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Attributes of God

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Lesson

Univocal refers to a one-to-one correspondence between the language we use and the reality of God. Equivocal refers to the idea that human language does not correspond directly to describing God, so it acknowledges ambiguity and more than one interpretation. Analogical refers to language used to describe God using  analogy. “Via Negativa” is describing characteristics that God is “not.” “Via Positiva” is describing a characteristic that is true of God, using analogy. Aseity means that God’s essence  is to exist. Eternity means that God transcends the limitations of time-space. There is not a space where God is not. Omniscience of God means that God knows all things. Omnipotence of God means that God is all powerful. Once God creates, there is an order in creation, and God works within the framework he created.  Immutability means that God’s essence does not change. Leslie Weatherhead describes three aspects of the will of God as the intentional will of God, circumstantial will of God and the ultimate will of God. Wesley describes God’s holiness as purity and simplicity. The wrath of God can be described as God’s unending determined opposition to evil.

Outline

I. UNIVOCAL

A. Anselm's arguments

B. Objection of Gaunilo

C. Anselm's response

II. EQUIVOCAL

III. ANALOGICAL

A. Via Negativa

B. Via Positiva

IV. ESSENTIAL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

A. Incommunicable Attributes of God

1. Aseity

2. Eternity

3. Omnipresence

4. Omniscience

5. Omnipotence

6. Immutability

7. The will of God

B. Communicable attributes of God

1. Love

2. Holiness

3. Goodness

4. Freedom

5. Compassion

6. Wisdom

V. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS