Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.

                         

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Tuesday
May212019

Theological Term of the Week: Cataphatic Theology

 

cataphatic theology
A method of describing God by saying what he is; a positive affirmation of God. (For example: God is love. God is holy.)1

  • From None Greater by Matthew Barrett:

    Cataphatic theology is affirmative by design, occuring whenever we assert what God is. Nevertheless, as long as God-talk remains analogical, our cataphatic excitement must be tamed the wisdom of its older sister, apophatic theology, which describes God by what he is not.  …

    All in all, there is a balance to be struck. We must carefully balance the discontinuity, lest we strip God of his infinitude and think that the image is the same as that which it images.2

  • From The Christian Faith by Michael Horton:

    [T]he communicable attributes are typically identified by the way of eminence (via eminentiae), by highlighting attributes in which creatures share analogically but in a qualitatively inferior manner, often identified by the “omni-” prefix (for example, omnipotent, omniscient).  …  Refusing to be an idolatrous projection of our own ideas of perfecion, God infinitely transcends all comparisons. Nevertheless, out of love for his creatures, God condescends to our finite capacity by selecting analogies that are appropriate but nevertheless fall short of his majesty.3

 

Learn more:

  1. Theopedia: Cataphatic Theology

 

Related terms:

 

Filed under God’s Nature and His Work

 

1From None Greater, page 248.

2 From None Greater, page 37-38.

3 From The Christian Faith, page 225.


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