"Every attribute of God is identical with His essence?"

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Yes, there never was a "time" when God was not all knowing, all powerful, all wise.

So at least those properties would be eternal, correct? Here's the problem with your original statement:

****His attributes to me are how God relates to His creation, as in he shows love/Grace/Mercy/wrath etc.****

If God's attributes are how he relates to his creation, then creation must be eternal or those attributes are not eternal. Either one is wrong. The first one is the teaching of Origen.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
The essense/Being of God is that which what makes Him to be God, His etrnal existence state, as Spirit.
His attributes to me are how God relates to His creation, as in he shows love/Grace/Mercy/wrath etc.
God is an eternal Being who has those divine attributes due to Him being God.
I would have hoped more than 39 minutes would have passed, including the time taken to read my post, before seeing your response, David.

The essence of something is that something’s being. The word essence has its root in the Latin, to be. When speaking of God, the question arises as to how God’s essence makes its existence known, for God is more than just having being or existence. Indeed, God is being, for He declared this to be so to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15. In the Exodus passage (see also John 5:26; Acts 17:24-25) God declares His self-existence (aseity), implying He is a boundless, ineffable, absolute, and transcendent being.

It seems to me you separate the attributes of God from His being, His essence. How is an uncompounded (simple) being, God, in possession of something outside of that being?

God is not made up of parts, composed of a genus (class), differentiations of species by attributes within a genus, and so on. The simplicity of God means God is not made up of goodness, mercy, justice, and power. He is goodness, mercy, justice, and power. Every attribute of God is identical with His essence.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
So at least those properties would be eternal, correct? Here's the problem with your original statement:

****His attributes to me are how God relates to His creation, as in he shows love/Grace/Mercy/wrath etc.****

If God's attributes are how he relates to his creation, then creation must be eternal or those attributes are not eternal. Either one is wrong. The first one is the teaching of Origen.
God always has existed, and so He always has had same immutable/eternal attributes, but do not see His divine nature and attributes being exactly same thing.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I would have hoped more than 39 minutes would have passed, including the time taken to read my post, before seeing your response, David.

The essence of something is that something’s being. The word essence has its root in the Latin, to be. When speaking of God, the question arises as to how God’s essence makes its existence known, for God is more than just having being or existence. Indeed, God is being, for He declared this to be so to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15. In the Exodus passage (see also John 5:26; Acts 17:24-25) God declares His self-existence (aseity), implying He is a boundless, ineffable, absolute, and transcendent being.

It seems to me you separate the attributes of God from His being, His essence. How is an uncompounded (simple) being, God, in possession of something outside of that being?

God is not made up of parts, composed of a genus (class), differentiations of species by attributes within a genus, and so on. The simplicity of God means God is not made up of goodness, mercy, justice, and power. He is goodness, mercy, justice, and power. Every attribute of God is identical with His essence.
So when God revealed to Moses that He is who He is, I am that I Am, He was really stating that He is eternal Being, and also eternally all of His attributes?
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
God always has existed, and so He always has had same immutable/eternal attributes, but do not see His divine nature and attributes being exactly same thing.
So when God revealed to Moses that He is who He is, I am that I Am, He was really stating that He is eternal Being, and also eternally all of His attributes?

If God's essence is not identical with His attributes, then what exactly are the distinctions between them you are trying to make?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
If God's essence is not identical with His attributes, then what exactly are the distinctions between them you are trying to make?
I think that I am trying to see God as Being In His very nature as Spirit, who has all of those divine attributes also always.
He is eternal God, who is Spirit in nature/makeup, and who also is all of those attributes form eternity past.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
If God's essence is not identical with His attributes, then what exactly are the distinctions between them you are trying to make?
I think that I am trying to see God as Being In His very nature as Spirit, who has all of those divine attributes also always.

He is eternal God, who is Spirit in nature/makeup, and who also is all of those attributes form eternity past.

Focusing upon spirit is not sufficient. What is the intent of your specific use of "who also is"?

I am still not seeing some clear distinctions being made between God's essence and His attributes by you. The essence of something is what that something really is. Is God omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient? Not all spirits possess these attributes. Remember my earlier comment that God is sui generis.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Focusing upon spirit is not sufficient. What is the intent of your specific use of "who also is"?

I am still not seeing some clear distinctions being made between God's essence and His attributes by you. The essence of something is what that something really is. Is God omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient? Not all spirits possess these attributes. Remember my earlier comment that God is sui generis.
Yes, God is eternal Spirit Being, self existent, who always manifested His divine attributes.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Yes, God is eternal Spirit Being, self existent, who always manifested His divine attributes.
What has manifested to do with this? Are you trying to continue to smuggle in your view that God's attributes are something other than the essence of God?

Let's not adopt these tactics. Speak plainly about your view.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
What has manifested to do with this? Are you trying to continue to smuggle in your view that God's attributes are something other than the essence of God?

Let's not adopt these tactics. Speak plainly about your view.
I am just having a really hard time trying to figure out how divine attributes are exactly the same thing as God essence. Or perhaps a better way to say this, is that I have a hard time seeing attributes that are His emotions such as love/hate/forgiveness as being in same category as Him being all all knowing/powerful/present everywhere etc.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Manifested to whom? If it means manifested to his creation, and always so, then we are back at Origenism, which was condemned as a heresy at the 5th Ecumenical Council.
Not manifested to Creation, as he always has had those attributes, even before the beginning, when it was just the Godhead period.
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
I am just having a really hard time trying to figure out how divine attributes are exactly the same thing as God essence. Or perhaps a better way to say this, is that I have a hard time seeing attributes that are His emotions such as love/hate/forgiveness as being in same category as Him being all all knowing/powerful/present everywhere etc.

David,
Check out the two videos linked in post 33. They are very, very good and may help you think through these issues. Dr. Ferguson's message may help with the idea of God having emotions in the same way as His creatures.
The WCF (and probably the LBCF) speak of God "without passions".
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
God does have emotions though, correct?
Joy, anger, love, etc., when used of God are volitions, not emotions. God is impassible. His will. See Eph. 1:11.

Avail yourself of some study on the impassibility of God. To be impassible is not to imply unconcern, impersonal detachment, or impassivity (apathetic). God is not insensitive, nor indifferent to the situation of distress of this fall world. Impassibility does not imply any unwillingness on God's part to be empathetic to pain and suffering of His creatures. But, God's empathy is an act of His volitional will, not some reaction to what is happening (as we creatures are prone to with our emotions). God's love before time for those He has chosen is something He willed. God has no unfulfilled desires or regrets.

Rather, impassibility of God means the experiences of God do not come up upon Him as do ours. Why? All that happens is foreknown to God, willed by God. God is never surprised by what is taking place. We cannot inflict upon God pain or distress. God's joy is permanent, unclouded by involuntary pain.

We should not assume that because we have some emotional reactions to events around us that God must also behave the same way. God need not be emotional to be immanent.

For example, the wrath of God is but His choice to destroy and oppose what is contrary to His own principles. God's jealousy is His volitional will to inflict harm for in return (to avenge) His own honor.

Do not take the bait of the anti-Calvinist, especially open theists, who raise the canard that the impassibility of God is something out of Greek philosophy. The unmoved Mover of the Greek philosopher, bears no resemblance to what the Reformed have held concerning God's impassibility.

When we encounter Scripture accounts that seem to imply emotions on the part of God (God repents, God is sorrowful, etc.), we must not fall for the assumption that these describe the way God is, but rather, we must assume that these accounts describe God's volitional will to act in this manner towards His creatures. The proposition, often erroneously mounted from the "image of God" argument, which states since man is X, therefore God is X, is fallacious. For starters, the direction of the argument is reversed, further the Creator-creature distinction is abolished.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Joy, anger, love, etc., when used of God are volitions, not emotions. God is impassible. His will. See Eph. 1:11.

Avail yourself of some study on the impassibility of God. To be impassible is not to imply unconcern, impersonal detachment, or impassivity (apathetic). God is not insensitive, nor indifferent to the situation of distress of this fall world. Impassibility does not imply any unwillingness on God's part to be empathetic to pain and suffering of His creatures. But, God's empathy is an act of His volitional will, not some reaction to what is happening (as we creatures are prone to with our emotions). God's love before time for those He has chosen is something He willed. God has no unfulfilled desires or regrets.

Rather, impassibility of God means the experiences of God do not come up upon Him as do ours. Why? All that happens is foreknown to God, willed by God. God is never surprised by what is taking place. We cannot inflict upon God pain or distress. God's joy is permanent, unclouded by involuntary pain.

We should not assume that because we have some emotional reactions to events around us that God must also behave the same way. God need not be emotional to be immanent.

For example, the wrath of God is but His choice to destroy and oppose what is contrary to His own principles. God's jealousy is His volitional will to inflict harm for in return (to avenge) His own honor.

Do not take the bait of the anti-Calvinist, especially open theists, who raise the canard that the impassibility of God is something out of Greek philosophy. The unmoved Mover of the Greek philosopher, bears no resemblance to what the Reformed have held concerning God's impassibility.

When we encounter Scripture accounts that seem to imply emotions on the part of God (God repents, God is sorrowful, etc.), we must not fall for the assumption that these describe the way God is, but rather, we must assume that these accounts describe God's volitional will to act in this manner towards His creatures. The proposition, often erroneously mounted from the "image of God" argument, which states since man is X, therefore God is X, is fallacious. For starters, the direction of the argument is reversed, further the Creator-creature distinction is abolished.
I will do earnest study on this area, and this is why we can have confidence in the Lord and His promises, as there is no shifting or changing In Him based upon circumstances and situations going on around me at any given point in time.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Brother, I'd like to challenge you a bit on your post. I can appreciate the fact that you are trying to defend the impassibility of God; however, throughout your second paragraph, you deny that God has passions, and then immediately ascribe passions to him. I'd like to critique you on this a bit if I may, and then allow you to clarify your meaning.

I'll give my comments bracketed and emboldened.
Joy, anger, love, etc., when used of God are volitions, not emotions. God is impassible. His will. See Eph. 1:11.

Avail yourself of some study on the impassibility of God. To be impassible is not to imply unconcern, impersonal detachment, or impassivity (apathetic) [this is the first occasion of your attributing passions to God. Note that impassivity has as its root "passion," and that apathetic has as its root "pathos." In the proper sense, God is impassive and apathetic, i.e., he is without passions, or pathoi]. God is not insensitive [this implies that he is respondent to external stimuli, i.e., he his acted upon], nor indifferent [this implies that external forces make a difference to God's estate] to the situation of distress of this fall world. Impassibility does not imply any unwillingness on God's part to be empathetic [note the pathos language again; if he is empathetic, he has passions] to pain and suffering of His creatures. But, God's empathy [again, pathos] is an act of His volitional will, not some reaction to what is happening (as we creatures are prone to with our emotions). God's love before time for those He has chosen is something He willed. God has no unfulfilled desires or regrets.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
God does have emotions though, correct?

If God has emotions, then he is not immutable. If he is not immutable, then he is not eternal. If he is not eternal and immutable, then he is not God. The denial of divine impassibility thus destroys orthodox theology proper.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
If God has emotions, then he is not immutable. If he is not immutable, then he is not eternal. If he is not eternal and immutable, then he is not God. The denial of divine impassibility thus destroys orthodox theology proper.
When God states to us that He loves His own people, that He hates sin, that He is the One that sustains us in tough times, are those not expressions of Him have emotions to us, or is it human terminology ascribing those to Him then?
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
When God states to us that He loves His own people, that He hates sin, that He is the One that sustains us in tough times, are those not expressions of Him have emotions to us, or is it human terminology ascribing those to Him then?
The second. It's called anthropopathic language.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Yet He really does love His people, and He really is angry at sin. It is not as if God is putting us on or playing a charade for our own benefit.

He does not just SEEM to love us. He really loves us.

We cannot minimize the impact of how God chooses to reveal Himself in Scripture (it is His Word, after all, and He has chosen how He portrays Himself to us) by invoking this term anthropopathism.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The Bible:
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness."

Some theologians: "Just anthropopathisms. God doesn't really mean it.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
The Bible:
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness."

Some theologians: "Just anthropopathisms. God doesn't really mean it.

Our Lord really means it that we ought to understand "as if" God really has passions. :)
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The Bible is God's self-revelation. God chose how He would reveal Himself. Even if it is analogical, it is still true.
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
The Bible:
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness."

Some theologians: "Just anthropopathisms. God doesn't really mean it.

Perg,
What "this side" is trying to communicate (if I may so say) is that God and His being and behavior is not like ours. That anthropomorphic (physical) and anthropopathic (behavioral) language is used does not diminish God's love, for example, to His people. This is manifest in Christ. God, most certainly, loves us! What greater love is this? What we understand in the very idea of such categories, is to keep us from making God in our image, which both our confessions have grave warnings about. What we can say with certainty and with joy, is that God's love for us is not subject to the fickle-ness of human love...and praise Him for that. If God were to "love" me in the same way that humans do, I would be forever damned.

There is enough communicated in the language for us to understand His intent, but we can't import our limited and poor understanding of these things to God, lest we see Him as a glorified human.:2cents:
 
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