must have objective and substantial being, by assuming that knowing = willing; whence it would seem to follow that since God wills all that he knows, he must will moral evil.
Bushnell and others identify righteousness in God with benevolence, and therefore cannot see that any atonement needs to be made to God. Ritschl also holds that love is the fundamental divine attribute, and that omnipotence ?and even personality are simply modifications of love; see Mead, Ritschl?s Place in the History of Doctrine, & Herbert Spencer only carries the principle further when he concludes God to be simple unknowable force.
But to call God everything is the same as to call him nothing. With Dorner, we say that ?definition is no limitation.? As we rise in the scale of creation from the mere jelly sac to man, the homogeneous becomes the heterogeneous, there is differentiation of functions, complexity increases. We infer that God, the highest of all, instead of being simple force, is infinitely complex, that he has an infinite variety of attributes and powers. Tennyson, Palace of Art (lines omitted in the later editions): ?All nature widens upward: evermore The simpler essence lowers lies: More complex is more perfect, owning more Discourse, more widely wise.?
<241010> Jeremiah 10:10 ? God is ?the living God?; <430526>John 5:26 ? he ?hath life in himself? ? unsearchable riches of positive attributes; <431723>John 17:23 ? ?thou lovedst me? ? manifoldness in unity. This complexity in God is the ground of blessedness for him and of progress for us: <540111>1 Timothy 1:11 ? ?the blessed God?; <240923>Jeremiah 9:23, 24 ? ?let him glory in this, that he knoweth me.? The complex nature of God permits anger at the sinner and compassion for him at the same moment:
<190711> Psalm 7:11 ? ?a God that hath indignation every day?; <430316>John 3:16 ? ?God so loved the world?; <198510>Psalm 85:10, 11 ? ?mercy and truth are met together.? See Julius Muller, Doct. Sin, 2:116 sq .; Schweizer, Glaubenslehre, I:229-235; Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 1:43, 50; Martensen, Dogmatics, 91 ? ?If God were the simple One, to< ajplw~v e[n , the mystic abyss in which every form of determination were extinguished, there would be nothing in the Unity to be known.? Hence ?nominalism is incompatible with the idea of revelation. We teach, with realism, that the attributes of God are objective determinations in his revelation and as such are rooted in his inmost essence.?
2. The attributes inhere in the divine essence. They are not separate existences. They are attributes of God.
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?