|Article 1: Is there power in God?
The Latin term potentia is used for both passive
power (or potentiality), i.e., the capacity of a patient to take on
forms that are communicated to it by some agent cause, and for active
power, i.e., the power by which an agent acts. It has already
been established that God lacks passive power, since He cannot be acted
upon. Here St. Thomas distinguishes this claim from the truth
that God has active power.
Note, however, the reply to objection 2. Whereas in creatures who
are not always acting to bring about a particular effect, there is a
distinction between (a) their active power and(b) the exercise of that active power in an action. The power itself is an entity in the category of quality,
whereas the action exists in the patient and bring's some passive power
of the patient to actuality. In God, this distinction has no
place, since God does not go from not exercising His power to
exercising it. His action is one with His essence, and His power
is, strictly speaking, a principle only of its effect and not of God's
action. (However, this does not entail that what He effects
outside Himself is likewise eternal, since His action determines the
topological structure of time, including the question of whether or not
time itself, and everything in time, has a beginning.)
Article 2: Is God’s power infinite?
Article 3: Is God omnipotent?
Article 4: Can God bring it about that past things have never existed?
Article 5: Could God effect things that He does not in fact effect?
Article 6: Could God make things better than He does?