“I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no saviour.”
“To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto Him?”
“And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty…”
Order of Contents
Common Places of the Christian Religion 1560
‘Of the Name of God’
‘Of the Nature of God’
‘Of the Sufficiency of God’
‘Of the Omnipotency of God’
‘Of the Will of God’
‘Of the Truth of God’
‘Of the Goodness of God’
‘Of the Lovingness of God toward Man’
‘Of the Mercy of God’
‘Of the Justice of God’
‘Of the Providence of God’
‘Of the Presence of God’
‘Of the Anger of God’
‘Of the Judgments of God’
‘Of the Knowledge of God’
Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1
“John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion… is the all-time classic on the Reformed doctrine of the knowledge of God. The entire structure of Institutes is organized around how God is to be known as Father, Son and Spirit.” – Joel Beeke, Reader’s Guide, p. 3
Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, trans. J. K. S. Reid (London: James Clarke and Company, 1961), pp. 105-09, 182-85
Vermigli, Peter Martyr – Part I, Ch. 12, ‘Of Sundry Things Attributed unto God, and the Holy Trinity; where his Godhead is proved to be in the Son and in the Holy Ghost’ in Common Places (1576), pp. 99-110
Students of Geneva – Chs. 1-9 of Propositions and Principles of Divinity (God, Trinity, Father & Son, Holy Ghost, Attributes, Omnipotency, Knowledge, Will, Love & Mercy) 1591
These were disputations held under the presiding of professors Theodore Beza and Anthony Faius.
Ursinus, Zacharias – ‘Concerning the One True God’ & ‘Of God the Father’ in Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, pp. 121-140 Buy d. 1583, 1591, translated by George W. Williard
Zanchi, Jerome – ‘Observations on the Divine Attributes; Necessary to be Premised in order to our Better Understanding the Doctrine of Predestination’ prefixed to The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination, pp. 1-37 trans. Augustus Toplady 1769
This work was translated into English in 1595 and is available by way of fascimile.
Bucanus, William – ‘Of God’, pp. 1-7 of Institutions of Christian Religion Framed out of God’s Word, and the writings of the best divines, methodically handled by questions and answers, fit for all such as desire to know, or practice the Will of God ToC 1st ed. 1602
Bucan (d. 1603) was a professor of divinity at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Trelcatius, Jr., Lucas – Book 1, ch. 3, ‘Of God & the Attributes of God’, pp. 51-81 of A Brief Institution of the Common Places of Sacred Divinity, Wherein, the truth of every place is proved, and the sophisms of Bellarmine are reproved ToC 1610 2nd ed.
Trelcatius Jr. (1573-1607) was a professor of theology at Leiden. Robert Bellarmine was a prominent Roman Catholic apologist.
Rogers, Thomas – Article 1, ‘Of Faith in the Holy Trinity’, pp. 35-46 of An Exposition of the 39 Articles
Rogers (1553-1616) was an Anglican clergyman and, unfortunately, an early opponent of Nicholas Bownde in the Sabbatarian controversy. Augustus Toplady praised Rogers’ Exposition.
Ames, William – Chs. 4-7 of The Marrow of Sacred Divinity 1623
Becanus, Martin – Summa Theologiae Scolasticae (d. 1624; Leiden, 1683), pp. 23-24 tr. Michael Lynch
First Tract on God & the Divine Attributes,
Becanus (1563-1624) was a Romanist Jesuit and professor of theology.
Downame, John – Book 1, ch. 1, ‘Of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost’ in The Sum of Sacred Divinity Briefly and Methodically Propounded: More Largely and Clearly Handled and Explained ToC 1625
Polyander, Rivet, Walaeus, Thysius – Disputation 6, ‘About the Nature of God and his Divine Attributes’ in Synopsis of a Purer Theology Buy 1625
This work is also in ‘Reformed Dogmatics: Seventeenth-Century Reformed Theology’, ed. John Beardslee.
Ball, John – pp. 60-82 of A Short Treatise containing all the Principal Grounds of Christian Religion, by way of questions and answers… 1631
A Body of Divinity, or the Sum and Substance of the Christian Religion Buy modified by Hastings Robinson (1645; London, 1841)
The Divine Trinunity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit 1650
Cheynell was a Westminster divine.
Lyford, William – Ch. 2, ‘Errors Against the Nature & Essence of God, and Against the Trinity, Answered and Cleared’ in The Instructed Christian, or the Plain Man’s Senses Exercised to Discern Both Good and Evil, being a discovery of the Errors, Heresies, and Blasphemies of these Times, and the Toleration of them… †1653
Perkins, William – ‘Of Theology’ in An Abridgement of the Whole Body of Divinity 1654 by Thomas Nicols, being extracts from Perkins’ writings (by Nicols) laid out in systematic form
Norton, John – Chs. 1-5 (Essence, Trinity, Christ, Decree, Efficiency) of The Orthodox Evangelist, or a Treatise wherein many great Evangelical Truths are Briefly Discussed, Cleared and Confirmed 1654
Norton (1606-1663) was a New England puritan who wrote the biography of John Cotton.
Lawson, George – Chs. 3-9 of Theo-Politica, or, a Body of Divinity containing the Rules of the Special Government of God Buy 1659
Arrowsmith, John – Aphorisms 3-5 in A Chain of Principles 1659
Pearson, John – pp. 23-106 of ‘I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth’ in An Exposition of the [Apostles’] Creed 1st ed. 1659 See also an analysis of this section by W.H. Mill.
Pearson (1613–1686). This exposition of the Apostle’s Creed was the most widely used Anglican body of divinity in the post-Restoration (1660) Church of England. Pearson was somewhat reformed.
Baxter, Richard – A Treatise of the Knowledge of God and the Impression which it must make upon the Heart; & its Necessary Effects upon our Lives (London, 1664) ToC being the first treatise in The Divine Life in Three Treatises (London, 1664)
Ch. 12, ‘Self-Abasement Before the Majesty of God’ in Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers in Works, 6.63-70
Ch. 4, ‘Of the Attribution of Passions and Affections, Anger, Fear, Repentance unto God’ & Ch. 5, ‘Of God’s Prescience or Foreknowledge’ of Vindiciae Evangelicae; Or the Mystery of the Gospel Vindicated and Socinianism Examined in Works, 12.108-140
Ch. 5, ‘Whether the Will and Purpose of God may be Resisted, and He be Frustrate of his Intentions’ of A Display of Arminianism in Works, 10.43-52
‘The True Nature of Gospel Forgiveness–Its relation to the Goodness, Grace and Will of God…’ in A Practical Exposition Upon Psalm 130, on v. 4, pp. 398-404 in Works, vol. 6
Sermon II of The Strength of Faith in Works, vol. 9, pp. 37-45
Chs. 3-6 of A View of Some Divine Truths 1678
Polhill (c.1622-c.1694) was a hypothetical universalist.
Leighton, Robert – Lecture 7, ‘Of the Being of God’ in Theological Lectures in Works, vol. 4 d. 1684
Leighton (1611-84) was a reformed, evangelical and pious Scottish bishop.
Institutes of Elenctic Theology, ed. James Dennison, Jr., trans. George Musgrave Giger (Phillipsburg, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1992-97), vol. 1, 3rd Topic, Questions 5-22, pp. 187-253
‘Can the divine attributes be really distinguished from the divine essence?’
‘Is the distinction of attributes into communicable and incommunicable a good one?’
‘The Simplicity of God’
‘The Infinity of God’
‘The Immensity of God’
‘The Eternity of God’
‘The Immutability of God’
‘The Knowledge of God’
‘The Will of God’
‘The Justice of God’
‘The Goodness, Love, Grace & Mercy of God’
‘The Power of God’
‘The Dominion & Sovereignty of God’
‘The Attributes and Perfections of the Divine Being in Nine Lectures on Mt. 5:48’ in The Principles of the Oracles of God in The Works of the Rev. John Howe, Complete in Two Volumes, vol. 2 (New York: John P. Haven, 1835), Lectures 17-25, pp. 1103-1132
Howe (1630-1705) was an English dissenting minister.
This is an anthology of Howe’s writings put together as a systematic theology by Dunn.
Gastrell, Francis – Book 1, ‘Of the Existence & Attributes of God’ in The Christian Institutes: being a plain and impartial account of the whole faith and duty of a Christian 1709
Gastrell was a reformed Anglican.
Theologia Reformata: or, The Body and Substance of the Christian Religion, vol. 1 1713
On the First Article of the Creed
John Edwards (1637–1716) was a reformed Anglican, the son of Thomas Edwards, who wrote the famed book ‘Gangraena’ in the 1640’s.
Christian Theology d. 1724
Pictet was the Swiss professor of divinity in Geneva after Turretin. He was the last to hold the orthodox faith there before the rise of the Enlightenment.
Willard, Samuel – Sermons 12-30 in A Complete Body of Divinity in 250 expository lectures on the assembly’s Shorter Catechism 1726, d. 1707
Willard was a New England puritan.
Ridgley, Thomas – Questions 7-8 of A Body of Divinity, vol. 1 d. 1734
These were sermons preached through the Larger Catechism.
Tennent, Gilbert – Sermons 4-21 in Twenty-Three Sermons upon the Chief End of Man, the Divine Authority of the Sacred Scriptures, the being and attributes of God, and the doctrine of the Trinity, pp. 86-419 1744
Brown of Haddington, John – Book 2, ch. 1, ‘Of the Nature or Perfections of God’ in A Compendious View of Natural and Revealed Religion Buy 1782
Dwight, Timothy – Sermons 4-16 of Theology: Explained and Defended in a Series of Sermons, vol. 1 d. 1817
Dwight followed in the steps of the New England school after Jonathan Edwards. He denied the imputation of Adam’s guilt to his posterity, but other than that, he was pretty good. Joel Beeke has a very good introduction to his life and theology in the Solid Ground Christian Books reprint of this text.
Lectures on Theology Buy 1834
Dick was an orthodox Scottish professor of theology in the Secession tradition.
Bogue, David – Lectures 4-23 in Theological Lectures, vol. 1 1849
Bogue was a Scot who became a congregationalist in England and wrote the 3 volume, History of the Dissenters.
Wardlaw, Ralph – Lectures 20-30 in Systematic Theology, vol. 1 d. 1853
Lecture 7, ‘The Attributes of God’ in Outlines of Theology 1860
A.A. Hodge was the son of Charles Hodge and followed his father as a professor of systematic theology at Princeton.
Lecture 1, ‘God–His Nature and Relation to the Universe’ in Popular Lectures Buy
Breckinridge, Robert – Book 3, God in The Knowledge of God Objectively Considered, pp. 197-315 1869
Thornwell, James H.
Theological Lectures in Collected Writings, vol. 1 Buy 1871
Lecture 2, ‘The Being of God’
Lecture 4, ‘The Nature & Limits of our Knowledge of God’
Lecture 5, ‘The Names of God’
Lecture 6, ‘The Nature & Attributes of God’
Lecture 7, ‘Spirituality of God’
Lecture 8, ‘The Incommunicable Attributes of God’
Vindicatory Justice Essential to God 1881 17 pp. from Discussions, vol. 1: Theological & Evangelical, ed. C.R. Vaughan (Richmond, VA: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1890), pp. 466-481. Originally published in Southern Pulpit (April, 1881)
Ch. 1, ‘God & his Attributes’ in Conference Papers 1879
Familiar Lord’s Day afternoon addresses to Princeton students, arranged in topical fashion
Part 1, Ch. 5, ‘The Nature & Attributes of God’ in Systematic Theology, vol. 1 1871
Heppe, Heinrich – ‘The Existence & Notion of God’ & ‘The Attributes of God’ in Reformed Dogmatics, ed. Ernst Bizer (1950; Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2007), chs. 4 & 5, pp. 47-104
Vos, Geerhardus – Ch. 2, ‘Names, Being & Attributes of God’ in Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 1 Buy 1896
Bavinck, Herman – The Knowledge of God, from Our Reasonable Faith (1956), pp. 24-26
Macpherson was an eminent professor of Free Church of Scotland.
The Catholic Encyclopedia – ‘The Nature & Attributes of God’ (1907-1912) 42 paragraphs
‘Eternal Creation’ Download
“The lecture provides a partial defence of the idea of the timelessly eternal creation of the universe, once commonplace among Christian theologians, but now widely disputed. On such a view God has ontological but not temporal priority over his creation. It is better to stress the negative aspects of divine timelessness than to think of it on analogy with temporal duration. Recent objections to the idea of causation being necessarily temporal are considered and rebutted. Some objections to the idea of God being in time are proposed. Finally, it is argued that the timeless eternity of God fits better with the Nicene doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son.” – Summary
‘The Impossibility of Divine Passibility’ in The Power and Weakness of God: Impassibility and Orthodoxy Buy pp. 119-40. ed. Nigel M. de S. Cameron. Edinburgh: Rutherford House Books, 1990.
Pelikan, Jaroslav – ‘The Language of Negation’ & ‘The Lexicon of Transcendence’ in Christianity and Classical Culture: The Metamorphosis of Natural Theology in the Christian Encounter with Hellenism. Gifford Lectures Series Buy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), pp. 40-56, 200-14
Davidson, Matthew – ‘God & Other Necessary Beings’ 60 paragraphs and a bibliography in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy online
“There are various entities which, if they exist, would be candidates for necessary beings: God, propositions, relations, properties, states of affairs, possible worlds, and numbers, among others. Note that the first entity in this list is a concrete entity, while the rest are abstract entities. The main question we will address in this article is: Does God ground the existence of necessarily existing abstract objects?”
Samuel Rutherford’s answer to the question was ‘Yes’, and that abstract objects cannot exist without God. This was contrary to the position of many Romanists and Arminians of his day.
Adeyemi, Seni – ‘Ten Theses on the Essence & Attributes of God’ in ‘Sabbath School, WCF 2.1 (2): The Divine Essence & Attributes’ (2021)
Morton, Thomas – A Treatise of the Nature of God (London, 1599)
Morton (fl.1596-1599) of Berwick was reformed.
Stock, Richard – A Stock of Divine Knowledge, being a lively description of the divine nature, or, The divine essence, attributes, and Trinity particularly explained and profitably applied... ToC 1641
Stock (c.1568-1626) was reformed and a puritan.
Charnock, Stephen – Discourses upon the Existence & Attributes of God, vol. 1 (Existence, Atheism, Spirit, Worship, Eternity, Immutability, Omnipresence, Knowledge, Wisdom), 2 (Power, Holiness, Goodness, Dominion, Patience) (Robert Carter, 1853)
Bates, William d. 1699
Works, vol. 1
Puritan Sermons: The Morning Exercises at Cripplegate, vol. 5 Buy 1659-1689
Swinnock, George – The Incomparableness of God in his Being, Attributes, Works & Word in Works, vol. 4, p. 373 ff.
Buchius, Paulus – The Divine Being and its attributes philosophically demonstrated from the Holy Scriptures, and original nature of things according to the principles of F.M.B. of Helmont ToC 1693
Buchius (c.1657-) was reformed.
Hopkins, Ezekiel – Of Glorifying God in his Attributes appended to The Doctrine of the Two Covenants 1712
Hopkins (1634-1690) was reformed and was an Anglican divine in the Church of Ireland.
Beveridge, William – The Being, Love, and Other Attributes of God; as Our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier: Illustrated in Twelve Sermons (London, 1716)
Beveridge (1637-1708) was a reformed Anglican.
Wishart, William – Theologia: or Discourses of God, delivered in 120 Sermons, vol. 1 (ToC), 2 (ToC) d. 1729
Wishart (1660-1729) was an influential Church of Scotland minister, professor and principal of Edinburgh University. His work is similar to Charnock’s work.
Saurin, Jacques – Sermons, vol. 1, On the Attributes of God of the 8 vol., 1813, 2nd American edition, ed. Robinson
Saurin (1677-1730) was a famed, protestant French preacher.
Abernethy, John – Discourses Concerning the Being and Natural Perfections of God, in which that first principle of religion, the existence of the deity, is proved, from the frame of the material world, from the animal and rational life, and from human intelligence and morality. And the divine attributes of spirituality, unity, eternity, immensity, omnipotence, omniscience, and infinite wisdom, are explained, vol. 1, 2
Abernethy (1680-1740) was reformed and was an Irish, presbyterian minister.
Carson, Alexander – The Knowledge of Jesus, the Most Excellent of the Sciences (New York, 1855)
“Carson’s volume is misnamed; it contains a classic presentation of God’s attributes with little focus on Christ until the last chapter.” – Joel Beeke, Reader’s Guide, p. 1
Phillip, Robert – The Eternal, or ‘The God of our Fathers’ as Revealed in his Word and Works 1874
Bavinck, Herman – The Doctrine of God Buy 407 pp.
“A scholarly exposition from the Reformed standpoint.” – Cyril J. Barber
Candlish, James S. – The Christian Doctrine of God in ed. Dods & Whyte, Handbooks for Bible Classes & Private Students (1888) 155 pp.
Candlish (1835–1892) was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland, the son of the leader, Robert S. Candlish.
Jukes (1815-1901) was initially a curate in the Church of England who became a baptist and then joined the Plymouth Brethren, though he would eventually leave them as well in founding an independent chapel. He was an influence upon Hudson Taylor.
“…these devotional studies center in the Old Testament, are less complete than Stone’s Names of God [below], and are very pedantic.” – Cyril J. Barber
Pink, A.W. – The Attributes of God 1930
Our Knowledge of God (Oxford, 1939)
“A moderately evangelical treatment which focuses upon religious experience and epistemology.”- Cyril J. Barber
Baillie (1886-1960) was the son of Free Church minister John Baillie (1829-1891) and was born in the Free Church manse in Gairloch, Wester Ross. Baillie became a minister in the Church of Scotland and a professor of divinity in the University of Edinburgh.
Stone, Nathan – Names of God (Moody Press, 1944)
“This work by a Hebrew Christian focuses upon the names of God in the OT and shows them to be rich in meaning and of great significance.” – Cyril J. Barber
Hoeksema, Herman – Reformed Dogmatics Buy This is now being published in a 2 vol. edition.
Hoeksema (1886-1965) was one of the founding ‘fathers’ of the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC), a Dutch denomination in America.
“Standard Reformed dogmatics often have valuable sections on the doctrine of God. Herman Hoeksema, Reformed Dogmatics… is particularly moving on God’s attributes.” – Joel Beeke, Reader’s Guide, p. 1
Due to Hoeksema’s tendency towards hyper-calvinism, his significant errors regarding covenant theology and his adamant denial of common grace, this systematic is not entirely recommended.
“Hoeksema’s variance with the Westminster standards may be seen on many points of doctrine. But more that disagreement on a number of individual points, there is a systemic contrast. His opposition to the free offer is not incidental to his theology, but is integral to his wide-ranging reconstruction of covenant theology.” – Sherman Isbell, ‘Samuel Rutherford and the Preached Covenant’ in ed. Vogan, Samuel Rutherford – An Introduction to his Theology (Scottish Reformation Society, 2012)
Tozer (1897-1963) was not reformed. He was an American Christian pastor, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor. He received two honorary doctoral degrees.
Henry, Carl – God, Revelation and Authority, 6 vols. Buy 1976-83 Volumes 2, 5 & 6 are especially relevant.
Henry was an influential evangelical of the mid-1900’s and professor of theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. His work is massive, philosophical and something of a bedrock in its field.
Muller, Richard – Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 3 Buy 1987
Muller is one of the world’s leading reformed historians. This set is why. Muller analyzes and summarizes both the reformation and later puritan theology of the 1500-1600’s in the layout of the first part of a systematic theology.
Packer, J.I. – Knowing God Buy
“If you have never read a book (other than the Bible) about God and His attributes, begin with Packer’s. It’s already a classic. Part 1 deals with the blessings and benefits of knowing God; Part 2 with who God is in His attributes; Part 3 with the effect God’s being and attributes should have on our lives.” – Joel Beeke, Reader’s Guide, p. 2
Storms, C. Samuel – The Grandeur of God: a Theological and Devotional Study of the Divine Attributes Buy 1984
“Tozer is the most inspiring; Pink, the most experimental; Packer, the most practical; Storms, the most theological.” – Joel Beeke, Reader’s Guide, p. 2
The Attributes of God: an Introduction Pre (Crossway)
The Doctrine of God Buy 1992
God is Love: a Biblical and Systematic Theology Buy 2012 768 pp.
‘The Trinity: Where do we go from here?’ in ed. McGowan, A.T., Always Reforming: Explorations in Systematic Theology Buy 2007 365 pp.
editor, We Believe in One God (Ancient Christian Doctrine) Buy 2009 201 pp.
Bryant, Al – Sermon Outlines on the Attributes of God Pre (Kregel, 1993)
Ch. 2 is a historical survey from the early Church to the 1600’s. The book also includes a conceptional analysis and a systematic evaluation of the doctrine in chs. 3-4.
Helm, Paul – Eternal God: A Study of God Without Time Buy 1997
Olsson, Philip R. – Timelessly Present, Compassionately Impassible: a Defense of Two Classical Divine Attributes PhD diss. (Claremont Graduate University, 2021) 380 pp.
Beeke, Joel & Paul Smalley – Reformed Systematic Theology, vol. 1: Revelation & God Buy 2019
Barrett, Matthew – None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God Buy (Baker, 2019) 304 pp.
This work has been commended by reformed authors such as, Carl Trueman, Scott Swain and J.V. Fesko, as well as Tim Challies.
On the Freedom of God
Aquinas, Thomas – Contra Gentiles, Bk. 2
Lubbertus, Sibrandus – Second of the Theological Disputations, On God and his Attributes (Franeker, 1609)
Lubbertus (c.1556-1625) was a Dutch, reformed theologian and was a professor of theology at the University of Franeker for forty years from the institute’s foundation in 1585. He was a prominent participant in the Synod of Dort (1618–1619).
Thysius, Sr., Antoine – Sixth of the Theological Disputations, on the Nature of God & the Divine Attributes (Leiden, 1620)
Thysius (1565–1640) was a Dutch, reformed theologian and professor at the University of Harderwijk and the University of Leiden.
Diodati, Giovanni – A Theological Disputation On God (Geneva, 1625)
Diodati (1576-1649) was a Genevan-born Italian, reformed theologian and translator. He was the first translator of the Bible into Italian from Hebrew and Greek sources.
Luthardt, Christoph – A Theological Disputation on the Attributes of God in General, and Those which are Incommunicable in Specific (Bern, 1662)
Luthardt (1590-1663) was a reformed professor of philosophy and theology at Bern, Switzerland.
Wyss, David – A Theological Disputation on the Divine Attributes, in General & in Specific 1676
Wyss (1632-1700) was a reformed professor of philosophy, Hebrew, theology and catechetical theology at Bern, Switzerland.
Roy, Albert (1663-1733)
Roy (1663-1733) was a reformed, professor of Hebrew, Catechesis and theology at Lausanne, Switzerland.
Zanchi, Jerome – Of the Nature of God, or of the Divine Attributes, in 5 Books (Heidelberg, 1577) 719 pp.
Zanchi (1516-1590) was an Italian, protestant Reformation clergyman and educator who influenced the development of Reformed theology during the years following John Calvin’s death.
Table of Contents
1. Of the Necessity of the Knowledge of the Attributes of God
2. Of the Layout of the Whole First Book
3. Of the Term, Distinction and Difference of the Divine Names
4. Of the Ten Divisions of the Divine Names
5. Of the General Use of All the Divine Names
6. Whether any name may be conjoined to God which from created things may be discerned and may become known to us
7. Whether any name that may be fitting to God, that [Greek], of Him may be predicated?
8. Whether some names may be properly declared of God?
8. Whether so many various names which are spoken of God, may so far conflict with his unity & simplicity?
8. Whether all names which are predicated of God are synonyms?
8. Whether it be becoming to call God by the names of the most vile creatures?
9. Whether that which is predicated of the creatures, all the same may even be able to be predicated of the Creator, & vice-versa?
10. Whether that which is predicated of God, & yet at the same time of the creatures, may be predicated univocally, equivocally, or truly analogically?
11. Of the True Signification of the Principal Names of God & of the use of the varied sentiment of the Doctors
12. Of the name Elohim
13. Of the name YHWH
14. Of the name I Am
15. Of the name Shaddai
16. Of the name Theos & Deus
17. Of the name Kurios, or Dominus
18. Of the names by which God is described in Ex. 34
1. Of the Nature of God in General
2. Of the Simplicity of God
3. Of the Eternity of God
4. Of the Immutability of God
5. Of the Life of God
6. Of the Immensity & Infinity of God
7. Of the Perfection of God
8. Of the Blessedness of God
1. Of the Omnipotence of God
2. Of the Knowledge [Scientia] or Wisodm, & Foreknowledge of God
3. Of the Truth of God
4. Of the Will of God 297
I. Whether a Will is Truly & Properly Attributed to God in the Scriptures? 298
II. Whether the Will of God Ought to be Sought into by us & in what way it may able to be known by us? 302
III. Whether it is only one will or whether it may truly be multifold? And if multifold, in what way multifold? And further, whether there are many wills? 307
IV. Further, of what is the will of God? Of good only, or truly also of evils? And hence whether it is the cause of all things? 317
V. Further, what difference is there between the will by which it wills good things and by which it wills evil things? We are not able, in fact, to simply exclude the will of God from evil, unless we deny his foreknowledge and omnipotence, and by that his providence and deity. 332
VI. In what way He wills: whether out of necessity or truly in all liberty? 332
VII. Whether those things which He wills, He may establish by necessity so that they may be and may come about? 335
VIII. Whether God may will some new thing, or whether whatever He wills, He may have willed from eternity? 336
IX. Whether the will of God may be impeditively changed, or whether it may be wholly immutable, and hence whether it may always come about? 338
X. Whether the will of God ever conflicts with itself , when He commands something which yet He does not will to come to be, or whether the same may always abide in consistency to Him? 345
XI. Whether a cause to the divine will ought to be inquired into & whether such is able to be? 348
XII. Whether God’s will may always be just & the rule of all justice? 370
XIII. Whether our wills hold in conformity to the divine will, & by what way that may be? 369
XIV. What is it to do the will of God? 371
XV. Whether the will of God may be able to be a will of any created substance, so that the will in Christ, by which God so willed, may have been one and the same with that by which the man so willed? 375
1. Of the Goodness of God
2. Of the Grace of God
3. Of the Love of God
4. Of the Mercy of God
5. Of the Righteousness [or Justice] of God
6. Of the Wrath of God
7. Of the Hatred of God
8. Of the Lordship of God
1. Of the Providence of God
2. Of the Predestination of God
3. Of the Book of Life
Broecker, Frederik – An Antidote to Principal Errors, Comprehending a Tract on God, or of the Nature and Attributes of God… (Amsterdam, 1612) 102 pp.
Broecker (-1627) was reformed.
Sachse (1558-1616) is listed as reformed by PRDL, though it is also noted there that this is uncertain. Meisner (1587-1626) was Lutheran.
Maresius, Samuel – Book 1, ‘Of God & his Attributes’ in The Hydra of Socinianism Expunged, vol. 1 (Groningen, 1651)
1. An addition to the Tract on God 1
2. That God is demonstrated to be from the universal nature of things 3
3. That God is demonstrated to be by the working of his world 8
4. It is Demonstrated in Proceeding in the working of the world that it is understood that God is 21
5. It is displayed that God is out of things proper to Man 49
6. It is displayed by things that God is out of those things which are, or come, before nature 59
7. Of the Names of God 73
8. Of the Name El 75
9. Of the Name Eloah 77
10. Of the Name Adon & Adonai 84
11. Of the Name the Tetragram, vulgarly Jehovah, & something also of the name Jah 89
12. Of the Name Shaddai 113
13. Of the Name Theos 115
14. Of the Name Kurios & Despotes
15. Some Description is given of Deus 147
16. The Distinguishing of the Divine Attributes 152
17. Of the Unity of God 154
18. Of the Eternity of God 171
19. Of the Life of God 195
20. Of the Intellect of God 201
21. Of the Will of God 203
22. Of the Ability of God 220
23. Of the Power of God 242
24. Of the Wisdom of God 320
25. Of the Holiness of God 393
26. Of the Blessedness of God 473
27. Of the Magnitude, Immensity & Omnipresence of God 477
28. Of the Goodness & Gentleness [Clementia] of God, & of its opposite, Severity 500
29. Of those which are Affections in God by likeness (Of the Quasi-Affections of God) 533
30. Of the Love, Grace & Mercy of God, & of their Contraries, of Hate & Wrath 545
31. Of Desire, Hope & Joy, & the contraries of them which are attributed to God in the Sacred Scripture 578
32. Of the Decrees of God 604
Wittich, Christoph – Anti-Spinoza, or an Examination of the Ethics and Commentary of Benedict Spinoza on God and his Attributes (Amsterdam, 1690)
Wittich (1625-1687) was a German-born Dutch theologian. He is known for attempting to reconcile Descartes’ philosophy with the Scriptures.
Holtzfus, Barthold – A Theological Tract on God, Attributes and the Divine Decrees, Three Academic Dissertations 1707 210 pp.
Holtzfus (1659-1717) was a reformed professor of philosophy and theology at Frankfurt.
Table of Contents
1. Of the Existence of God & of the Engrafted & Acquired Conceptions, & so of Atheism 1
2. Of the Essence, Definition & Perfection of God 15
3. Of the Divine Attributes in General 24
4. Of the Unity, Simplicity, Spirituality, Invisibility & Ineffigability of God 30
5. Of the Truth, Goodness, Primacy & Independency, Infinity, Incomprehensibleness, Eternity, Immensity, & Immutability of God 40
6. Of the Life, Intellect & Knowledge [Scientia] of God 55
7. Of the Distinctions in Divine Knowledge [Scientiae], in Theory & in Practice, Natural & Free, of the Knowledge of Simple Intelligence & Vision, & so of Conditional, Middle Knowledge & of the Wisdom of God 71
8. Of the Will of God & of the Distinctions of the Divine Will 106
9. Of the Affections Attributed to God in Scripture 127
10. Of the Virtues of God 152
11. Of the Power, Glory & Blessedness of God 176
12. Of the Actions & Decrees of God 181
Naude, Philippe – La Souveraine perfection de Dieu dans ses divins attributs et la parfaite intégrité de l’Écriture… défendue… contre toutes les objections du manichéisme répandues dans les livres de M. Bayle (Amsterdam, 1708)
“But the Divines… have endeavored to answer all difficulties alledg’d by him [Mr. Bayle]… Mr. Naude, a learned mathematician of Berlin, and Mr. Placette of Copenhagen, eminent for his learning and piety [in his Response a deux Objections de Mr. B. 8 vo. 1707], have answered on the principles of the Calvinists…” – Anonymous, Vindication of the Divine Attributes, p. 7
Ancient to Modern
Gwatkin, Henry Melville – The Knowlege of God & its Historical Development, vol. 1 & 2 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1906) ToC
“…is a rather sketchy series of lectures notable for its bias against scholastic developments, whether medieval or post-Reformation, for its rather shallow philosophizing, and for its frequent neglect of the sources.” – Richard Muller, PRRD (2003), 3.24
Kirk, Kenneth E. – The Vision of God: the Christian Doctrine of the Summum Bonum; the Bapton Lectures for 1928 (Longmans Green, 1934) ToC
This is mainly, in 8 lectures, a survey of the doctrine from the Old Testament to the early 1900’s.
Ancient to Medieval
“This volume was inspired by Etienne Gilson’s query, made in the early 1950s, as to why medieval authors spoke of God’s being as infinite, a statement found neither in Judaeo-Christian scriptures nor in Greek philosophy… It concludes that infinity is predicated of God not only extrinsically, but also intrinsically: His very being is infinite – a predication resting on an Aristotelian theory of act/potency or on a Platonic version of participation.”
Early Church to 1600’s
The Early Church
Tolley, William Pearson – The Idea of God in the Philosophy of St. Augustine PhD diss. (NY: Richard R. Smith, 1930) 220 pp. ToC
Medieval Church to the Post-Reformation Era
Muller, Richard – Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: the Rise & Development of Reformed Theology, ca. 1520 – ca. 1725, vol. 3 (The Divine Essence & Attributes) 2nd ed. Buy (Baker Books, 2003) 600 pp.
Sweeney, Leo – ‘Bonaventure & Aquinas on the Divine Being as Infinite’ The Southwestern Journal of Philosophy,
vol. 5, no. 2, Aquinas & Bonaventure (d. 1274) (Summer, 1974), pp. 71-91
Balas, David L. – ‘A Thomist View on Divine Infinity’ Pre in Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, vol. 55 (1981)
Goff, J. Isaac – ch. 8, ‘Divine Infinity in Bonaventure’s Disputed Questions on the Mystery of the Trinity’ Pre in Ordo et Sanctitas: The Franciscan Spiritual Journey in Theology and Hagiography (Brill, 2017), pp. 165-85
Maurer, Armand – ch. 16, ‘The Role of Infinity in the Thought of Francis Meyronnes’ in Being & Knowing: Studies in Thomas Aquinas & Later Medieval Philosophers (Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1990), pp. 333-61
“…Roman Catholic scholars have tended, however, to isolate his [Aquinas’s] philosophical theology from its neo-Platonism, while others have treated the various parts of his Summa Theologiae without regard to their historical context. Dr Hankey’s main contention is that Aquinas was less of an Aristotelian than is commonly supposed, and that a proper appreciation of his work requires us to take fuller notice of his reliance on neo-Platonism… The author supports his position by making a careful analysis of the first 45 questions of the Summa Theologiae.”
Wass, Meldon C. – The Infinite God & the Summa Fratris Alexandri [the Summa of Brother Alexander] (Chicago, 1964) 101 pp. ToC
Alexander’s Summa was published in 1245. According to Leo Sweeny, it contains “a rather highly advanced theory of divine infinity”.
Wippel, John F. – The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas: From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Pre in Monographs of the Society for Medieval & Renaissance Philosophy, no. 1 (Catholic Univ. of America Press, 2000)
Vater, Carl A. – Divine Ideas: 1225–1325 PhD diss. (Catholic University of America, 2017) 595 pp.
Absract: “A theory of divine ideas was the standard Scholastic solution to the question ‘How does God know and produce creatures?’ Such a theory was only held to be successful if it upheld the nobility of God’s perfect knowledge without violating his supreme simplicity and unity. The theories of divine knowledge coming from philosophers like Aristotle, Avicenna, and Averroes, which posit no divine ideas, uphold divine simplicity, but seem to compromise the nobility of divine cognition because they are forced to say either that God does not know creatures at all, or that he only knows them in a universal (and therefore imperfect) or indeterminate way. They also seem to compromise divine causality because they have to posit either necessary (as opposed to voluntary) or mediated (as opposed to immediate) creation. Yet, positing multiple ideas in God as Augustine does seems contrary to divine simplicity.
Faced with these difficulties, the medieval Schoolmen were forced to articulate very precisely how God can know and create a multiplicity of creatures without jeopardizing the divine simplicity. A complete explanation of how God knows and produces creatures requires the Schoolmen to answer a number of questions… These questions cause Scholastics to articulate clearly, among other things, their positions on the nature of knowledge, relation, exemplar causality, participation, infinity, and possibility.”
From the Reformation to the Modern Era
On the Reformation
On the Knowledge of God
Muller, Richard – ”Duplex cognitio dei’ in the Theology of Early Reformed Orthodoxy’ (1979) 12 pp. The article can be read for free if one opens up a JSTOR account.
The Latin means ‘the two-fold knowledge of God’, referring to Calvin’s phrase and idea that:
“…in the fashioning of the universe as in the general teaching of Scripture the Lord shows himself to be simply the creator. Then in the face of Christ he shows himself the Redeemer.”
Kantzer, Kenneth S. – John Calvin’s Theory of the Knowledge of God & the Word of God Ref a Ph.D. diss. (Harverd Univ. Press, 1952)
Kantzer (1917-2002) was a professor of biblical and systematic theology and academic dean of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) from 1960-1978.
Parker, T.H.L. – The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God: a Study in the Theology of John Calvin (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1952) 130 pp. ToC Tinged with Neo-Orthodoxy
On the Power of God
Steinmetz, David – ‘Calvin & the Absolute Power of God’ in Calvin in Context Ref (Oxford, 1995)
Schreiner, Susan – ‘Exegesis & Double Justice in Calvin’s Sermons on Job’ in Church History, 58, no. 3 (Sep., 1989), pp. 322-38
“Briefly, the concept of double justice posits a higher hidden justice in God which transcends the Law and could condemn even the angels. This idea appears in Calvin’s works before the sermons on Job but always grows out of his fascination with Job 4:18, namely that even the angels are not clean in God’s sight… which proved that creaturely justice cannot satisfy the justice of God… But when he tried to develop double justice as a hermeneutical key to the book of Job as a whole, the text led him in a direction he did not want to go.” – p. 322
Kyle, Richard – ‘The Divine Attributes in John Knox’s Concept of God’ Ref in WTJ 48:1 (Spring 1986), pp. 161-72
On the 1600’s
Truman, Carl – ‘John Owen’s Dissertation on Divine Justice: An Exercise in Christocentric Scholasticism’ in Calvin Theological Journal 33 (1998), pp. 87-103
Shimko, Timofey – ‘John Owen’s Dissertation on Divine Justice: Scholasticism in Subservience to Theology’ a seminary paper (2018) 10 pp.
On pp. 1-3 Shimko surveys scholars on the apparent shift in Owen to more Thomistic metaphysical conceptions of God, which may have led to his change of opinion on whether God must punish sinners, and whether a substitutionary atonement is consequently necessary for the forgiveness of sins.
Beck, Andreas J.
‘Gisbertus Voetius (1589-1676): Basic Features of His Doctrine of God’ in eds. Willem J. van Asselt & Eef Dekker, Reformation & Scholasticism: An Ecumenical Enterprise Ref (Baker Academic, 2001), pp. 205-26
‘God, Creation & Providence in Post-Reformation Reformed Theology’ in eds. Lehner, Muller, Roeber, The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theology, 1600-1800 (Oxford, 2016), pp. 195-213
Van Ruler, Han – The Crisis of Causality. Voetius & Descartes on God, Nature & Change Ref (Leiden: Brill, 1995)