Outline of Attributes of God
Different religious traditions assign differing (though often similar) attributes and characteristics to God, including expansive powers and abilities, psychological characteristics, gender characteristics, and preferred nomenclature. The assignment of these attributes often differs according to the conceptions of God in the culture from which they arise. For example, attributes of God in Christianity, attributes of God in Islam, and the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy in Judaism share certain similarities arising from their common roots.
God in philosophy of religion
Main article: The Attributes of God
The philosophy of religion recognizes the following as essential attributes of God:
- Eternity (God is not bound by time)
- Gender of God
- Immutability (God is not subject to change)
- Impassibility (God is not affected)
- Incorporeality (God is not material)
- Names (“Word“)
- Omnipotence (limitless power)
- Omniscience (limitless knowledge)
- Oneness (God is wholly benevolent)
- Simplicity (God is not composite)
Main article: God in Abrahamic Religions
See also: The Attributes Of God According To The Old Testament
The most common way to classify God’s attributes divides them into:
- Incommunicable attributes (traits that God doesn’t share or “communicate” to others)
- Communicable attributes (traits that God shares or “communicates” with us).
God’s incommunicable attributes
God’s communicable attributes
The single attributes are contained in the verses as follows:
- יְהוָה YHVH: compassion before a person sins;
- יְהוָה YHVH: compassion after a person has sinned;
- אֵל El: mighty in compassion to give all creatures according to their need;
- רַחוּם Raḥum: merciful, that humankind may not be distressed;
- וְחַנּוּן VeḤanun: and gracious if humankind is already in distress;
- אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם Erekh appayim: slow to anger;
- וְרַב-חֶסֶד VeRav ḥesed: and plenteous in kindness;
- וֶאֱמֶת VeEmet: and truth;
- נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים Notzer ḥesed laalafim: keeping kindness unto thousands;
- נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן Noseh avon: forgiving iniquity;
- וָפֶשַׁע VaFeshah: and transgression;
- וְחַטָּאָה VeḤata’ah: and sin;
- וְנַקֵּה VeNakeh: and pardoning.
Islam’s most fundamental concept is a strict monotheism called tawhid. God is described in the Qur’an as:
“Say: He is God, the One; God, the Eternal, the Absolute; He begot no one, nor is He begotten; Nor is there to Him equivalent anyone.”.”
According to the religious methodology or the basic principles of religion, the Attributes of God in Islam consist of certain transcending and blessed concepts—whose transcendence and blessedness come from the Being Whom they describe; these describe God Almighty and are, in one sense, regarded as the veils of the Divine Essence. These blessed concepts, mentioned as the Attributes of the Divine Being, are either in the form of nouns, infinitives, adverbs, or of adjectives.
Attributes of God in Islam divided into 5 categories;
The Attributes of God in Islam
Main article: God in Jainism
Main article: God in Buddhism
- Buddhism and Evolution
- God in Buddhism
Main article: God in Hinduism
- God in Hinduism
- God and Gender in Hinduism
- Hindu Views on Monotheism
- Deva in Hinduism
- Gautama Buddha in Hinduism
- Ayyavazhi Trinity
- Hindu Gods And Goddesses
Main article: God in Sikhism
Main article: LaVeyan Satanism
African Traditional Concept of God
Main article: African Traditional Concept of God
New religious movements
Main article: The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception
Main article: Unitarian Universalism
Relationship with creation
Prayer plays a significant role among many believers. Muslims believe that the purpose of existence is to worship God.He is viewed as a personal God and there are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God. Prayer often also includes supplication and asking forgiveness. God is often believed to be forgiving. For example, a hadith states God would replace a sinless people with one who sinned but still asked repentance. Christian theologian Alister McGrath writes that there are good reasons to suggest that a “personal god” is integral to the Christian outlook, but that one has to understand it is an analogy. “To say that God is like a person is to affirm the divine ability and willingness to relate to others. This does not imply that God is human, or located at a specific point in the universe.”
Jews and Christians believe that humans are created in the image of God, and are the center, crown and key to God’s creation, stewards for God, supreme over everything else God had made (Gen 1:26); for this reason, humans are in Christianity called the “Children of God“.
Various objections have been to certain attributes or combinations of attributes. The omnipotence paradox explores questions like, “Could God create a stone so heavy that even He could not lift it?” The problem of evil and the argument from poor design have been proposed to suggest that God cannot be omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. Nevertheless, these criticisms have been robustly countered from the Scriptures by apologists from beginning from the early Church and throughout Church history. Some Christians overcome these objections by the notion of free will, in which God chooses not to control all that happens despite being able to because He considers freedom more important than an absence of suffering; by the notion that human experience is so limited that we are unable to fully perceive what a loving and fully powerful God “should” do at any one moment, and by the sheer fact that God, as transcendent creator of all logic and causality, is not bound by these restrictions Himself.
Another school of thought is that man is bound by his nature and his nature is always against God. In this understanding the sovereignty of God demands that a sinful humanity cannot do good apart from God, for to be reconciled to God would be an act of goodness outside of mans natural capabilities. In the act of faithfully believing the life, death and resurrection “for mans sin” by the shed blood of Jesus, the Son of God, till this is done goodness by God’s standard is impossible. Generally instead of Free will a holder of this view will take on a more presuppositionalist approach while at the same time apply simple logic is to any attempt at question God’s attributes/power/sovereignty. The presuppositionalist will proclaim the Gospel in the hopes God will grant the hearer a saving faith in Jesus despite this information and call to faith going completely against their natural inclinations. “Many are called, few are chosen” Matt 22:14, “all who where appointed to eternal life believed” Acts 13:48.
The Bible describes that every human inherently knows they need saving from their sin, from God’s just judgment against them, but refuse because of their sin committed and sinful nature. God calls all to believe but will only save the elect by conforming their heart to faith in Jesus, though it goes against their anti-God nature. All who deny Jesus are given over to what they want, the elect “chosen” on the other hand are given a new heart to believe.
The philosopher Michel Henry defines God from a phenomenological point of view. He says:
“God is Life, he is the essence of Life, or, if we prefer, the essence of Life is God. Saying this we already know what is God the father the almighty, creator of heaven and earth, we know it not by the effect of a learning or of some knowledge, we don’t know it by the thought, on the background of the truth of the world ; we know it and we can know it only in and by the Life itself. We can know it only in God.”
This Life is not biological life defined by objective and exterior properties, nor an abstract and empty philosophical concept, but the absolute phenomenological life, a radically immanent life that possesses in it the power of showing itself in itself without distance, a life that reveals permanently itself.