We’ve Got Mail: The Glory of God and Grounding Objections

Pat Mefford writes:

Recently, I’ve been fascinated by this concept of doing things for the glory of God. It’s an interesting answer to the question, “Why does the Creator bother to create?” but glory is an extrinsic property, one that God cannot ground by himself (one needs an ontologically separate thing to properly glorify that which deserves glory). How does the Presuppositionalist account for a property that God cannot ground but yet, seems dependent on?

While the question is interesting, the assumptions inherent in the question interest me more. First is the odd idea that seems to express that God is dealing with His creation as if it were not His intention from eternity. God, from eternity, purposed to create for His own glory, as He has revealed to us. This is why He “bothers” to create. For His own glory. Secondly, what is conspicuously absent from his inquiry is a definition of “glory” in regard to God’s nature. It is helpful to remember that Christ reveals to us that He shared the Glory of the Father before the world began, in John 17:5. Since this is the case, it no longer seems obvious that glory is an “extrinsic” property. In fact, it is not clear at all that God has “properties” in the typical sense of the term – and certainly not “extrinsic” properties. God, as we know, is a se – Who and What He is, is “of Himself”, and He is self-sufficient. This is most clearly expressed by God’s personal name, היה – YHWH, given first in Exodus 3:14. God has “attributes”, not “properties” – and they are identical with Him, per Simplicity, and certainly not extrinsic to Him.

Next, it is certainly the case that God displays Himself to be glorious to Himself, in His diversity of Person, and does so eternally and perfectly. It is not, therefore, clear that His glory somehow “requires” His creation, any more than He requires the existence of creation to be “Creator”, being eternal and immutable. God is glorious of Himself, manifesting His glory primarily to Himself, and secondarily to His creatures. The glorification of creatures is a reflection of His glory back to Him, not His glory of itself. This is a common misconception held by many, but easily rectified with a look at the Scriptural witness. God is perfect, and needs nothing – He is, of Himself, and of no other. He does not declare or manifest His glory for His own benefit – but for the benefit of His creatures, that they may fulfill their chief end – His glory. It does not do to simply state something contrary to orthodoxy. If one is to do so, it behooves the one stating it to make an argument for their position. It will necessarily fail, obviously, but this is not our concern. Our concern is to point out that what they are objecting to is a straw man of our position. It may be an unintentional mistake, or it may be an intentional change – but in either case, what they are dealing with is not our position, is it?

Scripturally, it is not the case that God is said to “need” anything from us. (Acts 17:25) God is self-sufficient. The above question virtually denies self-sufficiency in the asking of it. It also denies God’s perfection, aseity, immutability, simplicity, and eternality by extension – along with others we could enumerate, should we wish to use more space upon it. As it stands, the above should suffice. God, having glory of Himself from eternity, is self-revealed as glorious a se, self-sufficiently, immutably and in simplicity. All of these attributes are involved in one another, per simplicity – so by the nature of the case, if one is true, the rest follow. Hence, a denial of one is a denial of them all, as well.

Thus, we are not dealing with a “property God cannot ground” – but with an objection inapplicable to the nature of God. Further, it might be useful to follow this up with an inquiry as to the ability of the one objecting to ground his objection, since it is not made from Christian Theism. Should there be the objection that there was insufficient direct use of Scripture, I would refer them to Gill’s Body of Doctrinal Divinity, which quite admirably proves the revelational basis of all of the subjects herein discussed.


19 Comments

C.L. Bolt

What a refreshing read!

Patrick Mefford

Hi Razor, I appreciate the response and the patience you have my theological bumbling, but speculative Metaphysics is a hobby of mine, so I must persist!

You had mentioned at the end of your first paragraph that, “God has “attributes”, not “properties” – and they are identical with Him, per Simplicity, and certainly not extrinsic to Him.” I was laboring under the assumption that attributes and properties were synonymous, at least in the literature of philosophers who engage in Natural Theology and in my surveys of Anselm and Aquinas. Have I stumbled onto a theological discrepancy between Natural Theologians and Reformers such as yourself? I’d be interested in reading how you are using those words, because I think we might be using different meanings.

In your second paragraph you stated, “God is glorious of Himself, manifesting His glory primarily to Himself, and secondarily to His creatures.” Can you unpack this for me some more? I understand this will involve some deep theological waters because it involves the Trinity and I have but a thin grasp on the bare essentials, but I’m curious as to how one person of the Trinity manifests it’s glory to another person in the Trinity, while keeping God as an ontological whole and divinely simple.

I’ll stop short here, since I realize I’m asking questions that require a deal of explanation, but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to explain this all to me.

RazorsKiss

Hi Razor, I appreciate the response and the patience you have my theological bumbling, but speculative Metaphysics is a hobby of mine, so I must persist!

No problem. In return, can I ask what you mean by speculative metaphysics? Something like a Hegelian scheme?

You had mentioned at the end of your first paragraph that, “God has “attributes”, not “properties” – and they are identical with Him, per Simplicity, and certainly not extrinsic to Him.” I was laboring under the assumption that attributes and properties were synonymous, at least in the literature of philosophers who engage in Natural Theology and in my surveys of Anselm and Aquinas. Have I stumbled onto a theological discrepancy between Natural Theologians and Reformers such as yourself? I’d be interested in reading how you are using those words, because I think we might be using different meanings.

If you’ll permit me a bit of repetition on our reader’s behalf, I mentioned last night that there is a significant difference between “property” as a systematic uses it, and “property” in the typical sense. First, there is the point that a typical property is not identical to its object, and second, there is the point that a typical property is not something shared by nothing else whatsoever. Divine attributes are distinct in both of those regards – while they are sometimes called “properties”, a clear creator/creature distinction must be made in its usage at that point.

In your second paragraph you stated, “God is glorious of Himself, manifesting His glory primarily to Himself, and secondarily to His creatures.” Can you unpack this for me some more? I understand this will involve some deep theological waters because it involves the Trinity and I have but a thin grasp on the bare essentials, but I’m curious as to how one person of the Trinity manifests it’s glory to another person in the Trinity, while keeping God as an ontological whole and divinely simple.

Well, consider that the full manifestation of His glory is not appreciable in its infinity to creatures – not in any exhaustive way. Also consider the doctrine of perichoresis, wherein the persons of the Godhead exhaustively interpenetrate the one being of God. Further, there is the consideration of the infinite, absolute persons of God knowing each other exhaustively, immutably, timelessly, and perfectly. When we see all of this expressed as a cohesive whole, we have God knowing Himself perfectly, and glorifying Himself to Himself – a Trinitarian, Divine glorification, union, and communion of infinite scope and immediate, comprehensive scale – intimacy of an infinite and complete perfection. In many ways, the only one who fully appreciates the glory of the Triune God IS the Triune God – and the demonstration of His glory in all of His attributes is fully experienced, known and appreciated first in that infinite and absolute communion.

I’ll stop short here, since I realize I’m asking questions that require a deal of explanation, but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to explain this all to me.

Not a problem at all. As I enjoy saying, questions like this are the “brain-melters”, because they require us to think far outside the box we are accustomed to inhabiting. I appreciate the questions, because they are pertinent, relevant and eminently useful. If only Phil would take a cue from you and ask 🙂

Phil Stilwell

Pehaps the proprietary logic of the apologist (in which there can be no loving god without that god also being so “wrathful” that only eternal torture will appease him, a proper “substitution” of a 3-day death equivalent to the deserved eternal torture of billions, and a god unable to forgive without bloodshed in spite of informing his creation that to do so is righteous) is well suited for this question in which a god not lacking a single essential quality still needs the worship of its creation. Surely logic can be wrested from the wicked, then bent to accommodate this minor incoherency, can it not?

C.L. Bolt

“…in which a god not lacking a single essential quality still *needs* the worship of its creation.”

RazorsKiss clearly states in his post that, “it is not the case that God is said to ‘need’ anything from us. (Acts 17:25)” If I remember correctly, Phil is an educator. I am confident he does not struggle with reading comprehension. So either he did not read the post he is commenting on, or he is being intentionally dishonest.

Phil Stilwell

…or your point fails.

Your point fails.

There can not be a god demanding worship without the psychological need for such worship…unless you can introduce a case among humans where there is no need behind a demand.

RazorsKiss

Is this supposed to make sense? God can’t exist unless there is a psychological need for His worship? Then we’re asked *in humans* where such applies – as if that’s even relevant?

What religion do you think you’re interacting with? It certainly isn’t Christianity. We’re Christians. We have a fairly detailed account of orthodoxy that your account bears no relationship to. Feel free to pick up at least a confessional document or even better, a systematic theology, and get to studying. Assertions asserted assertively impress nobody here. Neither does ignorance prancing around condescendingly. Do your homework, and come back.

Phil Stilwell

I stated my point incorrectly.

Correction: There can not be a god that lacks nothing and yet needs worship.

RazorsKiss

That’s still a rather odd comment to make, given that I’ve stated at least half a dozen times that God needs nothing. God does not, therefore, “need worship”. Worship is entailed in “nothing”.

I don’t understand why you keep asserting something that we deny. Again, is this because you honestly believe this, or because you are purposely misrepresenting us? We *do not believe God needs our worship*.

LBCF II.2 – “God, having all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself, is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creature which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, and he hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth; in his sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain; he is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands; to him is due from angels and men, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, as creatures they owe unto the Creator, and whatever he is further pleased to require of them.

Hence: God does not *need* worship, or glory – He *requires* it of His creatures, and they owe it to Him.

RazorsKiss

Perhaps the proprietary logic of the atheist who asserts things about God which are by no means true, unaccountably lacking a basis in the worldview he is purportedly critiquing, confusing the creator with His creation at every point is well-suited to construct amazing straw man arguments which fail to address even a rudimentary Christianity. Surely they don’t believe that objections of this sort are even remotely applicable? Of course, internet atheism of the sort espoused by Phil isn’t prone to self-reflection, let alone actual study of what they purport to critique.

I wonder; is it the case that Phil actually believes this is what Christianity believes, or is it the case that he is purposely failing to represent it accurately? In either case, it looks more than merely ridiculous.

Phil Stilwell

Christians have the good fortune of basing their beliefs on a fuzzy book of statements lacking cohesion to such a degree that the book as been the justification for all manner of beliefs, atrocities and notions of the god proported to be found therein.

Let me give you a bit of advice. You will not want to claim that Christianity is monolithic, nor that your own particular version of it was not something fabricated many years after it was written.

What you have a present is a system of theology that started with the conclusion that your god must be logical, then bends the illogic of biblical passages to accommodate that initial assumption. You have an impotent god that maps to material expectations, and certaining not even close to the testable god of Elija. Your god is reduced to some god hiding behind material expectations. Rather pathetic.

Be bold. Offer a test for your god. This can be about his promises concerning prayer or healing, or any thing else you’d like to offer that violates material expectations. You won’t. All you have is your sophistry shielding an impotent god.

RazorsKiss

Atheists have the good fortune of basing their belief in fundamental order on the bedrock of chance interaction. This lacks cohesion to such a degree that it justifies a maddeningly wide range of beliefs, atrocities, and notions of the universe purported therein.

Let me give you a bit of advice. You will not want to claim that you know what Christianity is, since you deny, a priori, every possible means of identifying what that might be. Instead of coming on a Christian site which does, actually, have quite a firm basis for it’s consideration of Reformed Christianity as the highest and most consistent form of Christianity, thank you very much, and making fundamental, *contextually erroneous* claims – your claims are false in regard to even the *context you made them in, since this is my post* – it might behoove you to make less claims about a lack of something you’ve precluded by definition, and do more study on whatever it is you’re claiming to critique. Next time, instead of posting what amounts to a tantrum, admit you were wrong, and read the post/prior comments more clearly. It’ll save you a lot of ulcers, one day.

As to the rest; when you figure out why it’s utterly, vacuously, incredibly ignorant to claim such amazingly contradictory nonsense, you can comment again on my posts, because then, you’ll be contributing something to the discussion. I’d just like to note the vast, vast difference in comportment between Justin and Pat over against Phil. Phil is embarrassing his fellow atheists with his strident, anti-intellectual rhetoric. I’m going to spare both he and his fellows any more of the same – at least on my posts. My fellow contributors can act as they wish.

C.L. Bolt

Yeah Phil comes off as a bit of a baby in his most recent comment. It has become obvious that he is arguing against a concept and explanation that you did not even offer, and now he has resorted to typical fundamentalist atheist preaching that does not have anything to do with the post. Instead it just shows he is not familiar with systematic and historical theologies.

He keeps repeating himself on one of my posts too, but has not offered an argument yet. Then he accuses you of sophistry. lol

Justin

I have not read it in full as i am on my phone so this may be answered within. I am curious though, if creation was an intentional act, then it seems like it would need to be motivated by a desire – a need or a want. If God is perfect than what state of affairs could he prefer more than one that is composed entirely of ontological and moral perfection? Am I wrong to think that God would just maintain ‘God sans creation’ rather than introduce non-god items?

Any help would be appreciated.

RazorsKiss

First, recall that there is a distinction between creature and Creator – a transcendent one. Second, note that “intention” and/or “desire” does not mean that it is motivated by a “need” or “want” in the sense of a “lack”. Third, note that since God is eternal and immutable – this is an eternal, immutable intent, and cannot be said to have “begun”. It is, therefore, the eternal, immutable intention of God to create for His own glory. It has no affect on His perfection in any way, as His perfection, like the rest of His attributes, is a se.

Also, keep in mind that God is not contingent upon a “state of affairs”, nor is He affected by it. He is the creator of the state as well as the affairs. God, of Himself, exists, remember. He does so self-sufficiently as well. It is not His own nature He seeks to modify, and it is in fact impossible to modify Him in any way. He is, of Himself, immutable. Identifying God with the universe is a fundamental mistake. God is not like anything in Creation – He is transcendent. God’s perfection is unchanged by creation. God needs nothing from creation. Creation neither “adds to” nor “subtracts from” who or what God is, of Himself. It is lesser than and separate from Himself, although it is all contingent upon Him, and in Him all things live, move and have their being.

In another way of stating it, God, in His aseity, exists of Himself. As such, He is above and apart from what we consider as “states of affairs”. His ordination of all things whatsoever that come to pass determines the state of affairs in creation, which is where “state of affairs” pertains.

Justin

Thanks for the polite response Razorskiss.

Quick clarification, when I talk of ‘states of affairs’ I should be saying something like ‘the set of all things that exist and how they are arranged’.
So, it is not as though I am saying God is contingent upon a set, the set is just a quick way to refer to a collection, mainly the collection of existing things. For the sake of argument I am assuming, as I think is rather uncontroversial, that God is the ONLY necessary being and so he is the only item in that set of existing things.

First, my concern absorbs the created/creature distinction. If you think I have blurred the lines on that distinction, point it out and I will quickly remedy it.

Second, you say…
“intention and/or desire does not mean that it is motivated by a need or want in the sense of a lack”
I fully agree. desires, be them ‘needs’ or ‘wants’, are just attitudes towards maintaining or changing a state of affairs. My desire to drink water means that I would prefer a state of affairs where I am drinking water over the current state, where I am not. God desiring a universe (or any other non-God item) means that God would prefer a state where he AND a universe exists over a state where just he exists.

Thirdly, I recognize that the Christian God is believed to be eternal. I am not claiming God began to exist. I am conceiving of God as the necessary part of every ontological set – which I don’t think you should have a problem with. Also, I have no interest in identifying God with the universe.

Your position is that the biblical claim is that God has ‘always’ (eternally into the past or timeless, whichever way you choose to view God.) desired to create man for his own Glory. This could mean two different things I suppose. First, it could mean that God sans creation desired to be glorified by a being other than himself. Secondly, it could mean that the very act of creating, in and of itself, somehow satisfied some aspect of God’s essential nature. Perhaps some third option that escapes me. Are any of these satisfactory? If not, could you articulate what you mean by ‘for his glory’?

Thanks,
Justin

RazorsKiss

Thanks for the polite response Razorskiss.

Not a problem, glad to oblige.

Quick clarification, when I talk of ‘states of affairs’ I should be saying something like ‘the set of all things that exist and how they are arranged’.

What I was concerned with in this regard was primarily the sentence “If God is perfect than what state of affairs could he prefer more than one that is composed entirely of ontological and moral perfection?” As God alone is both ontologically and morally perfect, I don’t know what you could be referring to, aside from God, as transcendent. This was why I answered the way I did. Does this clarify things for you?

So, it is not as though I am saying God is contingent upon a set, the set is just a quick way to refer to a collection, mainly the collection of existing things. For the sake of argument I am assuming, as I think is rather uncontroversial, that God is the ONLY necessary being and so he is the only item in that set of existing things.

First, my concern absorbs the created/creature distinction. If you think I have blurred the lines on that distinction, point it out and I will quickly remedy it.

Perhaps I’m still misunderstanding you, but there seems to be something problematic in what you are saying. Take T1: God is ontologically a se, perfect, immutable, timeless, simple, etc
It seems to me that you are saying this: T2: Creation, as such, is less preferable to God’s existence, sans creation. What I don’t understand is what T2 has to do with T1, or why it is the case? The only way I can see this become an objection is to correlate God with His creation, as if the act of creating (and keep in mind that God is actus purus) is somehow “lessening” God, or changing God in some fashion. To me, this is not at all in accordance with what is believed about God, nor does it seem to follow on what is believed about God. It seems only to be relevant if the creature/creator distinction is denied, and God is made correlative with man, in Van Til’s terms.

I understand that you are attempting to be accurate, and I appreciate the attempt, but I’m failing to see what else it could mean. God’s nature is no less or more perfect “after” creation” as it is “before” – because that distinction is meaningless in light of God’s timelessness. God is, of Himself, is timelessly, and is immutably. So, all we are left with, seemingly, if we rule out any attempted *created* analogy to God, as it seems that you are now affirming, is a supposed distinction between creation and not-creation as “states of affairs”, in *direct* relation to God. However, as I pointed out, the state of affairs is created, not transcendent. All affairs are God-ordained affairs, and pertinent to creation, the state in which these affairs occur. I’m confused as to what you intend to refer to, because you later say that we are speaking of ‘the set of all things that exist and how they are arranged’ – and then further that God is the *only* item in that set. I believe, however, that I stated that the “state of affairs” is pertinent only to creation. There is not a “state of affairs” transcendently conceived. God exists of Himself, for Himself, timelessly, simply, and is Himself act – ie: actus purus. It seems to be your conception that there is a state of affairs such that God changes sans creation vs. avec creation. This, however, cannot be the case, as God exists transcendently, and creation exists contingently. Hence, God exists as immutable without respect to creation. Since this is the case, I don’t see what God “sans creation” is, distinguishable from God “avec creation”. God is immutable, there is no distinction to be had. Only if God’s timelessness, immutability, simplicity, transcendence, and many other attributes are denied can this question be applicable – but we are not denying those attributes. So to whom does it apply? Only if God is seen to be “in the universe” does this seem to make sense, correct? But, as we know, the universe itself is God’s creation, and contingent upon His decretive and sustaining will. As such, only a denial of what we affirm can bring about what seems to be your problem. What are we to do?

Second, you say…
“intention and/or desire does not mean that it is motivated by a need or want in the sense of a lack”
I fully agree. desires, be them ‘needs’ or ‘wants’, are just attitudes towards maintaining or changing a state of affairs. My desire to drink water means that I would prefer a state of affairs where I am drinking water over the current state, where I am not. God desiring a universe (or any other non-God item) means that God would prefer a state where he AND a universe exists over a state where just he exists.

Here’s where I don’t precisely gather what is problematic. Given that God is NOT part of creation – given that God does not change – given that God is timeless, as you affirm in the following section – I don’t see any problem, aside from, perhaps, the seeming desire on your own part to make a desire for drinking over not drinking water analogous to God’s desire for creation OVER not-creation. I don’t think the two are analogous, actually, given that there was *never a time where God did not desire to create*. This is something it is often hard to wrap our minds around, granted – but it is nonetheless true. God, from eternity, desired to create all that He created, precisely as it was created. Don’t take that past tense to mean that God ceased to desire to create, or that this desire began, either. Succession is not possible, or at issue; succession of logic or, act. It’s convenience for discussion, nothing more. God, as God, desires eternally to create. The results of His eternal act took place in the creation of time and space, an occur precisely, perfectly, as He intends. This isn’t something in the nature of a simple preference – it is the force of command, with the impetus of infinite, immutable sovereignty. God’s desire is not like our desire – it does not *change*. This is what is meant confessionally when we speak of God being “without passions”, or “impassible.”
God’s eternal intent – and mark that, it is an eternal intent – is Creation of all that exists by His will, and is also sustained thereby.

Thirdly, I recognize that the Christian God is believed to be eternal. I am not claiming God began to exist. I am conceiving of God as the necessary part of every ontological set – which I don’t think you should have a problem with. Also, I have no interest in identifying God with the universe.

Well, I think the gist of the matter is that holding to a distinction of God sans creation and God avec creation necessitates a denial of the God who is eternal, and a se. It also necessitates placing God *in* the universe in order to make the distinction in view. It’s not so much a matter of direct claims, but the consequences of other claims. As Van Til puts it, it is “immanentizing” God at the expense of His transcendence..

Your position is that the biblical claim is that God has ‘always’ (eternally into the past or timeless, whichever way you choose to view God.) desired to create man for his own Glory. This could mean two different things I suppose. First, it could mean that God sans creation desired to be glorified by a being other than himself. Secondly, it could mean that the very act of creating, in and of itself, somehow satisfied some aspect of God’s essential nature. Perhaps some third option that escapes me. Are any of these satisfactory? If not, could you articulate what you mean by ‘for his glory’?

Thanks,
Justin

Timeless is the orthodox view. The view that God lives in a succession of moments is not orthodox, and the usage of “eternity past” and the like is not especially helpful, in my view, even if you are orthodox in your view of God’s existence. Be that as it may, God, being immutable, immutably desires. God, being a se, desires this of Himself, and for no other reason.

As I expressed earlier, in reply to Pat’s followup, God’s glory is primarily manifest to Himself, and I mentioned to you earlier in this comment, God creates “of Himself”. He also creates *for* Himself. The first option above seem to be centered on, or contingent on, the creatures, and supposed “needs” God has in regard to them. However, Self-sufficiency denies this, so we can disregard your first option presented. As to the second, I believe it depends on what you consider “satisfaction” to consist of, in regard to the essential nature of God. If it is being proposed that God was “required” to create, I don’t think that is consistent with the Sovereignty of God, which consists of His freedom as ultimate. However, I don’t think that is the case, given your usage of “God’s essential nature”. I’m not sure what sense of “satisfy” is really applicable, frankly, given that it seems to infer a lack of some sort. However, let’s advance this, and see if it supplies the answer.

God, as Creator, was determined from eternity to create. The intent is eternal, the act is eternal, and the attribute “Creator” is eternal. There is no “sans or avec” creation *with* God, because *nothing* is with God – God is, of Himself, and there is none beside Him. There is no “change” before or after creation – God is, and is immutably. Creation changes, not God. The eternal Creator created time along with space and matter – but in timelessness, there is no intelligible “before” – and in the eternal immutable nature of God there is no “sans” or “avec” temporally, spatially, or materially, as all of those categories are finite, and “belong” in creation – there is only God, and God a se, in all of His majesty and perfections. In and for the manifestation of His glory to and for Himself, He eternally decreed the creation of the universe. The purpose of that universe is to reflect His glory; to display his mercy, justice, and all of Himself to Himself, as well as to His creation. Does that answer the question?

Patrick Mefford

I’m in the middle of getting crushed by mid-terms, so it won’t be until Monday when I give this topic my full attention. However, I wanted to ask another question from the original post: “God has “attributes”, not “properties” – and they are identical with Him, per Simplicity, and certainly not extrinsic to Him.”

How do you cash this idea out, so to speak? What I mean is; if x, y and z are all identical with A, then there is no distinction between x, y and z. If God’s attributes like Righteousness, Merciful, and Love are identical to God, that means Righteousness, Merciful, and Love are identical to each other, but this seems to run counter to the ontological commitment of saying God has attributes, when Simplicity seems to demand that there can’t be a distinction between any attributes, because they are all identical.

RazorsKiss

I think the lack of distinction involved in this idea comes not from something “necessitated” by the nature of God, but from our status and nature as created beings, finite and temporal. Chapter 5 of Dolezal’s book answers this in a fairly in-depth fashion, and Gill’s treatment of it in his Body of Doctrinal Divinity is also quite good. Basically, most critiques of DDS are from a position that presupposes “real distinctions” in the nature of God – or assumes that they are akin to the relationship of properties to an object. Dolezal spills considerable ink explaining why this is not the case. If I were to summarize the issue, I would say this. The doctrine of perichoresis is important to the doctrine of the Trinity, and shows that the persons of the Godhead interpenetrate each other, and do not divide the nature of God. Similarly (but not identically) the attributes of God are not divisions of the nature of God, but are how a finite being is given to understand the infinite. There’s a whole lot to it, but there’s an initial answer for you. Sorry it took me so long.


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