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Tuesday
Nov132012

Theological Term of the Week

incommunicable attributes
Those attributes of God that belong to Him alone, such as his simplicityaseity, immutability, impassibility, and eternality

  • From scripture:
  • The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (Acts 17:24-25 ESV)

     

    …remember the former things of old;

    for I am God, and there is no other;

    I am God, and there is none like me,

    declaring the end from the beginning

    and from ancient times things not yet done,

    saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,

    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

    calling a bird of prey from the east,

    the man of my counsel from a far country.

    I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;

    I have purposed, and I will do it.

    Isaiah 46:9-11 ESV) 

  • From Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem:
  • Those attributes we call “incommunicable” are better defined by saying that they are attributes of God that are less shared by us. Not one of the incommunicable attributes of God is completely without some likeness in the character of human beings. For example, God is unchangeable, while we change. But we do not change completely, for there are some aspects of our characters that remain largely unchanged: or individual identities, many of our personality traits, and some of our long-term purposes remain substantially unchanged over many years (and will remain largely unchanged once we are set free from sin and begin to live in God’s presence forever).

    Similarly, God is eternal, and we are subject to the limitations of time. However, we see some reflection of God’s eternity in the fact that we will live with him forever and enjoy eternal life.

Learn more:
  1. Blue Letter Bible: What are the various ways in which God’s attributes are categorized?
  2. Sam Storms: Classifying the Attributes
  3. Bruce Ware: Attributes of God: Incommunicable Attributes, Part 1, Part 2
  4. Wayne Grudem: Series of lectures on the incommunicable attributes

Related term:

Filed under God’s Nature and His Work

Do you have a term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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