Flashcards in Exam 3 - part 1 Deck (40):
What is and is not meant by the “incomprehensibility of God?”
Incomprehensibility of God does not mean that there is an unknown being or essence beyond His attributes.
What it means is that we can not know His attributes completely, but only by what He has revealed to us, and we won't completely understand even that. There will always be an element of mystery regarding God.
Explain the meaning behind the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God.
- Found especially in the writings of Reformed theologians.
- God's communicable attributes have at least a partial counterpart in humans, such as love and power.
- God's incommunicable attributes are those that are unique to Him and have no human counterpart. Omnipresence is an example.
Explain the meaning behind the immanent/intransitive and emanant/transitive attributes of God.
- God's intransitive attributes remain with Him, such as His spirituality.
- God's transitive attributes emanate, or go out, from Him and affect His creation. An example is mercy.
Explain the meaning behind the absolute and relative qualities of God.
- God's absolute attributes are those he has, and has always had, independent of His creation, such as infinity.
- God's relative attributes show the relationship of His infinite nature to His finite creation. Examples are eternity and omnipresence.
Explain the meaning behind the natural and moral of God.
- God's natural attributes are nonmoral, such as knowledge and power.
- God's moral attributes relate to the concept of rightness, like His holiness, love, mercy, and faithfulness.
List the attributes Erickson associates with God's greatness.
Spirituality, Personality, Life, Infinity, and Constancy
What are the qualifications that must be considered when discussing God's omnipotence?
1. God cannot do anything illogical or contradictory.
2. He cannot change the past.
3. He cannot act contrary to His nature, such as be cruel.
4. He cannot fail to keep a promise He made (Heb. 6:18).
What are the possible explanations for those passages in which God seems to have changed His mind?
1. Some are anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms, God's actions and feelings in human terms.
2. New stages in the working out of God's plan, such as offering salvation to gentiles.
3. A change in orientation as a result of humans changing, not God and His plan.
How does John 4:24 relate to God's spirituality?
We must worship God in spirit and truth.
How does Exodus 3:14 relate to God's personality?
God has a name: I AM, Yahweh, Jehovah, the Lord. He is a Being, not a nameless, unknowable force.
How does 1 Thess. 1:9 relate to the life attribute of God?
God is a living and true God, unlike the idols the Thessalonians had turned from.
How does Jer. 23:23 relate to God's infinity?
Omnipresence. God is both near and far away at the same time.
How does Ps. 90:1-2 relate to God's infinity?
Eternality. God has existed through all generations, has brought forth the world at the beginning of time, and is everlasting.
How does Hebrews 4:13 relate to God's infinity?
Omniscience. God sees, understands and knows everything. It is not hidden, but laid plain and bare before Him.
How does Matt 19:26 relate to God's infinity?
Omnipotence. Power. With God, all things are possible, even the saving of sinners.
How does James 1;17 relate to God's constancy?
God does not change like shifting shadows.
Define God's spirituality and give a primary Bible verse that deals with it.
God is spirit, not composed of matter. (John 4:24)
God is also not confined to a geographical location.
What is meant by passages concerning God's physical features like hands and feet?
These and also His appearances in physical form (theophanies) are anthropomorphisms.
What do Mormons believe that is contrary to God's attribute of spirituality?
Mormons believe both God the Father and the Son have physical bodies.
Who was Clark Pinnock?
Clark Pinnock was an open theist, evangelical theologian who suggested that God may possibly have a body. His views are not supported.
What do panentheists believe concerning God's spirituality?
Panentheists believe in divine immanence, in that God is in everything. This is not the Biblical teaching on His spirituality.
List six Scripture references dealing with the spiritual aspect of God's greatness.
John 4:21, 24
1 Tim. 1:17,
1 Tim. 6:15-16
Define God's personality.
God is not a force, but a being with self-consciousness, will; the ability to feel, choose, and have a relationship with us.
What are three aspects of God's attribute of personality? Give Bible references.
1. God has a name. (Exod. 3:14, 20:7; Gen. 4:26, 12:18, Ps. 20:7, 9)
2. God is active in knowing and communing with humans. (Gen. 3)
3. God is of value not for what He does for us, but for who He is. He is an end in Himself. (Exod. 20:2-3)
How does Erickson present the life attribute of God?
"God is characterized by life" (Erickson, p.241).
What are three aspects of God's attribute of life? Back them up with Bible references.
1. God's name "I AM" shows He is a living God (Exod. 3:14).
2. God exists, and this existence is the most basic aspect of His nature (Heb. 11:6).
3. God is dependent on nothing outside Himself for His life or continued existence (Acts 17:25).
List three Bible references showing that life is one of God's attributes of greatness.
1 Thess. 1:9
Define God's attribute of infinity.
God is infinite, unlimited, and illimitable.
How is God not limited and why? Give Bible references.
God is not limited to time and space. He created them (Acts 17:24, Ps. 90:1-2).
Can man hide from God?
No. There is nowhere that God is inaccessible (Jer. 23:23-24; Isa. 66:1; Ps. 139:7-12; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Kings 18:20-40).
Does God travel around at infinite speed in order to answer prayer or tend to the needs of His creation?
No, God does not zip from place to place. He has access to all of Creation at all times.
What are three aspects of God's infinitude? Give Bible references?
1. God is, and always will be (Jude 25, Eph. 3:21). He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last (Isa. 44:6; Rev. 1:8, 21:6, 22:13).
2. God cannot be taken by surprise.
3. God has immeasurable understanding (Ps. 147:5; Prov. 15:3; Matt: 10:9, 30; Heb. 4:13)
How much knowledge does God possess? Give Bible references.
God knows the future as well as the present and past (Isa. 44:8), has access to all information, and knows what is good (Rom. 11:33).
How much power does God have and what are a couple ways we see it demonstrated in the Bible?
God is infinitely powerful (Gen. 17:1, 18:10-14, Jer. 32:15-17, Matt. 19:26). He controls nature (Mark 4:35-41), and the course of history (Acts 17:26).
Define God's constancy and support it with Bible references.
God is stable and unchanging (Ps. 102:26-27, 33:11; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17).
What does 20th century process theology say about God's constancy?
God is not unchanging, but "responds to and is affected by the processes of the world" (Erickson, p. 249).
Who were Charles Hartshorne and Alfred North Whitehead?
Dipolar theists who believed God has two poles - unchanging essence/primordial nature, and concrete actuality/consequent nature (God responds to the world.)
What is one trouble with process theology?
God antedates the world, and the process theology view on unchanging principles in reality is undeveloped.
What does free-will (open) theism teach about God?
Free-will or open theism believes immutability, timelessness, and foreknowledge come from Greek philosophy and not the Bible. God is genuinely affected by human actions. He does not know what we will do beforehand, because if He did, we would not be free.