Volume XVI - (2015)
- Written by Theodore Shimmyo Theodore Shimmyo
Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 16, 2015 - Pages 27-64
The Unification notion of God’s dual characteristics as presented here may initially sound unfamiliar to many, especially in the Christian tradition. As the present essay proceeds, however, it will gradually become apparent that this Unification notion was already present in the Judeo-Christian tradition in a profound way, even though it may not have been explicitly recognized due to the predominance throughout Christian history of what is called “classical theism.” So, please bear with the rather unfamiliar terminology of Unification theism at least in the beginning.
According to Unification theism, God has the dual characteristics of Sungsang (original internal nature) and Hyungsang (original external form), which are the root causes of the dual characteristics of sungsang (internal nature) and hyungsang (external form) of each and every creature in the world. God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang are God’s mind and body, so to speak, similar to the mind and body of a human person, which are that person’s dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang. God also has another kind of dual characteristics, the dual characteristics of Yang (original masculinity) and Yin (original femininity), which are the root causes of the yang (masculinity) and yin (femininity) characteristics of creatures in the world. The relationship between the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang and the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin is that while the former are “direct” attributes of God, the latter are “indirect” attributes of God by being attributes of the former.
Unification theism thus holds that God is “dipolar” primarily because of the dipolarity of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and secondarily because of that of Yang and Yin. This is what makes Unification theism quite different from classical theism, which teaches that God is “monopolar” rather than “dipolar” because God is believed to be “pure act” (or “pure form”) devoid of any potentiality, and also because God is referred to only with masculine pronouns due to God’s masculine names such as Yahweh in Hebrew.
It can be surmised fairly easily from the above that Unification theism considers God and the world to be much closer to each other than classical theism does. The purpose of this essay is to show that Unification theism may be more advantageous than classical theism in explaining the close relationship of God and the world, because the world—which can already be understood to be dipolar due to its being composed of “form” and “matter” and also due to its possessing both masculine and feminine characteristics—resembles the dipolar God of Unification theism more than the monopolar God of classical theism.
Classical theism, which may not consider God and the world to be as close as Unification theism does, has long played an important role, of course, to make believers humble enough to acknowledge the apparently great power of God’s grace needed for sinful, finite human beings. But Unification theism may be more suitable for us today than classical theism. For today a new age of our spiritual maturity may have come when we can no longer be considered to be sinful recipients of divine grace but rather God’s close “partners,” “friends,” or “sons and daughters,” and who can also be considered to be equally valued men and women without any gender discrimination.
The first section of this essay will introduce the Unification doctrine of God’s dipolarity in the context of the existing biblical, theological, and philosophical traditions, and explain how this Unification doctrine can secure the close relationship of God and the world. It will also discuss the Hyungsang aspect of God in some detail. Also dealt with will be the gender of God, a rather complicated subject, as understood in Unification theism and also, by contrast, in classical theism.
The second section will make a comparison between Unification theism’s doctrine of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang and classical theism’s monopolar view of God as “pure act,” in order to see if Unification theism is more advantageous than classical theism in explaining the God-world relationship. At least the following possible advantages of Unification theism will be explored: 1) Unification theism may be able to affirm the similarity between God and the world better than classical theism. 2) It may be able to secure the unity of God and the world better than classical theism. 3) It may be able to say that God is a personal God better than classical theism. 4) It may be able to explain God’s purpose of creation more clearly than classical theism. 5) It may be able to offer a better definition of God’s perfection than classical theism. 6) It may be able to present a better definition of God’s omnipotence than classical theism. 7) It may be able to explain the unity of individual creatures under God better than classical theism. 8) Finally, it may, much to our surprise, be more compatible with the very important traditional Christian notion of the Trinity than is classical theism, because it believes that God is a God of dipolarity centering on “Heart,” thus constituting the threeness or complexity of God rather than a God of monopolarity or simplicity.
The final, third section will address the question: How do you know, as Unification theism affirms, that God is a dipolar God? This question needs to be addressed well, lest any dipolar theism, including Unification dipolar theism, should be deemed heretical, given the predominance of classical theism to the virtual neglect of dipolar theism in Christian history. We will argue for dipolar theism from the authority of God’s revelation, like Karl Barth does through the “analogy of faith” (analogia fidei), which echoes Sun Myung Moon’s dictum of “absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience.”
In the long history of Christianity, insightful theological traditions and/or theologians such as primitive Hebraic (rather than later Platonic) Christianity, Eastern (rather than Western) Christianity, Karl Barth (1886-1968), and Jürgen Moltamann (1926- ) were already, at least to some degree, addressing what appeared to be the disadvantages of classical theism, whether deliberately or not. What they did naturally points towards Unification theism, and they will be appreciatively recognized throughout this essay.
God’s Dual Characteristics
Unification theism refers to the essence of God’s love as “Heart,” and it is the inner core of God’s Sungsang (original internal nature). Heart is defined as the “emotional impulse to seek joy through love.” There are two distinguishable, if inseparable, and successive aspects of love in God’s Heart: 1) unconditionally living for the sake of creatures to warmly encourage and help them to reach unity for the realization of the values of beauty and goodness in them; and then 2) loving them in the sense of appreciating and enjoying the values they realize in them in response to God’s encouraging help. These two aspects of love in God’s Heart are respectively unconditional love and appreciative love, so to speak, and they involve “joy” on the part of God, although joy in unconditional love can be called the joy of “hope,” and joy in appreciative love the joy of “fulfillment.”
As has been shown elsewhere by the present writer, God’s Heart of love in Unification theism is very similar to the Hebrew word chesed (usually translated as “steadfast love” or “loving-kindness”) in the Old Testament and the Greek word agape (“love”) in the New Testament, and also to the notion of God’s “longing” or “desire” in the theologies of Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948) and Jürgen Moltmann, because these biblical words meaning love and the notion of God’s longing by Berdyaev and Moltmann contain both unconditional and appreciative love at once. Anders Nygren (1890-1978) mistakenly separated the two inseparable aspects of God’s love into “unmotivated love,” which he called agape, and “acquisitive love,” which he called eros, as if the former alone belonged to God and the latter to the human ego.
Heart is indeed God’s “irrepressible desire” of love, which “wells up from within”; hence, God cannot but have object partners of love to experience joy, and this constitutes God’s “motive” for creating human beings as God’s “direct” object partners of love and also all things as God’s “indirect” object partners of love that God loves through human beings. Thus “creation was necessary, inevitable, and can never be considered as merely accidental.”
2. Dual Characteristics
God’s Heart of love was first expressed at the time of creation. Centering on Heart in its feature of “purpose,” God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang had complete “give and receive action” for the generation of “forming energy” to create the world with its dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang endowed in resemblance to the divine dual characteristics. God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang are thus respectively the “root causes” of the sungsang and hyungsang of each and every creature, i.e., of its “intangible, functional aspect” and “tangible, material aspect.” The Korean terms Sungsang and Hyungsang in God are usually translated into English as “original internal nature” and “original external form” (and sungsang and hyungsang in each creature as “internal nature” and “external form”), and they are respectively mental and physical in nature.
The sungsang and hyungsang of each creature are roughly equivalent to the “form” and “matter” of each substance in Aristotle’s philosophy. While the sungsang and hyungsang of each creature can ultimately be traced back respectively to the Sungsang and Hyungsang of God, in Aristotelian philosophy the “form” and “matter” of each substance can ultimately be traced back respectively to “pure form” (God) and “prime matter.” The difference here is that while in Unification theism the Sungsang and Hyungsang of God are “homogenous” as “two forms of expression of one and the same essential element” of God, in Aristotelian philosophy “pure form” (God) and “prime matter” are two entirely different ultimate origins independently preexistent from all eternity.
Unification theism believes that God is always perfect as a God of the already perfectly united dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and that a creature too can become perfect as long as its dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang become completely united in resemblance to the perfect unity of God’s dual characteristics. By contrast, classical theism, equating God with “pure form” in the manner of Aristotelian philosophy, and having this God create “prime matter” out of nothing in a Christian manner, believes that only God is perfect in the sense of being perfectly actualized “pure form” devoid of any unrealized potentiality or matter, and that the world, which is composite of “form” and “matter,” is always imperfect. Plato’s philosophy, too, is known to have influenced classical theism; and according to his philosophy, God is perfect as the immaterial Idea or “highest form” of the Good, and the world is imperfect because it involves matter.
Since the creation of the world, God’s Heart of love has constantly been at work. Centering on Heart, God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang have always been having complete give and receive action to generate “acting energy.” This acting energy is a unifying thrust of love from God for the transformation of the world. It encourages the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang within each individual creature (e.g., the mind and body of a human being) to be completely united individually, and also encourages different individual creatures (e.g., a man and a woman) to be completely united socially, so that the complete unity at individual and social levels in the transformed world may resemble and reflect the complete unity of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang to “stimulate” God to feel joy in Heart when God sees and loves it. God’s joy in this regard is the “purpose of creation,” although it should not be forgotten also that when the purpose of creation is realized, there is an experience of joy on the part of God’s object partners of love as well. If, however, the purpose of creation fails to be realized, God cannot see such unity and only sees disharmony in creatures, with the result that God feels sorrow and pain in Heart instead of joy and happiness. Creatures, too, feel sorrow and pain in this case, needless to say.
There is actually another kind of dual characteristics in God, i.e., the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin, and Unification theism refers to Gen. 1:27 as its biblical evidence: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” The dual characteristics of Yang and Yin, however, are “different in dimension” from those of Sungsang and Hyungsang, for while Sungsang and Hyungsang are God’s “direct” attributes, Yang and Yin are God’s “indirect” attributes, by being merely attributes of Sungsang and Hyungsang. Each creature, too, has the dual characteristics of yang and yin, and again they are merely attributes of its sungsang and hyungsang, which directly make it up as a particular individual substance. This means that just as God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang each assume both Yang and Yin characteristics, a creature’s sungsang and hyungsang each carry both yang and yin characteristics.
Unification theism has the notion of “Divine Image,” which is the same as the biblical notion of “the image of God.” Just like the image of God in the Bible is both male and female, the Divine Image in Unification theism is both masculine and feminine, containing the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin. Even more importantly, the Divine Image, as can be seen from above, also contains God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang. How about the image of God in the Bible, then? Does it also have a dipolarity of spiritual and physical aspects? While classical theism’s answer is in the negative because of its monopolar understanding of God, the answer from the prominent German Old Testament scholar Gerhard von Rad (1901-1971) is in the affirmative, as he sees the whole man, both spiritual and physical, in the image of God:
The marvel of man’s bodily appearance is not at all to be excepted from the realm of God’s image. This was the original notion, and we have no reason to suppose that it completely gave away, in P’s theological reflection, to a spiritualizing and intellectualizing tendency. Therefore, one will do well to split the physical from the spiritual as little as possible: the whole man is created in God’s image.
At this juncture, let us deal with the genders of creatures. Creatures differ from God regarding the gender issue. God’s Yang and Yin are “in perfect harmony,” implying that God has a kind of gender neutrality, as will be further discussed in the final subsection of the present section. Many creatures, however, such as human beings, animals, plants, and ions, have either the masculine gender or the feminine gender, for they are either: 1) “with relatively more yang qualities” or 2) “with relatively more yin qualities” in their dual characteristics of yang and yin as attributes of their own sungsang and hyungsang. A creature of the former type, i.e., with the masculine gender, is called a “yang substantial being,” while a creature with the latter, i.e., with the feminine gender, is called a “yin substantial being.” A man, for example, is a yang substantial being because his mind (sungsang) and body (hyungsang) are relatively more masculine than feminine, while a woman is a yin substantial being because her mind and body are comparatively more feminine than masculine.
When God’s acting energy encourages two different individual creatures to be completely united socially, the two are usually a pair of yang and yin substantial beings. There are, of course, many other creatures that are basically gender-neutral (e.g., mountains, rivers, and desks), but they, too, participate in “the relationship of subject and object” to make social unity through the encouragement of God’s acting energy. This social unity among individual creatures, whether gender-oriented or not, is still considered to resemble and reflect the unity of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang to realize the purpose of creation.
When creatures in the world realize complete unity at individual and social levels through the encouragement of God’s acting energy coming from the complete give and receive action of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart, the world completely resembles and reflects the inner unity of God at individual and social levels to make God joyful. Here God and the world reciprocate with each other: God provides acting energy for the unity of the world, and the world through its unity returns joy to God. Joy is experienced in this kind of reciprocal relationship between God and the world. In the words of Sun Myung Moon,
Why did God create the universe? God is the absolute subject [partner], but, when alone, He cannot feel joy. Peace, happiness and joy do not come when one is alone, but occur through reciprocal relationships. Thus, on His own, God does not play the role of creator.
When this reciprocal relationship happens between God and the world, they unite with each other to be completely present in each other.
Unity of God and the world involves at least two other important things. First, God’s acting energy, when encouraging the world to be united individually and socially, is not coercive. It is rather an encouragement of unity coming out of God’s Heart of love. Nor does the unity of the world occur automatically because of the divine input. Rather the world creatively responds to it in order to reach its unity. Hence creativity is not only on the part of God but also on the part of the world. “Creativity” here can be defined as the ability to have give and receive action between the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang on the part of God, and between the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang on the part of each individual creature. Needless to say, the creativity of the world involves give and receive action among different individuals as well for their unity. Human beings have the highest level of creativity amongst creatures, and it is “their portion of responsibility” as compared with “God’s portion of responsibility,” which is God’s own creativity.
Second, although God and the world are discrete from each other, the complete unity between them is made possible because of the dynamic nature of give and receive action of the dual characteristics. Dynamism, being far from fixation, is open for input or impress. So, even if God is a perfect God with the perfectly united dual characteristics of Sungsanag and Hyungsang, God is open for any impress from the world as long as the give and receive action of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang is dynamic. The dynamic give and receive action of each creature’s dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang, too, is open for any input from outside. So is the dynamic give and receive action between different individual creatures.
Rev. Moon explains about the second point by using the metaphor of two tuning forks affecting each other through resonance, because each of them has two prongs like the dual characteristics in question:
I have drawn here a man with two layers which work like two [prongs of a tuning fork]. When you hit a tuning fork it vibrates with a certain frequency, and its vibration will automatically cause the second tuning fork to vibrate in the same way. The sound waves travel and create the same reaction on the second tuning fork… Then together the mind and body will make up one tuning fork and God will be another tuning fork.
Moon also says that a pair of a man and a woman centering on God’s love are like the two prongs of a tuning fork which resonates with another tuning fork symbolizing God:
As you become a vertical pair, the same wavelength will travel to God and He will respond to your vibration. Why are men and women a necessary unit? Because men and women vibrating on the same wavelength create one tuning fork that responds to God’s tuning fork. Then the vibration between God and man and woman will produce ecstatic joy.
3. The Hyungsang of God
The notion of the Hyungsang of God, the physical side of God, in Unification theism may be rather novel and even unacceptable to classical theism, which believes that God is purely spiritual as the “highest form” (Plato) or “pure form” (Aristotle) without any physicality. Therefore some more words of explanation would be needed.
The Hyungsang of God is the fundamental cause of the corporeal, material aspect of all created beings. Today’s science knows that the physical world is composed of fundamental particles, which in turn emerge from energy. This energy is dealt with by science. God’s Hyungsang is the fundamental cause of this energy; so, Unification theism calls God’s Hyungsang “prior-stage energy” or simply “pre-energy.” As long as Unification theism teaches that the physical aspect of the world comes from God’s “pre-energy,” one may get the impression as if Unification theism were not actually theism but merely a kind of material pantheism. But Unification theism is far from material pantheism, because it does not believe God’s “pre-matter” to be the essence of God but rather only an attribute of God, out of which the world was created. More precisely, the world was created out of God’s Hyungsang coupled with God’s Sungsang, the spiritual side of God that is the other attribute of the divine dipolarity.
At least during the period of primitive Christianity, God was fairly commonly believed to be physical as well as spiritual, because the Old Testament—which was still used as the Church’s main Scripture for the first hundred years as it took quite a while until the New Testament was canonized—describes God’s appearances in human form, and this description was taken rather literally during that period. Although Platonic Christian theologians such as Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–c. 215) and Origen (c. 185–c. 254) presented a new view of God as a purely incorporeal deity and came up with an allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament, their new view of God and allegorical interpretation of the Bible were not spread yet among the earliest Christians who tended to be more Hebraic. Thus the noted Church historian Adolf von Harnack (1851–1930) in his major work, History of Dogma, reports about “the idea of a corporeality of God” held by primitive Christians based on the Old Testament during this period.
The Old Testament indeed describes divine appearances in human form. For example, God spoke to Moses “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex. 33:11). God said to Moses: “I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen” (Ex. 33:23). God “put forth his hand and touched my mouth” (Jer. 1:9). God had “a form that had the appearance of a man” (Ezek. 8:2). Therefore the Old Testament scholar Terence E. Fretheim believes that God, while being spiritual, must have some kind of form within the Godhead: “To speak of God as spirit does not necessarily entail formlessness.” He further explains: “it is probable that Israel did not conceive God in terms of formlessness, but rather that the human form of the divine appearances constituted an enfleshment which bore essential continuities with the form which God was believed to have.”
For Fretheim, one main point here is that God, a spiritual being who at the same time has some kind of corporeality, can never be an impersonal Infinite or Absolute. God is rather a personal God who can, and wants to be, truly accessible to people in the world: “God… has determined to be present in the world and to God’s people in such an intensified way… [and] in as personal a way as possible.” From the viewpoint of Unification theism, this means that God with the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang can establish a very close, reciprocal relationship of unity with human beings who have the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang.
Classical theism would still insist that God is purely spiritual because the New Testament says that “God is spirit” (Jn. 4:24). But the Greek word pneuma for “spirit” literally means “air” or “wind”; so, as the incorporealist Origen reluctantly reported, the Christians of his day still believed this pneuma of God to be physical. Furthermore, as Origen admitted, the Bible never describes God as purely incorporeal, given the absence in the Bible of the Greek word asomatos (“incorporeal”). Even Augustine (354–430) reported that there still were Christians in his day who believed God to be corporeal, and that it was the reason why for years he as a Neoplatonist originally could not accept the Christian faith.
If Christianity had not been as much influenced by Hellenistic philosophical schools such as Platonism, Neoplatonism and Aristoteli-an¬ism as it actually was, and if it had stayed basically with the Hebraic tradition of the Old Testament, the God of Christianity could have continuously been believed to be corporeal in some sense as well as spiritual, and the anthropomorphic language of the Old Testament could have been accepted in Christianity without as much hesitation and resistance.
It should be mentioned here that classical theism seems to have a fundamental point of difficulty regarding the status of “prime matter,” the material cause of the world, as long as it sticks to its assertion that God is purely incorporeal. For it maintains that God created or caused prime matter: “God is the cause of prime matter.” The difficulty here is: If God is entirely immaterial, how can prime matter be created or caused by such a God? Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), an influential classical theist, replies that God must have had an idea of prime matter before its creation. If so, however, wouldn’t it be better to say that prime matter is already an attribute of God, just as Unification theism says that God’s Hyungsang is a divine attribute? Perhaps Christianity could have said so, if it had not been so influenced by ancient Greek philosophy.
4. The Gender of God
According to Unification theism, God’s Yang and Yin are in chunghwa, “perfect harmony.” The Korean word chunghwa literally means neutralization without either of the two aspects being stronger than the other. Thus God’s gender appears to be androgynous and neutral. This must be the reason why Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon correctly announced in January, 2013 that we should henceforth address God as “Heavenly Parent” (Hanul Bumo), a gender-neutral term, instead of “Heavenly Father.” The Korean word bumo, composed of bu, “father” and mo, “mother” usually means a couple, a father and a mother, but Mrs. Moon here must have meant only one gender-neutral Parent because God is only one.
Even before her announcement, sometimes Rev. Moon himself also called God “Heavenly Parent,” although most often he and his Church called God “Heavenly Father.” He also reminded us in the final years of his life that the “Heavenly Mother” side of God has long been forgotten in favor of the Heavenly Father side of God, and that the Heavenly Mother side needs to be restored now. Andrew Wilson, a Unificationist scholar, has made a good effort to restore it in his illuminating essay, “Heavenly Mother,” saying that “today as we seek to realize the full ideal of creation, it is now possible to appreciate Her [i.e., Heavenly Mother’s] femininity, with the goal of attaining perfect balance.”
Unification theism’s assertion that God has both sides of Heavenly Father and Mother because of the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin can be well supported not only by Gen. 1:27 but also by many other passages in the Bible. The Bible, on one hand, talks about the masculine side of God: God is “Father” (Ps. 89:26; Is. 63:16; Mt. 6:9, 14; Jn. 14; etc.); God is like the “father” of the prodigal son (Lk. 15:11-32); God is “king forever and ever” (Ps. 10:16); and God is “like a mighty man” (Is. 42:13). On the other hand, God’s feminine side is also described: God is like a “mother” at whose breast a child is quieted (Ps. 131:2), and like a “mother” who comforts (Is. 66:13); God is like a “woman” who cannot forget her sucking child, and who has compassion on the son of her womb (Is. 49:15), and like the “woman” who found the lost coin (Lk. 15:8-10).
In our society, human beings are only supposed to have either the male gender or the female gender. So, androgyny in any human being is usually regarded as a baffling gender disorder. One would, then, have much difficulty in accepting a God of an androgynously neutral gender, unless one is a pagan with whom androgynous deities are not unfamiliar. But it may be that Unification theism, while staying in the biblical tradition, believes that God, and only God, has this special neutral gender in order to be able to completely unite with men and women in the world to realize God’s own lineage of love through them.
According to Rev. Moon, God, an invisible being, created Adam and Eve as two different visible substantiations of God in order to substantially realize God’s ideal of love through the union of both of them. If Adam and Eve had not fallen, God would have been able to love Eve through Adam, who was God’s male substantiation, and God would also have been able to love Adam through Eve, who was God’s female substantiation. In other words, Adam as God’s male substantiation would have loved Eve, and Eve as God’s female substantiation, in turn, would have loved Adam: “Had Adam and Eve not fallen, the idea would have been formed here that Adam on behalf of God loves Eve, and Eve on behalf of God loves Adam.” This close-knit, intimate relationship of love among God, Adam, and Eve is made possible only because God, and only God, has an androgynous neutral gender due to the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin. Perhaps this explains why it can be said that human beings “were created as God’s object partners who can receive the love of God’s direct lineage.”
While Unification theism believes that God has an androgynously neutral gender explained above, classical theism holds that God has no gender. It should be noted that classical theism never maintains that God has a male gender either. Those who think so misunderstand classical Christian theism. According to classical theism, God has no gender whatsoever, for the reason that God as “pure form” is purely spiritual, having no physical body and thus incapable of having a gender. Hence C. S. Lewis says: “God is in fact not a biological being and has no sex.” And the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God.” Classical theism, therefore, regards the biblical descriptions of God as both male and female as mere allegories. Nevertheless, classical theism has long referred to God with only masculine names and pronouns. The reason for that will be explained shortly.
If God, as classical theism asserts, has no gender by reason of God having no physical body, there seem to emerge at least two problems: 1) that kind of God can hardly be a personal God; and 2) the notion of God’s lineage is unthinkable. Unification theism, by contrast, does not have these problems.
Why, then, did the Unification Movement most often call God Heavenly Father before the announcement of 2013? The reason is that, given the initial creator-creature relationship between God and the world, God can at least initially be considered to stand comparatively with more masculine characteristics, and the world as a whole with more feminine characteristics. Hence, God can be called Heavenly Father, as Exposition of the Divine Principle states. But, after the full realization of God’s ideal of creation is reached, going beyond the initial creator-creature relationship of God and the world and also overcoming their gap which was widened because of the fall of human beings, God and the world will now be completely united; and the reciprocal and complementary nature of their relationship will make their gender role distinction much less sharp. As a result, God will no longer be addressed exclusively as Heavenly Father but rather as “Heavenly Parent.” The announcement of 2013 marked this.
Most likely the same is the case with the Bible. The biblical writers, too, were aware of the initial creator-creature relationship between God and the world in which God was transcendent and initiating in relation to the created world. This must be the reason why they used only masculine names for God—Yahweh, Elohim, El, Adonai in Hebrew, and Theos in Greek—as well as masculine pronouns, although they were also aware that God is female as well as male. Thus “the Jewish revelation was distinctive in its exclusively masculine pronoun because it was distinctive in its theology of the divine transcendence… despite the fact that Scripture [also] ascribes to him feminine attributes.” Classical theism in Christianity, therefore, addresses God as Heavenly Father. In fact, the Bible has about 170 references to God as “Father.” But the question is: Can classical theism come to realize, like Unification theism does, that God, who is both male and female, will eventually have to be called Heavenly Parent rather than Heavenly Father?
Perhaps the answer to this question is in the negative, because classical theism, which believes that God has no gender as a purely spiritual being with no physical body, in the end is not interested in asking what God’s gender is to be. Classical theists are rather satisfied with simply accepting God’s exclusively masculine names and their masculine pronouns as seen in the Bible, which for them are not an indication of God’s male gender but merely a way of allegory. On this issue, therefore, they typically talk about two things which appear to be in some tension with each other, but which they think should be accepted categorically: 1) that God has no gender; but 2) that God is allegorically revealed in the Bible exclusively in male form:
In examining Scripture, two facts become clear: First, that God is a Spirit, and does not possess human characteristics or limitations; second, that all the evidence contained in Scripture agrees that God revealed Himself to mankind in a male form.
In this sense, classical theists continuously insist on the importance of referring to God with masculine pronouns only, even if they do not believe in God’s gender at all. Perhaps, therefore, they will not be able to have genuine dialogues with feminists who assert that the feminine side of God’s gender, whether allegorical or not, has long been neglected and needs to be restored.
At this point, we would like to make a statement on our use (or non-use) in this essay of pronouns for the God of Unification theism who has an androgynously neutral gender. We will not use double pronouns (e.g., “he or she,” “his or her,” “him or her,” and “himself or herself”) nor slashed pronouns (“he/she,” “his/her,” “him/her,” and “himself/herself”), which are cumbersome, although they may be intended to be gender-neutral. Nor will we alternate between “he” and “she,” lest it be confusing. Nor will we use impersonal pronouns such as “it,” “its,” and “itself.” So far, we have tried not to use any pronoun for God, only repeating the words “God” and “God’s,” even though it, too, may be awkward. We will try as much as possible to stay with this option in this essay, except when using quotations from Unification materials of the pre-2013 period which already used masculine pronouns. In Korean, by the way, this option of repeating the words “God” and “God’s” is far from awkward and is commonly used, in part because gender-specific pronouns were not developed until the end of the eighteenth century or the beginning of the twentieth century. English seems not to have a very good alternative for our purpose.
Advantages of Unification Theism
From the preceding section it is quite clear that Unification theism can secure the close relationship of God and the world through its idea that God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang are resembled individually by each creature’s dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang, and socially by the give and receive action between different creatures. The present section will make a comparison between Unification theism and classical theism to see if the former is more advantageous than the latter in explaining the God-world relationship. The following several possible advantages of the former will be explored.
1. Similarity between God and the World
Unification theism may be able to see the similarity between God and the world better than classical theism. For according to Unification theism God has the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and the world, in resemblance to God, has the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang on the part of each creature. Moreover, God’s dual character¬is¬tics of Sungsang and Hyungsang are resembled by the give and receive action between different creatures. According to classical theism, by contrast, God is monopolar as “pure form,” while the world is dipolar, being composite of “form” and “matter.” Classical theism, therefore, may not be as able to affirm the similarity of God and the world.
Thomas Aquinas, one of the most famous adherents to classical theism, maintains that God and the world are similar, if not perfectly similar, in that both have something in common: being. According to him, this is the case because the world receives being from God when it is created by God who is its cause: “things receiving existence from God resemble him.” This similarity between God and the world, according to Aquinas, is a proportional similarity. Therefore one’s description of the God-world relationship, which normally starts from one’s knowledge of the world that one applies to God, is “analogical.” “Analogical” means that a word of description linguistically has “proportional” uses for God and the world due to a certain order they have; it is not “univocal” (“univocal” means that a word has “exactly the same meaning in different applications”) in describing God and the world due to their total similarity; neither is it “equivocal” (“equivocal” means that a word has “different meanings in different applications”) in describing God and the world due to their total dissimilarity. This approach of Aquinas is usually called the “analogy of being” (analogia entis).
Yet, this approach ends up seeing a large gulf between God and the world, when it concludes that God as pure form without any matter is “limitless” or infinite, while the world composed of form and matter is “limited” or finite. Thus God and the world do not belong to the same order, although this does not mean that their relationship is to be described as equivocal.
Aquinas’ assertion that one’s description of the relationship of God and the world is analogical, not being univocal nor equivocal, may be generally acceptable. But the distance between God and the world, as understood by his analogy of being, seems to be way too large. Like Aquinas, Karl Barth also accepts the concept of “analogy” as “unavoidable” in order to stay away from the false thesis of “parity” between God and the world and also from the equally false thesis of “disparity” between them. Nevertheless, Barth differs from Aquinas and resembles Unification theism when he recognizes more affinity between God and the world than Aquinas, by seeing the “analogy of relation” (analogia relationis) between the I–Thou “relation” within God, which can be viewed as equivalent to God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang, and the I–Thou “relation” between human beings in the world. This point from Barth will be dealt with again in a different context in the final section.
2. Unity of God and the World
Unification theism may be able to secure the real unity of God and the world better than classical theism. For it maintains that God and the world can reciprocally act upon each other: God provides acting energy to encourage the world to be united at individual and social levels, and the world, in turn, gives joy to God through its unity at individual and social levels. This is made possible because there is dynamism within the give and receive action between the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang of God, between the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang of each creature, and between different creatures. As was mentioned previously, this is like the unity of resonance of two different tuning forks, each of which has two dynamically vibrating prongs (equivalent to the dynamic dual characteristics) that make the resonance possible.
By contrast, the monopolar God of classical theism as pure act or pure form is completely actualized and immutable; so, this God cannot be acted upon by the world at all, while being able to definitely act upon the world. In the words of Aquinas, God is the “first cause of change not itself being changed by anything.” There is thus no reciprocal relationship between God and the world. This means that there can be no real unity between them.
Theologians such as Jürgen Moltmann are critical of this aspect of classical theism. Like Unification theism, Moltmann holds that there is a real unity between God and the world through their reciprocal relationship by which they affect each other: “Just as God goes out of himself through what he does, giving his world his own impress, so his world puts its impress on God too, through its reactions, its aberrations and its own initiatives.” Moltmann can say this because he believes that God has the dynamic inner relationship of love between the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, which may be equivalent to God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart, and that the world, too, has the dynamic relationship of love among human beings through the external works of the Trinity. As long as the inner trinitarian relationship within God and the relationship of human beings in the world outside of God correspond and resonate with each other, it can be said that God and the world have a real unity.
If the Trinity as understood by Moltmann and others, is equivalent to God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart in Unification theism, and if the Trinity, just like God’s dual characteristics centering on Heart, is believed to encourage the world to be united so that the world may resemble the inner unity of God, it is a very significant point. It will be discussed in the final subsection of the present section.
3. A Personal God
One issue which cannot be ignored when dealing with the reciprocal relationship between God and the world is this: Is God a personal being like human beings, and can God have a reciprocal relationship with them? According to Millard J. Erickson, an evangelical theologian, God is a personal God as “an individual being, with self-consciousness and will, capable of feeling, choosing, and having a reciprocal relationship with other personal and social beings.”
Unification theism accepts Erickson’s definition. The God of Unification theism can self-consciously feel and willfully choose like human beings do, because God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang are like the mind (sungsang) and body (hyungsang) of each human being. This God can also have a reciprocal relationship with human beings, because God with the dynamic dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang and human beings with the dynamic dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang can reciprocate with each other. In the words of Sun Myung Moon:
If God exists, what kind of relationship does He have with human beings? To have a relationship with human beings, He must be a personal God. And to be a personal God, He must resemble human beings. People have the attributes of mind and body. Then God, as their Creator, has to have similar attributes if he is to share with them a common purpose. This point marks the origin of the concept of dual characteristics.
But the God of classical theism, who is pure act or pure form, not only looks unlike human beings with mind and body, but also cannot be acted upon by them while being able to act upon them. There is, therefore, no reciprocal relationship between God and human beings. Strictly speaking, therefore, the God of classical theism cannot be a personal God based on the above definition by Erickson. In fact, Erickson is a classical theist who believes that God “is spirit” and “does not possess a physical nature”; his position as a classical theist contradicts his own definition of God above as a personal being. Classical theists like him may still assert that God as pure act or pure form can think and act like a personal being, but if so, there cannot be reciprocity between God and human beings. Thus the God of classical theism can hardly be a personal God. Unification theism, therefore, may be able to say that God is a personal God better than classical theism.
The monopolarity of God as pure act or pure form in classical theism is usually called the “simplicity” of God. The basic argument for the divine simplicity according to Thomas Aquinas is that if God were composite of items such as form and matter without being simple, God would have to be caused by these component items and dependent on them, which would contradict God’s status as “the first cause” of all beings. Therefore the doctrine of the divine simplicity, which is derived from God being pure form, also denies God other kinds of composition such as the essence-properties composition. This means to say, for example, that God is identical with each of the properties God has.
Alvin Plantinga, an American philosopher in the Reformed Christian tradition, takes issue with this simplicity doctrine, because according to him it ends up saying that God is not a personal being. For when we think of God’s property of being good, for example, “God isn’t merely good, on this view; he is goodness, or his goodness, or goodness itself.” If this is the case, complains Plantinga, God cannot be a personal being but an abstract object: “If God is a property, then he isn’t a person but a mere abstract object; he has no knowledge, awareness, power, love or life. So taken, the simplicity doctrine seems an utter mistake.”
4. God’s Purpose of Creation
Unification theism may be able to explain God’s purpose of creation more clearly than classical theism. When the unity of the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang in God is resembled and reflected by the unity of the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang of each creature individually, and also by the unity of different creatures socially, God appreciates and loves it to feel joy from it. God experiences joy, by having an object partner of love resembling God. And, given the irrepressible nature of God’s Heart of seeking joy through love, God necessarily and inevitably created the world as God’s object partner of love. Hence the “Heart Motivation Theory” that seeks to explain God’s purpose of creation. It goes without saying that when the purpose of creation is realized, the world, too, feels joy, by resembling God and also by being appreciated and loved by God.
Classical theism usually says that God created the world so that it might “glorify” God (Jn. 15:8). This does not mean, however, that God aimed at receiving something from the world. God, who is totally actualized as pure act, is in want of nothing, according to classical theism. Therefore, even though “all things are said to be good by divine goodness,” as Aquinas says, and the world thus may glorify God, nevertheless it adds nothing to the perfection of God. In the words of the Angelic Doctor: “Since… the divine goodness can be without other things, and, indeed, is in no way increased by other things, it is under no necessity to will other things.” Thus God did not have to create, strictly speaking.
God, who is perfect, created the world freely and not out of any necessity. God’s freedom is so absolute that it is not constrained by any kind of external determination or even by God’s own nature. Therefore God could also have absolutely freely decided not to create the world. “God did not have to create… He freely chose to create for reasons not known to us.” This means that for classical theism God’s purpose of creation is unknown. Or at least it is not clear.
Jürgen Moltmann basically disagrees with classical theism and agrees with Unification theism on this matter. As was seen above, he believes that God has the inner relationship of love between the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, and that the world, too, has the relationship of love among human beings through the external works of the Trinity. This solidarity of people in the world becomes “the trinitarian glorification of the Father and the Son through the Spirit,” expressing their joy to give God “bliss.” When the divine love is “responded to” by the world this way, God “rejoices over” it; and thus, God “needs” the world.
5. God’s Perfection
According to Unification theism, God is perfect because God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang are perfectly united. Human beings each have the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang in resemblance to God’s dual characteristics, and as long as they fully unite their dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang, they each also can become perfect like God, even acquiring “a divine nature.” This may be supported by the Eastern Orthodox notion of theosis (“deification”), which is a participation in the triune God. This perfection is possible, as the Bible says: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). Even non-human creatures, whether animals, plants, or minerals, also can reach perfection at their own respective levels, as long as their sungasang and hyungsang are fully united.
According to classical theism, by contrast, God is perfect, as perfectly actualized pure act or pure form devoid of any unrealized potentiality or matter, while the world is always imperfect, as it is composite of form and matter. The perfect God is also immutable as pure act, while the imperfect world is mutable.
Unification theism’s definition of God’s perfection can allow creatures to become perfect, as long as they reach the full unity of their sungasang and hyungsang in resemblance to God. It also can allow the perfect God to be acted upon by the world. The reason is that God’s Heart of love stands behind the whole thing. God’s Heart is channeled through the unity of God’s own dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang to emerge as a unifying thrust of love which encourages the world to be fully united. Out of love, God’s Heart wants the world to fully resemble the inner unity of love within God, so that it may become a good and happy place, which God also can rejoice over. God wants the world to be perfect, and God does not mind being acted upon by such a perfect and happy world God loves so much.
Classical theism’s definition of God’s perfection, by contrast, does not allow creatures to be perfect. Nor does it allow the perfect God to be acted upon by the world. Its God seems to be a God of sovereignty over the world rather than a God of love for the world. Its concept of God’s perfection seems not to go hand in hand with the divine love. Theologians such as Thomas Jay Oord, therefore, observe that classical theism’s approach has largely neglected the centrality of God’s love in favor of other things such as God’s sovereignty, even though God’s love should be the center of theology because it is biblical: “This approach often neglects the motive [of love] God might have for relationship and the motive we might have to respond lovingly.”
In Unification theism, the perfection of God is entirely compatible with God’s Heart of love and even grounded on it. In classical theism, however, the perfection of God seems not to be compatible with God’s love. Unification theism’s definition of God’s perfection, therefore, may be better than classical theism’s.
6. God’s Omnipotence
In Unification theism, God’s Heart is understood to be an “irrepressible” desire of love, which wells up from within. It is not only unconditional love but also appreciative love to seek joy. Because of the irrepressible nature of Heart, God necessarily created the world as God’s object partner of love. Even after the fall of humanity, at which God’s Heart grieved, and in spite of their continuous rebellion in human history, because of which God’s Heart has been aching again and again, God has always been showing the unwavering Heart of love for fallen humanity to restore them. God’s will, therefore, will eventually be realized without fail. In this sense, “His Will for the providence of restoration, the goal of which is the accomplishment of the purpose of creation, must … be absolute, unique and unchanging.” This “irrepressibility” of God’s Heart is a new definition of the divine omnipotence suggested in Unification theism.
Classical theism, however, is still preoccupied with God being pure act when it defines the omnipotence of God. Anything in actuality possesses active power, while anything in potentiality has passive and receptive power. Now, God is pure act devoid of potentiality; so, God’s active power is infinitely great, while creatures composite of act and potentiality are partially active and partially passive, thus having only limited active power. In the words of Aquinas, “God, who is pure actuality unmixed with potentiality, has active power infinitely beyond all things.” This defines God’s omnipotence.
An important point of difference between Unification theism and classical theism here is that in Unification theism God who is omnipotent can still suffer out of compassion for the miserable condition of the world, while in classical theism the omnipotent God, who cannot be acted upon by the world, can not suffer, thus being an impassible God.
You can decide whether or not Unification theism defines the divine omnipotence better than classical theism. Others have taken issue with classical theism in this regard, notably Jürgen Moltmann, who says that the omnipotent God of classical theism “who is incapable of suffering is a being who cannot be involved” and “cannot love,” and that this God “would be a being without experience, a being without destiny and a being who is loved by no one.” For Moltmann, as for Unification theism, divine omnipotence is the omnipotence of God’s love of longing for the world expressed through God’s self-limitation and self-humiliation for the world. God’s love expressed this way is omnipotent because “God is nowhere greater than in his humiliation.” Moltmann talks about it more explicitly: “It is not God’s power that is almighty. What is almighty is his love.” The Jewish theologian Abraham J. Heschel, too, believes that divine omnipotence means the omnipotence of God’s love and concern: “The most exalted idea applied to God is not infinite wisdom, infinite power, but infinite concern.”
7. Unity of Individual Creatures
Unification theism maintains that the unity of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart generates acting energy, which encourages different individual creatures in the world to be united socially (as well as the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang of each creature to be united within itself individually) to reflect the unity within God. Hence the unity of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart is the source of the order of the world. Individual creatures are called “individual truth bodies,” but because they are always ready to connect with each other under the acting energy coming from the unity within God, they are also called “connected bodies” at the same time. This topic is discussed elsewhere in considerable philosophical detail by the present writer.
In classical theism, by contrast, God is not dipolar but monopolar, as pure act or pure form. Therefore, while God’s pure actuality supremely acts upon each and every creature directly, it does not necessarily coordinate the unity of different individual creatures in the world. Thomas Aquinas, of course, believes that the goodness of God, which includes “order,” is the source of the order of the world, and that creatures, each composite of form and matter, can cooperatively act upon, and be acted upon by, each other in conformity with that order: “things tend toward the divine likeness by the fact that they are causes of others.” But he makes no real explanation of the reason why the goodness of God should be the source of order. The God of Aquinas is not a God of ordered dipolarity; so, it may be rather difficult for him to explain the reason for the order.
Although he may try to trace the order of the world to the trinitarian relationship within God, following Augustine’s doctrine of vestigia trinitatis in creatura (“vestiges of the Trinity in creatures”), nevertheless, as will be discussed in the following subsection, Aquinas’s doctrine of God (and classical theism in general) actually ends up neglecting the importance of the trinitarian complexity of God in favor of the divine simplicity. Therefore classical theism may not be able to secure the unity of individual creatures as much as Unification theism.
8. Compatibility with the Trinity
Unification theism believes that God is a God of threeness because God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang have Heart as their center. As is shown elsewhere by the present writer, Heart—the “motive of creation,”Sungsang—containing the “Logos,” and Hyungsang—“pre-energy” in Unification theism are respectively equivalent to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit of the Trinity in the Christian tradition. Thus God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart actually refer to the intra-divine relation of the three persons of the Trinity, meaning that the Son and the Holy Spirit are united centering on the Father.
By the way, Eastern Christianity is of the opinion that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (single procession), while Western Christianity asserts that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (double procession). Perhaps Unification theism is closer to the Eastern version than to the Western one, although a detailed exploration of it is beyond the scope of the present essay. The main point here is that God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart in Unification theism refer to the intra-divine relation of the Trinity in Christianity theology, whether Eastern or Western.
But the question to be asked here is: Can the intra-divine relation of the Trinity in the Christian tradition, whether Eastern or Western, play the same important role as God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart in Unification theism? In other words, can the Trinity in the Christian tradition send a unifying thrust of love to the world for its transformative unity, so that the world may be able to reflect the trinitarian unity within God to make God happy? This way, can the Trinity also unite God and the world closely? Actually, Jürgen Moltmann would answer the question in the affirmative, because this is what he asserts, if from a Western perspective, regarding the role of the Trinity, as was seen above. He seems to keep some distance from classical theism.
Classical theism especially in the West usually does not recognize this important role of the Trinity. Augustine, for example, was so preoccupied with the simplicity of God as a Neoplatonic Christian theologian that he tended to emphasize the oneness of God even to the neglect of the dynamic work of the three distinct persons of the Trinity for the transformation of the world. In Augustine’s theology, therefore, the absolute oneness of God’s essence directly deals with the world with irresistible divine power and authority, and the Trinity is basically pushed aside to become an esoteric concept of intra-divine relations irrelevant and unrelated to the world. Thomas Aquinas followed this tradition of Augustine regarding the Trinity. His Summa Theologiae, therefore, begins by treating the oneness of God first and then moves to the Trinity, making the Trinity not as important. Hence occurred the “defeat” of the Trinity, according to Catherine Mowry LaCugna. In fact, classical theism may not be able to be truly compatible with the Trinity. Much to our surprise, Unification theism seems to be able to appreciate the role of the Trinity more than classical theism, being more compatible with the Trinity than classical theism is.
Classical theism in the East is a little different. While the West pushed aside the Trinity as something disconnected from the world, the East historically understood the importance of the threeness of the Trinity for the world to a considerable degree. Greek-speaking Eastern theologians such as the Cappadocian Fathers recognized the particularity and concreteness of each of the three hypostases (“realities”) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit within God. The three hypostases were considered to be different from the Latin expression of tres personae (“three persons”) coined by Tertullian (c. 155–c. 240), in that the latter only meant three masks or ownerships, which in their view were not particular and concrete enough.
Unlike Augustine and others in the West, therefore, Eastern theologians did not push aside the Trinity. They understood its role to transform the world, even giving human beings theosis (“deification”), if within the limits of classical theism. In the West, the theosis of created human beings is unthinkable because the Trinity is isolated from the world. Unification theism accepts the theosis of human beings through the Trinity, as it maintains that each individual human being can acquire “a divine nature” with a complete mind-body unity under the encouragement of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart, as was seen above. Eastern Christianity, therefore, is closer to Unification theism than its Western counterpart is.
Knowing God’s Dual Characteristics
Classical theism, which believes in a monopolar God, has been predominant in Christianity and still is. Therefore dipolar theism in general, and the Unification doctrine of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyunsang in particular, (more than God’s dual characteristics of Yang and Yin) may still face strong objection and even be deemed heretical. The dipolarity of God needs to be defended.
To defend the dipolarity of God, the present section will first deal with the useful approach of Karl Barth, who according to Pope Pius XII was “the greatest theologian since Thomas Aquinas.” Barth’s approach is that if we become faithful and humble enough in front of God, the dipolarity of God will be given us as a revelation from above, and that it is how we can know the analogical relationship between God and the world. This approach is called the “analogy of faith,” and it is quite widely accepted among conservatives. So, the dipolarity of God should not be heretical at all. The second subsection will discuss Rev. Moon’s approach of “absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience,” which, like Barth’s analogy of faith, can lead us to know God’s dual characteristics through revelation. The final, third subsection will explain that both Barth and Moon also have approaches to know God from the world below, but they ground such inductive approaches in their initial faith-based approaches.
The present section aims to show that Barth is a good defender of the Unification doctrine of God’s dual characteristics, not in spite of, but rather because of, his emphasis on faith.
1. Barth’s Analogy of Faith
As was mentioned previously, Barth agrees with Thomas Aquinas that God and the world have an “analogical” relationship. But they disagree on how to know that analogical relationship. Aquinas holds that we can know it by applying our knowledge of the being of the world to God, because God and the world as cause and effect must have being in common. But Barth maintains that we can know it only through God’s own revelation based on our faith. Aquinas’ approach is usually called the “analogy of being,” and Barth’s the “analogy of faith.” What is noteworthy here is that these two different approaches have two different results. Whereas Aquinas’ analogy of being ends up seeing a large gulf between God and the world, Barth’s analogy of faith finds much more affinity between them.
According to Barth, human beings as sinners have no inherent ability to know God: “We are not capable of conceiving Him.” Our knowledge of God, therefore, “does not begin in ourselves” but “in God’s revelation and in faith to Him.” “It is by God Himself—namely, by His revelation—that we are led to the knowledge of Him, that we and our knowledge do not stand outside and afar off but in the very presence of God Himself,” and this constitutes “the real knowledge of God.”
What God’s revelation has shown us as “the real knowledge of God,” according to Barth, is that God is a God of amazing “love,” who stoops down especially through Jesus Christ to have close fellowship with us, while at the same time staying always as a transcendent God of absolute “freedom” from anything. Thus God has the dual characteristics of “freedom” and “love,” to which Barth devotes a whole chapter entitled “The Reality of God” in his Church Dogmatics. Whether this duality of freedom and love, as understood by Barth, is similar to the Unification notion of God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang may be a subject to be explored in the future.
Barth’s list of various theological suggestions for the same kind of dipolarity of God as he himself proposes is drawn from the modern period, including the seventeenth-century orthodox Lutheran idea of God being both “interna and externa” and O. Kirn’s 1930 suggestion of God having both “formal” and “material” attributes. Some of them might fairly easily be able to be related to God’s dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang in Unification theism.
What is extremely important here is that Barth’s suggestion of God being a God of dynamic dipolarity marks a considerable departure from classical theism. In fact, Barth was not entirely satisfied with Aquinas’ notion of God as actus purus (“pure act”). It is amazing that such a conservative theologian as Barth was able to go beyond classical theism whereas Aquinas, another conservative, always stayed within the realm of classical theism. Perhaps it was through Barth’s emphasis on the authority of divine revelation based on our humble faith, whereas Aquinas gave less emphasis to faith in favor of the analogy of being. This is the reason why Hendrikus Berkhof, another Reformed theologian, remarks: “Only the 20th century witnessed a profound change, mainly through Barth’s exposition of the doctrine of God”; and “This fresh formulation of Barth in the doctrine of God has exerted a greater influence than any other part of his theology.”
This formulation of Barth, however, does not see as much corres-pon¬dence between God’s own dipolar unity and the unity of the world as we would expect. Thus it may not be as useful for our purpose here. But Barth actually suggests another kind of God’s dipolarity, which turns out to be helpful for our purpose. It is none other than God’s dipolarity of the I-Thou “relation” within the Godhead, which Barth believes is “reflected” and corresponded to by the I-Thou “relation” among human beings, especially “between male and female” human beings. Barth explains this I-Thou relation within God as a kind of dynamic relation of reciprocity: “In God’s own being and sphere there is a counterpart: a genuine but harmonious self-encounter and self-discovery; a free co-existence and co-operation; an open confrontation and reciprocity.” Then, he says that it is “copied,” “imitated,” “repeated,” and “reflected” by the horizontal relation between human beings in the created realm, as well as by God’s vertical relation to each human being.
There are two points of clarification regarding this. First, by God’s dipolarity of the I-Thou reciprocal relation within the Godhead, Barth as a Western theologian means, like Moltmann, the trinitarian relation of love between the Father and the Son in the Godhead. Second, when the “correspondence” between God’s own dipolar relation of the Father and the Son, on the one hand, and the relation between human beings, on the other, is referred to by Barth as the “analogy of relation” (analogia relationis), this analogy of relation is still based on the analogy of faith, thus being unable to be equated with the analogy of being.
To explain the second point further, although Barth sees a correspondence between the inner relation of the Trinity, on the one hand, and the relation between human beings in the created realm, on the other, acknowledging Augustine’s expression of vestigia trinitate in creatura, nevertheless he does not say that God’s dipolarity, as the inner relation of the Trinity, can be known from our knowledge of various relations in the world. For Barth, only God’s revelation in the Bible, and nothing else, is the “root” of the doctrine of the Trinity. And, in order for us to receive the revelation of God’s Word, we again need “faith,” acknowledging that we by ourselves have no real ability to know God. Hence the analogy of faith again. This point may be related to Barth’s assertion, which Unification theism may not necessarily be able to agree with, that the reflection of God’s inner trinitarian relation by the world does not mean to bring any added joy to the “joy” God already has in that inner trinitarian relation.
By the way, Barth’s statement that the Trinity is known only from God’s own revelation is not unusual in the Christian tradition. Aquinas means the same thing when he says: “It is impossible to attain to the knowledge of the Trinity by natural reason.” But Barth is very different from Aquinas, in that while Barth is quite aware of the similarity and relevance of the Trinity to the world, Aquinas is basically not aware of it due to his emphasis on the simplicity of the absolute and transcendent God.
2. Moon’s Approach of Absolute Faith, Love, and Obedience
Rev. Moon’s approach of “absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience” is epistemologically quite similar to Barth’s analogy of faith. Just like Barth’s analogy of faith encourages us to be humble in order to reach the real knowledge of God, Moon’s approach encourages us to have absolute faith, love, and obedience in order to know God truly. Just like Barth’s approach involves God’s revelation, Rev. Moon’s approach also talks about God’s revelation, through which we know the truth of God:
This ultimate life-giving truth… cannot be discovered through an exhaustive investigation of scriptures or scholarly texts; nor can it be invented by any human intellect… This truth must appear as a revelation from God.
Moon usually talks about absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience together as a group, and his three-term dictum might be equivalent to Barth’s key word: faith. Although the three terms themselves have their own distinctive tones, they are almost synonymous in that they are all related to one fundamental thing: to lower yourself to live for the sake of others in front of God. And, if you do so, you will be led to know God. Through absolute faith, love, and obedience, therefore, we can “enter the realm of God’s love” and “become one with Him,” and “we are returning to the original position of God at the time of creation.”
But what kind of God is it that we can know this way? According to Rev. Moon, it is a God of absolute faith, love, and obedience: “God also created with… absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience.” In other words,
God started creating all things based on absolute faith. He began to create so that He could have object partners of absolute love. Absolute obedience means that there exists no awareness of “self.” It is a state of complete zero—a complete nothingness. Once God returns to nothingness, a circular movement automatically begins. Since everything is given out, and there is no more to give, God returns to the bottom. This has become the origin of the movement of the universe.
What is important here is that God, as the God of absolute faith, love, and obedience, participates in “a circular movement” for the sake of the created universe. The circular movement of God means that there is “give and take action between a subject partner and an object partner” within God, i.e., that God has dual characteristics:
For anything to have an eternal nature it must move in a circle; give and take action between a subject partner and an object partner is necessary for any circular motion. This is true even for God; having dual characteristics allows Him to live eternally.
These dual characteristics of God are nothing other than the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang. As was seen preciously, God, when uniting the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang centering on Heart, generates forming energy for the creation of the world and acting energy for the unity of the created world. In doing so, God is in “a state of complete zero—a complete nothingness” to live for the sake of the world.
Consequently, Rev. Moon’s approach of absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience leads us to realize that God is a dipolar God with the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang. This is indeed similar to Barth’s analogy of faith through which to be able to know that God is a dipolar God.
3. Knowing God from the World as Well?
Regarding how to know God truly, Barth’s analogy of faith is entirely opposite to Aquinas’ analogy of being. It relies on God’s revelation coming from above, while Aquinas starts from human knowledge of the world and applies it to God. Barth, therefore, sharply criticizes the analogy of being for letting us encroach on God instead of having God encroach on us: “The real encroachment on our part consists in resisting the divine encroachment that takes place in the revelation of the truth, in thinking past it instead of our adapting our thinking to it.”
This is not the end of Barth’s story, however. In the end, he comes to recognize some value in the analogy of being, as long as it is within the context of the overarching analogy of faith. If the analogy of being is grounded on God’s revelation in the analogy of faith, it can legitimately describe God, if in a limited way:
This work of ours [i.e., the analogy of being], grounded on God’s revelation, can become a successful work. Our views, concepts and words, grounded on God’s revelation, can be legitimately applied to God, and genuinely describe Him even in this sphere of ours and within its limits. For all their unsuitability, they can still be correct and true.
This means that Barth admits that we can know God from the world as well, as long as we are aware of the priority of the analogy of faith over the analogy of being. Because of this, Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988), a Swiss Catholic theologian, tends to think that Barth’s “analogy of relation” between God’s dipolar relation of the Father and the Son and the relation between human beings in the world is already a part of the analogy of being based on the analogy of faith, although Barth himself may not go so far as to say so very clearly yet.
Unification theism, too, believes that while God’s truth can genuinely be known only through God’s revelation to our absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience, we can also know God’s nature from our observation of the world as long as we are aware of the priority of absolute faith, love, and obedience. Hence Exposition of the Divine Principle states that we can know “the divine nature of the invisible God” by “observing the world which He created,” and that given our observation of the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang and also the dual characteristics of yang and yin universally present in the natural world, we can come to know God to be a God of the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang and of the dual characteristics of Yang and Yin.
When talking about our knowledge of the world inductively leading to our knowledge of God’s nature, Unification theism uses a New Testament passage to support it: “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20). In fact, Aquinas uses the same passage for his analogy of being. Thus there is definitely a similarity between this aspect of Unification theism and Aquinas’ analogy of being. But at the same time there is quite a big difference between them. For while this inductive aspect of Unification theism leads us to know that God is a dipolar God, Aquinas’ approach concludes that God is only a monopolar God. The reason for this difference is that while Unification theism’s approach from below is already grounded in, and presupposed by, its other aspect which involves absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience, Aquinas’ analogy of being is not grounded in anything like the analogy of faith. In this sense, the inductive aspect of Unification theism is similar to Barth’s analogy of relation, which sees a link between the God’s dipolar relation and the relation between human beings in the world. Aquinas’ analogy of being, by contrast, is dissimilar to Barth’s analogy of relation.
Our discussion in the present section has been largely on Barth. We are aware that Barth may have some notoriety due to his initial emphasis on God’s utter transcendence from us. He actually referred to God as the “Wholly Other” in his book, The Epistle to the Romans, whose first edition was published in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I to attack theological liberalism. This initially very conservative position started to change and become more moderate around 1930, and it was after that that he expressed his view of God’s dipolarity between freedom and love in Church Dogmatics II.1 (1940), and his understanding of God’s dipolarity between the Father and the Son in Church Dogmatics III.1 (1945) and III.2 (1948). Barth’s initial position in The Epistle to the Romans had such impact, “like a bombshell on the theologians’ playground,” that most of his critics have paid attention only to it, not giving enough study to his later theological development.
The present writer wants to draw our attention to the profound significance of the growth and development of Barth’s theology, by saying that paradoxically it was because he was a conservative that he was able to outgrow his own initial conservatism. He was not a conservative for the sake of being a conservative but an authentic conservative, and he so faith¬fully humbled himself in front of the “hiddenness of God” that God’s dynamic dipolarity was apparently revealed to him beyond the hiddenness of God. Barth thus started to talk about the stooping down of the loving God to stay with human beings as God’s partners. Eventually, therefore, he even qualified his initial reference to God as the Wholly Other:
The God of the Gospel is no lonely God, self-sufficient and self-contained. He is no “absolute” God (in the original sense of absolute, i.e., being detached from everything that is not himself). To be sure, he has no equal beside himself, since an equal would not doubt limit, influence, and determine him. On the other hand, he is not imprisoned by his own majesty, as though he were bound to be no more than the personal (or impersonal) “wholly other.”
It is interesting that such a conservative theologian as Barth can be enlisted as a defender of the Unification notion of God’s dual character¬is¬tics of Sungsang and Hyungsang through his analogy of faith, which encourages us to receive the revelation of God’s truth. What he teaches us is that if we first impose our own concepts and ideas upon God, we will not be able to know God’s truth about the divine dipolarity. Rev. Moon would agree with Barth’s approach, although this does not mean that Unification theism agrees with Barth’s doctrine of God on every point.
 A very useful definition of classical theism is given in Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2004), pp. 53-59.
 For this whole paragraph, see Unification Thought Institute, New Essentials of Unification Thought: Head-Wing Thought (Tokyo: Kogensha, 2006), pp. 2-19; and The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: H.S.A.-U.W.C., 1996), pp. 15-19. Henceforth both will be abbreviated as NEUT and EDP, respectively.
 The use of the words of “monopolar” and “dipolar” regarding God was popularized by Charles Hartshorne and other process thinkers. God is “monopolar,” when God is, as in Thomas Aquinas’ theology, treated as “an absolute exception” to the “Law of Polarity” which teaches that “ultimate contraries are correlatives, mutually interdependent, so that nothing real can be described by the wholly one-sided assertion of simplicity, being, actuality, and the like, each in a ‘pure’ form, devoid and independent of complexity, becoming, potentiality, and related contraries”; by contrast, God is “dipolar” when regarded as no exception to the Law of Polarity. For this, see Charles Hartshorne and William L. Reese, Philosophers Speak of God (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953), pp. 1-15. Prior to Hartshorne, the “dipolarity” of God as well as of each and every actual entity was discussed by Alfred North Whitehead in his Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology (New York: Macmillan, 1929); corrected ed., edited by David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne (New York: Free Press, 1978).
 Karl Barth talks about human beings as “covenant-partners” of God in his Church Dogmatics, III.2 (London: T&T Clark, 1960). Jürgen Moltmann treats human beings as God’s “friends” in the kingdom of the Spirit in his The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God, trans. Margaret Kohl (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), pp. 219-22. According to Sun Myung Moon, human being are supposed to become “true sons and daughters” of God; see his “Proclamation of True Sons and Daughters and Freedom,” Belvedere, Tarrytown, NY, June 10, 1990. http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/sunmyungmoon90/SM900610.htm.
 NEUT, p. 25.
 NEUT, p. 23.
 NEUT, p. 251.
 Sun Myung Moon talks about “the day of fulfillment” as the time of God’s “joy.” See his “True Parents Day from the Historical Point of View,” Manhattan Center, New York, NY, April 18, 1977. http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/sunmyungmoon77/SM770418.htm.
 Theodore Shimmyo, “Two Aspects of Love in God’s Heart in Unification Theism: Biblical Evidence,” Journal of Unification Studies XV (2014): 101-13.
 For the whole paragraph, see NEUT, pp. 23-24.
 NEUT, p. 41.
 NEUT, p. 8.
 NEUT, pp. 105-10.
 NEUT, p. 2
 EDP, pp. 17-18. Strictly speaking, God’s “original internal nature” and “original external form” are actually Bonsungsang and Bonhyungsang in Korean, where Bon means “original” in the sense of being the cause of the sungsang and hyungsang of each creature. In this essay, however, we omit Bon to say that God has Sungsang and Hyungsang (with the initials capitalized). This is what NEUT does also.
 NEUT, p. 11.
 NEUT, pp. 9-12.
 NEUT, pp. 244-45.
 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, ed. Thomas Gilby (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1969), I, q. 4, a. 1-3, pp. 89-95.
 According to Plato, is God the Idea of the Good, the Demiurge, or both? This debate is described in Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, vol. I, pt. I (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1962), pp. 215-18. But Neoplatonism certainly equates God with the Idea of the Good.
 NEUT, p. 8.
 VEDP, pp. 32-36; NEUT, pp. 95-96.
 EDP, pp. 8, 81, 196; NEUT, pp. 251-57.
 EDP, p. 19.
 NEUT, p. 13; cf. EDP, pp. 18-19.
 NEUT, pp. 13, 110-13.
 NEUT, pp. 1-2.
 NEUT, pp. 2-19.
 Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary, rev. ed., trans. John H. Marks (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1972), p. 58.
 EDP, p. 18.
 NEUT, pp. 111-12.
 NEUT, p. 123.
 To explain it more precisely according to Unification Thought, when the inner unity of sungsang and hyungsang of one individual creature is followed by its outer or social unity with another individual creature, that process is a reflection of the “Two-Stage Structure of the Divine Image” in which the “inner give and receive action” between “Inner Sungsang” (intellect, emotion, and will) and “Inner Hyungsang” (ideas, concepts, and laws) within God’s Sungsang is followed by the “outer give and receive action” between God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang. Strictly speaking, therefore, the social relationship of unity between different creatures is considered to reflect the unity between God’s Sungsang and Hyungsang (NEUT, pp. 49-52).
 Sun Myung Moon, Sun Myung Moon’s Philosophy of Peace. http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Books/SM-Peace/SMM-PhilosophyOfPeace-3a.htm.
 NEUT has quite a detailed explanation of God’s creativity and human beings’ creativity on pp. 33-39, 169-72. But it is yet to develop a sense in which it can be said that non-human creatures, too, have creativity as long as they have the dual characteristics of sungsang and hyungsang.
 EDP, pp. 43-44, 157-58.
 Sun Myung Moon, “Mainstream of the Dispensation of God,” a sermon given at Belvedere, Tarrytown, NY, USA, November 19, 1978. http://www.tparents.org/moon-talks/sunmyungmoon78/SM781119a.htm.
 NEUT, p. 8.
 Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma, 7 vols., trans. Neil Buchanan (New York: Dover, 1961), 1:180, n. 1. Harnack reports that the idea of a corporeality of God in those days was held also by those Christians who were under the influence of Stoic materialism.
 Terence E. Fretheim, The Suffering of God: An Old Testament Perspective (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), p. 102.
 Ibid., p. 105. Italics original.
 Origen, De Pricipiis, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951), p. 242.
 Ibid., p. 241.
 Augustine refers to the corporealist Christians of his days as “carnal men, unable as yet to form spiritual conceptions, who think of God as having a human form,” and he says that what they do is a laughable folly; see his “Against the Epistle of Manichaeans,” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, vol. IV (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974), p. 139. He also finds them among “these foolish deceivers” and says: “I was ignorant of that other reality, true Being. And so it was that I was subtly persuaded to agree with these foolish deceivers when they put their questions to me [such as]… ‘Is God limited by a bodily shape, and has he hairs and nails?’ … In my ignorance I was much disturbed over these things and, though I was retreating from the truth, I appeared to myself to be going toward it… and how should I have seen this when the sight of my eyes went no farther than physical objects, and the sight of my mind reached no farther than to fantasms? And I did not know that God is a spirit who has no parts extended in length and breadth, whose being has no mass”; see his Confessions 3.7. http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/augustine/conf.pdf.
 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, II, 16, 12. http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles2.htm.
 Thomas Aquinas, Questiones Disputatae de Veritate, q. 3, a. 5. http://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer3.htm#5.
 “Hak Ja Han: Address God as ‘Heavenly Parents’.” http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/HakJaHanMoon-13/HakJaHan-130108.pdf. There is, however, a careless mistake which needs to be corrected here. “Parents” must be “Parent.”
 See, for example, Cheon Seong Gyeong: Selections from the Speeches of True Parents (Seoul, Korea: Sunghwa Publishing Co., 2006), pp. 734, 912, 1151, 1470, 2141, 2523. Henceforth this book will be abbreviated as CSG.
 Sun Myung Moon, “Jesus Came to Be the True Parents,” September 14, 2011. http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/SunMyungMoon11/SunMyungMoon-110914.htm; “How Many Parents Are There?” January 11, 2012. http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/SunMyungMoon12/SunMyungMoon-120111.htm. “January 18 Is the Saddest Day for Me,” March 17, 2012. http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/SunMyungMoon12/SunMyungMoon-120317.htm. “The Fall, God, Lucifer, Adam and Eve,” July 1, 2012. http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/SunMyungMoon12/SunMyungMoon-120701.htm.
 CSG, p. 95: “Why did God need Adam and Eve? He had two purposes: first, to realize the ideal of love, and second, for the invisible God to appear after assuming a form. For this reason, Adam and Eve are the base and core upon which the invisible God can assume a visible form and establish a relationship with the visible world.” Note that God here is still referred to with the masculine pronoun of He.
 This love relationship of unity between God and Adam, and between God and Eve, is made possible, because God, Adam, and Eve each have the dynamic dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang, or of sungsang and hyungsang, as was mentioned above in the second subsection of the present section.
 This is my own translation from the original Korean version, although CSG, an English version, more simply reads: “Had Adam and Eve not fallen, they would have loved each other, but they would have loved each other in place of God” (p. 2245).
 Again, this is my own translation from the original Korean text, and I have to emphasize the term “direct lineage” (직혜) here because CSG skips the word “lineage” as it reads: “we were created as God’s object partners who can receive God’s direct love” (p. 92).
 C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), p. 237.
 “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” 239. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/ p1s2c1p2.htm.
 Regarding this, the Divine Principle says that God has “the qualities of internal nature [sungsang] and masculinity” and the created world “the qualities of external form [hyungsang] and femininity” (EDP, p. 19). This means also that the relationship of God and the world is a sungsang-hyungsang relationship as well. This echoes one of the themes of “panentheism” (not pantheism) that the world is “God’s body.” On this particular theme of panentheism, see Michael W. Brierley, “Naming a Quiet Revolution: The Panentheistic Turn in Modern Theology,” in In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God’s Presence in a Scientific World, ed. Philip Clayton and Arthur Peacocke (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), pp. 6-7.
 EDP, p. 19: “In recognition of God’s position as the internal and masculine subject partner, we can call Him ‘Our Father’.”
 Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1994), p. 98. Italics original.
 S. Michael Houndmann, ed., Questions about God: The 100 Most Frequently Asked Questions about God (Bloomington, Ind.: WestBow Press), p. 42.
 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 4, a. 3, p. 95.
 Ibid., I, q. 13, a. 5, pp. 205-9.
 Ibid., I, q. 7, a. 1-2, pp. 117-21.
 Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1 (London: T&T Clark, 1957), p. 225.
 Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, III.1 (London: T&T Clark, 1958), p. 196.
 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 2, a. 3, p.68.
 Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, p. 99.
 See especially chapter IV (“The World of the Trinity”) of Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, pp. 97-128.
 Millard J. Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, 2nd ed., edited by L. Arnold Hustad (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), p. 93. Italics added.
 CSG, p. 61.
 Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, p. 92.
 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 3, a. 4, and q. 3, a. 7, pp. 79, 85.
 Ibid., I, q. 3, a. 1-2, pp. 72-76.
 Ibid., I, q. 3, a. 3-8, pp. 76-88.
 Alvin Plantinga, Does God Have a Nature? (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1980), p. 46.
 Ibid., p. 47.
 NEUT, p. 24.
 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 6, a. 4, p. 116.
 Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles I, 81, 2. http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles1.htm#81.
 Ibid., II, 27. http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles2.htm#27.
 Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, p. 122. Italics added.
 Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, pp. 126-27.
 Ibid., pp. 58-59.
 EDP, p. 34.
 John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes (New York: Fordham University Press, 1974), pp. 186-88.
 Thomas Jay Oord, The Nature of Love: A Theology (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2010), p. 4.
 How God’s Heart suffers according to Unification theism is explained in detail in Theodore Shimmyo, “How a God of Omnipotence and Perfection Can Suffer: A Perspective from Unification Theism,” Journal of Unification Studies XIII (2012).
 EDP, p. 155.
 Shimmyo, “How a God of Omnipotence and Perfection Can Suffer: A Perspective from Unification Theism,” pp. 44-45.
 Thomas Aquinas, An Aquinas Reader: Selections from the Writings of Thomas Aquinas, ed. Mary T. Clark (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1972), p. 143.
 Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology, trans. R. A. Wilson and John Bowden (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), pp. 222-23.
 Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, p. 119.
 Jurgen Moltmann, “God’s Kenosis in the Creation and Consummation of the World,” in The Work of Love: Creation as Kenosis, ed. John Polkinghorne (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001), p. 149.
 Abraham J. Heschel, The Prophets (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), p. 241.
 NEUT, p. 118.
 Theodore T. Shimmyo, “Individuality and Relationship: A Unificationist View,” in Explorations in Unificationism, ed. Theodore T. Shimmyo and David A. Carlson (New York: HSA-UWC, 1997), pp. 127-40
 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 6, a. 1, p. 111.
 See, for example, Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, III, 64, 2 and 10. http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles3a.htm#64.
 Aquinas, ibid., III, 21, 4. http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles3a.htm#21
 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 45, a. 7. http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1045.htm#article7.
 NEUT, p. 24.
 NEUT, pp. 27-33.
 NEUT, p. 8.
 This can be known from Books V, VI, and VII of Augustine’s On the Trinity (De Trinitate).
 Catherine Mowry LaCugna, God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991), pp. 19-205.
 Lynne Faber Lorenzen has a good explanation of this in her The College Student’s Introduction to the Trinity (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1999), pp. 7-23.
 Quoted in Karl Barth, Fragments Grave and Gray, ed. Martin Rumscheidt, trans. Eric Mosbacher (London: HarperCollins, 1971), p. i.
 Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Theology of Karl Barth: Exposition and Interpretation, trans. Edward T. Oakes (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992), has an excellent explanation of Barth’s understanding of the analogy of faith (pp. 107-13) and of the analogy of being (pp. 161-67). Balthasar, however, was a Catholic theologian.
 Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1, p. 190.
 Ibid., p. 192.
 Ibid., pp. 257-677.
 Ibid., pp. 340-41.
 Ibid., p. 264.
 Hendrikus Berkhof, Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Study of the Faith, rev. ed., trans. Sierd Woudstra (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), pp. 118-19.
 Barth, Church Dogmatics, III.1, p. 196.
 Ibid., p. 185.
 Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, III.2 (London: T&T Clark, 1960), pp. 219-20, 328.
 Barth, Church Dogmatics, III.1, p. 196. See also p. 185.
 Ibid., p. 195.
 Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, I.1 (London: T&T Clark, 1936), pp. 333-47.
 Ibid., pp. 304-33.
 Ibid., pp. 227-47.
 Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1, p. 661.
 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 32, a. 1. http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1032.htm.
 See the whole section of “Through absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience” of CSG, pp. 2517-27.
 EDP, p. 11. Italics added.
 CSG, p. 2522.
 CSG, p. 2521.
 CSG, p. 2522.
 CSG, p. 2518.
 EDP, p. 32.
 Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1, p. 70.
 Ibid., p. 227.
 Balthasar, The Theology of Karl Barth, p. 163.
 EDP, pp. 15-19.
 EDP, p. 15.
 Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 5, a. 5, p. 208.
 For references to God as the “Wholly Other,” see The Epistle to the Romans, 6th ed., trans. Edwyn C. Hoskyns (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), pp. 49, 326, 380, 386, 452.
 Karl Adam, Das Hochland, June 1926, as referenced in J. McConnachie, “The Teaching of Karl Barth,” Hibbert Journal 25 (1926–1927): 385.
 Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.1, pp. 179-204.
 Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979), p. 10.