Embraced  by  Truth . . .
                                    reflections on theology and life

THEOLOGY > God > God's Essence > Quotes - God's Essence 


God is not some vague, impersonal power, nor a being without self-consciousness, but a personal Essence. He is absolute personality (Herman Hoeksema, Reformed Dogmatics).

And above all, we must remember His attribute of simplicity, implying that God is One, that He is without division or composition, that all His virtues and powers are one in Him, and that He is all His attributes (Herman Hoeksema, Reformed Dogmatics).

The nature of God is, indeed, incomprehensible by us; somewhat of it may be apprehended, but it cannot be fully comprehended (John Gill, Body of Divinity).

The personality of the Essence or Godhead, must be distinguished from that of a Person in the Essence or Godhead (William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology).

The whole essence is in each attribute, and the attribute in the essence. We must not conceive of the essence as existing by itself, and prior to the attributes, and of the attributes as an addition to it. God is not essence and attributes, but in attributes. The attributes are essential qualities of God (William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology).

The Attributes of God are those peculiarities which mark or define the mode of his existence, or which constitute his character (James P. Boyce, Abstract of Theology).

Holiness is, however, not a distinctive attribute, but rather the combination of all these attributes (James P. Boyce, Abstract of Theology).

It is evident, therefore, that holiness is the sum of all excellence and the combination of all the attributes which constitute perfection of character (James P. Boyce, Abstract of Theology).

Attributes of God are qualities that belong to God's essential nature and that are found wherever God becomes self-reveled (Thomas C. Oden, Systematic Theology).

The purpose of Christian teaching of the divine attributes is not to show whether God exists but who God is, and what God's distinctive character is, in order that faith may have some idea of what to expect from God (Thomas C. Oden, Systematic Theology).

By calling him Spirit we mean to affirm that he is mind without the limitations of matter (A. Hovey, Manual of Christian Theology).

God is then in his essence, his reality, holy, free, sovereign love. In its shortest form, this is "the Christian concept of God" (Otto Weber, Foundation of Dogmatics).

The only proper way to obtain perfectly reliable knowledge of the divine attributes is by the study of God's self-revelation in Scripture (L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology).

The idea of creation, therefore, provides the most fundamental, if not the most characteristic, definition of God in the Christian faith. Among all the activities of God, creation is that activity or attribute which sets him apart as "God" (Langdon Gilkey, Maker of Heaven and Earth).

Thus we may conclude that a fundamental rule of theology is that all positive language about God is analogical and symbolic (Langdon Gilkey, Maker of Heaven and Earth).

Return to God's Essence

For overview of THEOLOGY, see: Site Map - Theology
Copyright © Embraced by Truth
All rights reserved.
Materials may be freely copied for personal and academic use;
appropriate reference must be made to this site.
Links are invited.