The Nature of God vs. God

Peter Leithart observes:

Does the phrase “nature of God” mean anything other than “God”? What is added by adding “nature”? If the phrase refers to God’s attributes, well and good, though I prefer the more personalist connotations of “attributes.” But the phrase can hint that there is some reality that we can call “nature of God” that is different from the Sovereign Person we call “God,” and that hint is dangerous and heretical if pressed. I suspect that “nature of God” is often used for rhetorical effect, since it sounds more weighty and philosophical than “God.” But that rhetorical reach is also dangerous. I suspect too, sinners being sinners, that some prefer “nature of God” to “God” (or, even more, “Yahweh”) precisely because of its de-personalizing implications, because they believe the phrase can be a shield against the righteous, personal Judge. A frail defense. Trinitarian theology forces us to refine our speaking about God in a way that highlights rather than suppresses His personality, His personal promises and demands.

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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