Preferential Divine Love (Or, Why God Loves Some People More Than Others)

Philosophia Christi 11 (2):359-376 (2009)


I argue that there is an important sense in which God’s love is partial or preferential. In developing this argument, I appeal to Thomas Aquinas’s claim that God’s love for persons has the character of friendship. By its nature, friendship exhibits a considerable degree of partiality. For whether a person prefers to be united to another in friendship depends on whether the latter reciprocates the former’s affection and endorses those commitments conducive to fellowship. If God’s love is expressive of friendship, then the sort of partiality some may wish to deny of his love may be one of its salient features.

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Shawn Floyd
Saint Louis University

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