Q&A: The Value of God's Communicable and Incommunicable Attributes

The Value of God's Communicable and Incommunicable Attributes

How useful for systematic theology is the distinction between God's communicable and incommunicable attributes?

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Answer

It's important for students who are trying to study systematic theology to kind of understand the difference between the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God, because we've got to understand what makes us different. Right? God is holy other, distinct from his creation, yet we are created in the image of God. So, it's important for us to understand what things we are like God being his imagers, and what things that we are not. And so it's important to always keep in mind that God is infinite and eternal and unchangeable in all that he is, and although we are finite and changeable, immutable in all those different ways, and our failures; we still have certain aspects of our being that are like God when it comes to things like we can have knowledge, we can love, we can seek justice and mercy. Those are things that God does perfectly we do in a finite level, but it's important for us to understand who we are as his imagers and who he is as our Creator.

Answer by Prof. Brandon P. Robbins

Prof. Brandon P. Robbins is a professor at Birmingham Theological Seminary.