Theistic definition of "coincidence."


What he said was that in creating the good order of the universe, God created corruptions “by accident,” not that corruptions are accidental properties of creation (though that would follow, that too is true, and he may well have said that at another time.)

But I still fail to see what you’re arguing about here.

If some things are only side effects of what God really wills, and He only permits them, why can they not be considered extraneous circumstances, coincidences, or accidents?


Because that’s not what Thomas Aquinas or the Catechism teaches. God directs all things. There are no coincidences or accidents. God guides us through our suffering bringing hope and comfort. He’s in control guiding His creation:

If God is not the holy sovereign then there’s no reason to trust Him. We lose hope. For with God in control and my future in His hands I have hope.

God causing corruption by accident - this is the accidental property. In other words God permits corruption. Not directly causes it. Remember, An accident is a property which has no necessary connection to the essence of the thing being described.


Actually, it is what Aquinas teaches.

Here is a direct quote.

(De malo, Ia 1.3).

Now take another look at what he said in the passage I quoted earlier, and perhaps you’ll understand it

In this case the agent is God, and what Aquinas is saying is that the corruption of things is an accidental effect of God’s creating "the good of the order of the universe."

The good order of the Universe was intended by God (willed per se), the corruption of things was outside His intention (willed per accidens.)

So Aquinas is saying there are as extraneous circumstances God wills only per accidens, and that arise out of things He wills per se–in other words there are things that could be considered coincidences acording to the definition I suggested in the OP.



I agree that it’s an accidental effect. But not a coincidence. It is accidental in the sense that it isn’t a direct cause. Just like God isn’t the direct cause of corruption. This doesn’t mean it’s chance or coincidence though. Aquinas Explains this:

This is a chance happening from a human perspective. Not coincidence at all from God’s perspective. But it is accidental in the sense that God doesn’t directly cause it. Moreover, it’s unchangeable and certain and happens infallibly.

No coincidence from God’s perspective. Again there are accidental properties and essential properties. Corruption doesn’t arrive from God’s direct causation but accidentally in Him permitting it. Nothing about accident in the sense of coincidence.


That would depend entirely on what you mean by “coincidence.”

So in the only sense relevant here–**the only sense in which I suggested the word “coincidence” could have any meaning to a Theist–corruption is a “coincidence”!

Even from God’s perspective.

It’s something that He doesn’t will in and of itself (per se), but only permits per accidens.

That makes it a “coincidennce” by the definition I suggested in the OP.**

Extraneous means “not belonging or proper to a thing; external; foreign,” and if God doesn’t will something per se, it’s somewhat extraneous to His purpose (the thing that He does will per se.)

Again, what are you arguing about?

I never suggested that God didn’t forsee all events, or that they could happen any differently than they happen–all I said was that He doesn’t will everything that happens per se, and Saint Thomas Aquinas agrees with me (and you even say you agree with me.)

So why are you arguing here?


Yes it’s not directly caused by God or “willed” in the sense of direct causation but it is permitted and therefore not a coincidence. As Aquinas says:

Yes God permits corruption and it doesn’t happens by His direct causation. But as the Catholic Catechism states He directs and governs all His creation. Not just part of it:


It is a “coincidence” by the only definition that counts here on this thread, the definition suggested in the OP.

A circumstance is something that happens, and extraneous means “not belonging or proper to a thing; external; foreign.”

An extraneous circumstance would therefore be something that God permits to happen, even though it’s extraneous to what He directly wills in and of itself.

Nobody but LLC is disagreeing with what Aquinas said about God being in control here, except maybe in your mind.

And the fact that Aquinas used an example of two human agents in one quote does not change the fact that he clearly had God in mind as an agent when he said

God is the agent here, and by causing “in things the good of the order of creation” Aquinas says He causes corruptions “consequently and as it were by accident.”

So the good saint does recognize that “coincidences” (in the sense I mean here) do exist, even from God’s perspective.


Yes. For something to be accidental or have an accidental property it is to have a property which has no necessary connection to the essence of the thing being described. Corruption arises indirectly from the Lord permitting it not directly causing it. Even in rolling dice:

The good saint disagrees with you. There are no chance happenings in God’s mind.


What do you mean by “in God’s mind”?

If you mean outside of His knowledge, foresight, and control, of course there are no chance happenings in that sense.

But if you mean outside of His perfect will and intentions, you not only disagree with the good doctor, you disagree with yourself here.

You’ve already said that there are things that arise “indirectly from the Lord permitting” and “not directly causing” them.

That means they don’t have a per se cause intended by their Cause (i.e. God), but happen outside the agent’s intention (God’s perfect will, that which He intends per se), and are not a per se effects but accidental effects.

They are “coincidences” by the definition suggested on this thread.

You either jumped in here without really reading the OP, or you didn’t understand what I was saying (there, or in my reply to your initial post.)

Please try to think a little more clearly.

Thank you.


“St. Michael”:

Please let me ask you a question here.

If you really believe the word “coincidence” has no possible meaning for a Theist–i.e. that there’s no sense in which anything can be called a “coincidence,” what meaning or purpose do you see in this?

This appears to be a “King James only” web site, I’ve never visited it before, and I am in no way endorsing it (or the idea that the Roman Catholic Church is “the whore of Babylon.”)

But if you believe everything is directly willed by God for some specific purpose of it’s own (as you seem to be saying on this thread sometimes), wouldn’t that imply that God meant Luther, and Calvin, and Knox (and some early Franciscans, and the Seventh Day Advantists) to take Revelation 17:9 (“The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits”) to point to the institutional Church headquartered at Rome?

I believe St. Aquinas answered questions like this when he said “Not all things, however, that occur through divine providence are ordered so as to be signs of the future,” but how would you answer it?

If you believe that not everything foreseen and permitted by God is willed “per se,” it’s easy to see that all things that occur through divine providence (that God foresees and wills, either per se or per accidens) aren’t so ordered so as to be signs of the future, but if you believe there simply isn’t anything in all creation that could in any sense be considered a “coincedence” (in any sense of the word, as you seem to be arguing here), why would Luther, and Calvin, and Knox be given a pasage in Holy writ that clearly said the enemy of the Church would be centered in a city (like Rome) that was built on seven hills, at a time when the Catholic Church admits it was lagely currupt?

What divine purpose could Providence have in these circumstances, if they are not extraneous circumstances God didn’t really will of themselves (to send Luther, and Calvin, and the others any kind of message)?


An “accidental cause” as Aquinas is referring to isn’t something that happens fortuitously or by chance. I’ve already showed you the quote above where he says that from God’s perspective there are no chance happenings in His providence. When a cow crops the grass he does so to nourish his life. The accidental cause is that the grass is destroyed. Likewise God sustains human life by keeping it in existence but allows man to sin of his own will. Hence, God causes evil by accidental cause. An accidental cause for Aquinas is a concurrent cause not a chance cause. While all chance occurrences are due to concurrence, these examples show that the accidents coinciding with per se causes cannot be called chance occurrences since they are not contrary to expectation. I don’t know God’s reasons for permitting evil until He reveals those reasons. Logical explanations are infinite in number. Very much more so when dealing with a being who is infinite in wisdom and knowledge. I don’t try to get into God’s business. I trust Him and try to help others by doing mercy and justice.


I look at the will of God as spheres within spheres. From the core, he “causes all things to work according to the counsel of His will”, because He is “gathering all things together into one in Christ” until God becomes “all in all”.

On the outer rim of the outer sphere we live.

From the center sphere(logos) everything flows out and then returns “for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things”

In the beginning God scattered creation, subjecting it to futility(Gen 1, Rom 8) so that He could re-gather it into the renewed creation, the “all in all” “for from Him and to Him and through Him are all things” as educated, enlightened children in the “glorious liberty” of family in God, the “Father of spirits”…“from whom every family in heaven and earth derives its name”

32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him [m]that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

The OT saints “longed to look” into what we see now. That which flows out from the core returns through time and through revelation, swallowing up that which exists on the outer egde until all that is returns to the center, “that the whole creation might be set free into the glorious liberty of the children of God”. Kind of new age sounding but I think it is scriptural.

The further from the core we are the less we see. There are too many veils.No amount of revelation in this life will penetrate the deepest levels of the mind of God.

Does God set the processes so that “all things work according to the counsel of His will”(macro) or does He control and foreordain every little event in order to accomplish His goals(micro)?

Probably a bit of both but no one can see clearly into His processes, “Who has known the mind of the Lord and who has been His counselor”- other than to declare that He causes “all things to work according to the counsel of His will”.

For those who have come further in, by believing, “All those who He has foreknown He has predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son”(Ro 8) and for them “all things work together for good”.

So both time and the the penetration of the “heavens”(spheres) by revelation- “knowing Him by whom we are known” contribute to the Romans 11:32-36 paradigm. Combined with Rom 8 19-23 and Eph 1:9-12 and Col 1:15-20 the major theme of the process is made absolutely clear, to me anyway.

Thats the why. But how?

Because God is controlling every choice we make and event that occurs as a result? Or because if we disobey the processes that flow out and then return to God will cause fiery trials to teach us His way and turn us back toward Him. Again, probably some integration of the two, because YHWH is a Father and a Shepherd, but (imo)He is not a Taskmaster(controller).

He is bringing all creation into the “glorious freedom” of the children of God. So on the outermost skin where we live at the edge of the “wheels within wheels” there is a lot of coincidence. The further we move and are moved in towards the center, the less coincidence appears- but rather the strong currents of the primary themes of the will and desire of the I AM. Repentance. Redemption. Reconciliation. Transformation. Restoration. Harmony. Union and Communion.

Out here God is teaching the whole creation through futility…

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

and He has been from the beginning…

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools…

Some never get beyond the questions that keep them stuck on the outer rim of the “true knowledge of God” because the “yins” vs the “yangs” keeps the snake chasing his tail until his mouth embraces his head in one last loving swallow :slight_smile:

On to the next sphere for you. :laughing:


Like these? At least these spheres taste good when finished.:laughing:


So, given what you say here, a meanigful definition of the word “coincidence” (for a Theist–like you, me, or Aquinas) might be “a concurrent circumstance,” or (more precisely) something that God wills only per accidens (like sin or death), and that is related to something He wills pe se (like creaturely free will) only by concurrrence.

Very good.

But how is that different from what I was saying in the OP, and in every reply to you here?

How are circumstances related to one another only be having concurrent causes (in the way you suggest) not extraneous circumstances?

And how is recognizing them as such not useful.

Why do you continually seem to suggest that the word “coincidence” can have no meaningful definition for a Theist?

Are you suggesting that there’s no meaningful sense in which things such as these could be considered “coincidences”?


I don’t think Latin has anything to do with it. But even the Pope doesn’t add up to 666 in Latin. When the Greek word “Beast” is added up in Hebrew it comes out to 666. That’s what the Bible means when it says the number of the name of the Beast is 666. The Beast is a man of exceeding cruelty, moral depravity, a persecutor of Christians, and demands to be worshipped as God along with many other things. That’s how he is identified. It fits Nero in 70 A.D. For His name also adds up to 666. Therefore, we can exclude these people as being the “Beast”. Why is it that these people’s names add up to 666 in Latin? I don’t know. If my name added up to 666 in Latin I don’t think that would make me the antichrist. There may be a reason why it does of which I don’t know. My book on “Providence” has a page with the number 666 on it. So? The Pope’s name doesn’t add up to 666 in Greek or Hebrew either. Moreover, the Pope only represents Christ and speaks infallibly under certain conditions. There’s also a long discussion with Cardinals and Bishops before he does. Here’s Jimmy Akin over at Catholic Answers talking about 666 in the Bible. Click on “Listen” in the top right hand corner to hear it:

Here’s a couple videos from the Catholic apologist James Akin:


From my Catholic book “Pope Fiction” - This demonstrates that the Popes name doesn’t add up to 666 in Latin.

Fiction 5

The pope is the beast spoken of in Revelation 13. Verse 1 says that he wears crowns and has “blasphemous names” written on his head. Verse 18 says that the numerical value of his name adds up to 666. The pope’s official title in Latin is Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar Son of God). If you add that up using Roman numerals, you get 666. The pope’s tiara is emblazoned with this title, formed by diamonds and other jewels.boxes


Certain Latin letters have numerical value (as do all Hebrew and Greek letters), and any name tranliterated into Latin (or Hebrew, or Greek) can be taken to have a numerical value.

So if a name adding up to 666 in Latin has nothing to do with Revelation 13:18, wouldn’t the fact that such a name adds up to that number be an extraneous circumstance, a coincidence, or a meaningless concurrence?

Take your pick, but wouldn’t it have to be a coincidence (in some since of the word) that the Latin version of Luther’s name added up to 666, if he wasn’t the anti-Christ?

And that Ronald Wilson Reagan (who I voted for) had six letters in each of his names (which, given our numbering system, could be taken to represent the one’s column, the tens column, and the hundreds column) if he wasn’t the anti-Christ?

Actually, it says a little more than that.

It says

I’m not sure what that means.

Maybe time will tell.

Acording to Saint Irenaeus, it reffers to “Latinos.”

(Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, ch. 29).

And that could point to Nero, Domitian, Mussolini, or some future dictator of European descent.

Then, if their names add up to six hundred and sixty six in Latin, or Hebrew, or Greek it couldn’t be related to Revelation 13:18 as anything but an extraneous circumstance, conurrence, or “coincidence,” right?

But even if there were some other reason, the Revelation 13:18 concurrece would just be a “coincidence” (or extraneous circumstance), right?

Kinda irrelevant since the question here isn’t whether the Pope (or Luther) are anti-Christ, but whether the word “coincidence” can have any meaningful definition for a Theist.

I believe that it can.

Your co-religionists at “New Advant” used the word here.

But I thought you were arguing that it has no meaning for a Theist?


MIcheal read my post right before your last one from my book “Pope Fiction”. Even in Latin “Vicar of Christ” doesn’t add up to 666


No, but “vicar of the son of God” does add up to 666 in Latin, and I believe some popes have refered to themselves as such.

And the title was used in the Decretals of Constantine, which (forgery or not) was intrumental in strengthening papal claims in the West.

But all this is nothing more than a side issue here.

Are you saying that Luther, Ellen Gould White. and Ronald Wilson Reagan are anti-Christs because there’s a concurrence between the number 666, the beast of revelation, and their names?

And if not, this concurrence would be a extraneous circumstance (or “coincidence”) would it not?


Again from the holy teacher in my book “Pope Fiction”:

You said:

Again, 666 isn’t the only condition. The Beast is a man of exceeding cruelty, moral depravity, a persecutor of Christians, and demands to be worshipped as God along with many other things. That’s how he is identified. It fits Nero in 70 A.D. For His name also adds up to 666. Therefore, we can exclude these people as being the “Beast”. Their names add up to 666 for some other reason known only to God. Let’s turn to the good saint (Thomas Aquinas) once again: