The Westminster Shorter Catechism beautifully describes God as “Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth” (Question 4). The Belgic Confession of Faith begins similarly: “We all believe with the heart and confess with the mouth that there is one only simple and spiritual Being, which we call God; and that He is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of all good” (Article I). Most of these terms are called the attributes or the perfections, of God.
The attributes may be defined as those perfections of God which are revealed in Scripture and which are exercised and demonstrated by God in his various works. Reformed and Evangelical theologians have frequently distinguished communicable and incommunicable attributes. The communicable attributes of God are those which find some reflection or analogy in man who was created in God’s image, while the incommunicable attributes of God find little or no analogy in man. The latter-unity, independence, eternity, immensity and immutability—emphasize the transcendence and exalted character of God.
Preliminary Considerations. 1. It is important to recognize that all of the attributes, both communicable and incommunicable, are the attributes of the one only true and living God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The attributes of God may not be discussed as if they were attributes of deity in general, in order then to move on to consider the triune God as one God among many. Christianity is rightly monotheistic, and therefore all the attributes are attributes of the only true God of Scripture. The recognition of this uniqueness of the living ...1
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