By Daniel Roberts,
Earlier this week, Southern Evangelical Seminary hosted its first Open House of the year! On-campus students received a t-shirt citing one of Thomas Aquinas’ famous distinctions, the distinction between act and potency. As promised to the students in attendance, this article aims to provide a summary of the meanings of these terms and their relevance in the discipline of natural theology.
“Potency and Act divide being in such a way that whatever is, is either pure act, or of necessity it is composed of potency and act as primary and intrinsic principles.” 
A fundamental idea within the natural theology and metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas is the idea of motion or as we would understand it today, change.  What is it about the existence of things that allow them to change, and yet stay the same? Why is it that a tree has, within…
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