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« Round the Sphere Again: Seeing Things | Main | Safeguarding God's Simplicity »
Tuesday
Jun052012

Theological Term of the Week

simplicity of God
The quality of God wherein he is not composed of parts, but unified and indivisible; also called unity of God.

  • From scripture:
    The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, [7] keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7 ESV)
  • From The Belgic Confession:
  • Article 1: The Only God 

    We all believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that there is a single and simple spiritual being, whom we call God — eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; completely wise, just, and good, and the overflowing source of all good.

  • From Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem:
  • God himself is a unity, a unified and completely integrated whole person who is infinitely perfect in all of these attributes.

    …In terms of practical application, this means that we should never think, for example, that God is a loving God at one point in history and a just or wrathful God at another point in history. He is the same God always, and everything he says or does is fully consistent with all his attributes. It is not accurate to say, as some have said, that God is a God of justice in the Old Testament and a God of love in the New Testament. God is and always has been infinitely just and infinitely loving as well, and everything he does in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament is completely consistent with both of those attributes.

    …Moreover, the doctrine of the unity of God should caution us against attempting to single out any one attribute of God as more important than all the others. At various times people have attempted to see God’s holiness, or his love, or his self-existence, or his righteousness, or some other attribute as the most important attribute of his being. … It is God himself in his whole being who is supremely important, and it is God himself in his whole being whom we are to seek to know and to love.

  1. Blue Letter Bible: What Is Meant by the Simplicity of God?
  2. Kevin DeYoung: Theological Primer: The Simplicity of God
  3. Thomas Boston:  Of the Unity of God
  4. Jules Grisham: Divine Simplicity
  5. R. C. Sproul, Jr: The Lord Is One: The Simplicity of God (audio)
  6. Dr. James Dolezal: God Without Parts: The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity (mp3)
Related terms:

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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