The Perfections of the Divine Essence

There are two classes of attributes of God: communicable and incommunicable. The incommunicable attributes bear very little relation to human characteristics. For example, no human being is self-existing; no human receives life from himself and perpetuates his own existence. Simplicity is something that we do not have, unity is something we do not possess, and infinity is something we do not own. These are only some of the things to which man is just an observer.

However, there may be similarities between God’s and humans’ characteristics. The communicable attributes of God are characteristics that can also be present in mankind. For example: knowledge, wisdom, power, will, and goodness. Goodness may be classified as both holiness and justice. These are things that may appear in a particular measure within human beings, making them communicable attributes of God (i.e., available to humans).

Categories: Theology

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