and to some extend all of his memorization books do as well. As soon as I saw this book I got a copy and got to reading it. I have a Religious Studies Degree with a specialization in Roman Catholic Thought. I would have loved to have had the books by Dr. Vost as resources back then, or during my time working in Campus Ministry. This is another great read, it is an excellent offering from Dr Kevin Vost. The description of the volume is:

“Have you ever tried to have a close, loving relationship with someone you don’t know? It’s not easy. (And it’s probably not a good idea!)

Most would never dream of attempting such intimacy with a human stranger, yet many of us try to do just that with God! But just as with people, if we don’t know God, we can’t love him.

In What Is God?, Kevin Vost (Memorize the Reasons!) shows you how you can better know the most worthy object of our love, following the thought of the great theologian who first asked that question as a young boy: St. Thomas Aquinas.

That thirteenth-century Dominican friar later devoted much of his masterwork, the Summa Theologica, to exploring God in his deepest essence. But if you don’t have time to read a 1.8-million-word philosophical treatise translated from medieval Latin, Dr. Vost is here to break down the key parts for you. In clear and approachable fashion, What Is God examines God’s attributes and considers questions about him that have vexed mankind for centuries.

What does it mean for God to be simple? To be perfect?
Is God really knowable, after all?
Can we say that he is happy?
Is God able to change the past, or cause it not to have been?
And the classic: Can God make a boulder so big that even he cannot lift it?

St. Thomas has an answer for all of these, and many more . . . and What Is God? is the first book to collect and explain those answers in one place for modern readers.”

The chapters in this volume are:

Introduction: What Is the World’s Greatest Question?
Part I What Is the Study of God?  
 1 The Sacred Science of Theology
Part II Is There a God to Study?  
 2 How We Can Know God Exists
Part III What Is God?  
 3 God Is Simple
 4 God Is Perfect
 5 What Good Is
 6 God Is Good
 7 God Is Infinite
 8 God Exists in Things
 9 God Is Changeless
 10 God Is Eternal
 11 God Is One
 12 God Is Knowable
 13 God Has Names
Part IV What Does God Know?  
 14 God’s Knowledge
 15 God’s Ideas
 16 God Is Truth
 17 God and Falsity
Part V How Does God Live (and Love)?  
 18 God’s Life
 19 God’s Will
 20 God Is Love
 21 God’s Justice and Mercy
 22 God’s Providence
 23 God and Predestination
 24 God Writes the Book of Life
 25 God’s Power
 26 God’s Divine Happiness
Conclusion: Who Is God?
Appendix A: Attributes of God as Classified by John of St. Thomas
Appendix B: God Is . . . Master Summary List
About the Author

Vost writs in a very engaging manner. And he is a master of the subject matter, he has written on the good doctor several times. This volume is different in that it is primarily focused on the one question St. Thomas Aquinas answer. But it is just a tipping of the toe in the waters of Thomastic thought. Vost informs us:

“Here at the end of Thomas’s twenty-six questions on the existence and nature of God in the unity of his divine essence, we have reached only page 143 of the Summa Theologica in the English-only translation I use (albeit in rather small double-columned print). That leaves us with 2,868 pages to go!” 

Vost does an excellent job of this style of question and answer book. He draws from years of readying and study and synthesises down the material. This is a great volume for believers to know about whom we have a relationship. And to be able to answer those who come to us with questions.  

This volume is an excellent read. I can easily recommend this volume.

I have benefited from all the books from the skilled pen of Dr. Vost that I have read. Dr Vost has done an excellent job with this topic, and I am certain all who read this book will come away with a clearer understanding of the material. 

This is an excellent volume a great read!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

For All reviews of books by Dr. Vost click here.

Books by Dr. Kevin Vost:
Full Range of Motive (2001)
Memorize the Faith! (2006)
Fit For Eternal Life (2007)
From Atheism to Catholicism (2010)
Unearthing Your Ten Talents (2010)
St. Albert the Great (2011)
Tending the Temple (2011)
Three Irish Saints (2012)
Memorize the Reasons! (2013)
One-Minute Aquinas (2014)
Hounds of the Lord (2015)
Seven Deadly Sins (2015)
Memorize the Mass! (2016)
Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (2016)
The Porch and the Cross (2016)
The Catholic Guide to Loneliness (2017)
The Four Friendships (2018)
How to Think Like Aquinas (2018)
Memorize the Latin Mass! (2018)
12 Life Lessons from St. Thomas Aquinas (2019)

Aquinas on the Four Last Things (2021)

Books Contributed to:
Man Up! (2014)

Author profile interview with Dr. Kevin Vost.

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