What are “the divine attributes”?
Unless you read the Catholic Encyclopedia for fun, chances are you have no idea (or you think they’re an indie band). If that sounds about right, you have nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, you’ll find yourself in pretty much the same boat as everyone else.
As it happens, the answer isn’t all that complicated: the divine attributes are God’s character traits; they describe what God is like.
So why care?
Clicking on the link above will treat you to flowing sentences of golden prose like “our natural knowledge of God is acquired by discursive reasoning upon the data of sense by introspection,” followed by obscure scriptural snippets. Which is to say, if God “dwells in light inaccessible,” it sure seems like he’s splitting the rent with his coterie of characteristics. Which is to say, even if theologians can wrap their minds around the divine attributes, your average Christian can’t.
But that’s just wrong. The Christian life is about friendship with God, and friends know what their friends are like. God’s character traits can be known and loved by all of us. Our new series, Preaching the Divine Attributes, will prove it to you. Our goal is to free God’s qualities from their ivory-tower prison, and to let you make their acquaintance, all in less time than it takes to listen to a weekday homily.
Look for our series on the Divine Attributes over the next week:
Divine Simplicity: 24 February
Divine Impassibility: 25 February
Divine Eternity: 26 February
Divine Transcendence: 27 February
Divine Immanence: 28 February
Image: Jackson Pollock, No. 1