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January 20, 2012

The Simplicity of God

The Simplicity of God

The Christian God is simple. Now let me explain. I’m John Stonestreet, and this is The Point.

When we hear the word simple, we tend to think easy to understand. When we talk of a simple person, we referring to someone not all that smart. But when Christians throughout history, like Thomas Aquinas and Iraneaus have said that God is simple, they don’t mean either of these things. What they mean is that God is not made of his attributes, God is identical to his attributes.

That may sound like weird theology, but it’s not. It’s hugely important and can help us make sense of things like that “I hate religion but love Jesus” video we talked about yesterday.

This idea means we can’t rank one of God’s attributes like his love or his justice over others. Though our intentions may be good, we end up making God in the image of the attribute. But God’s simplicity means His attributes can’t be separated because as Herman Bavinck said, “Whatever God is, He is that completely and simultaneously.” Come to to explore God’s simplicity further. I’m John Stonestreet.

Further Reading

The Simplicity of God
Kevin DeYoung | The Gospel Coalition | March 25, 2010

Summa Theologica: The Simplicity of God
St. Thomas Aquinas

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