Divine Simplicity, God’s Freedom, and the Supposed Problem of Modal Collapse

Daniel J. Pedersen, Christopher Lilley

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Proponents of the modal collapse argument claim that divine simplicity, traditionally conceived, contradicts other Christian commitments about divine freedom and grace by ultimately rendering all God’s acts, including creation and redemption, absolutely necessary. If true, the argument goes, theologians must abandon either God’s simplicity or God’s freedom. The aim of this dilemma is to force the abandonment of simplicity. However, we argue that the modal collapse argument is insufficient to generate this dilemma apart from additional premises—and that these tacit premises are the true locus of dispute.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-147
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Reformed Theology
Issue number1-2
Early online date8 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2022


  • God
  • Simplicity
  • Necessity
  • Freedom
  • Modal collapse


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