Four Transcendentals: Good

a2a-transcendentalsAll being is one, good, true and beautiful (Omne ens est unum, bonum, verum et pulchrum)

The word Good is very commonly used in the scriptures (more than 500 times), but it can mean one of ten things:

  1. useful;
  2. pleasing / agreeable;
  3. advantageous / profitable;
  4. fitting / appropriate;
  5. abundant / full-measure;
  6. generous / benevolent;
  7. sound / free from defects;
  8. excellent / unobjectionable;
  9. morally upright / righteous;
  10. just (justice)

Unlike the Greek view of an ideal ‘good’, the Hebrew Bible focuses on concrete and dynamic examples of what God has done and is doing in the lives of God’s people.

God is good (tob Hebrew / agathos Greek)
God is morally perfect & gloriously generous

The works of God are good; the commandments of God are good; all the things of God are good.
God saw all that he had made and behold it was very good (Gen 1:31)

Note, this is about good – not perfect. Good is changing and growing; good allows flaws and imperfections along the journey towards goodness. Perfection is a concept that comes from the Greek understanding – but it is finished and complete and consequently it is boring. We are called to join the Lord in the continuing work of creation – which allows space to get things wrong.

Recorded at St Paul’s, 8am Mass (16 mins including audio of Identity)


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