Basic Christian Doctrines
October 7, 2010
Word Count: 1,368
When discussing and trying to define God and how He interacts with the world. There are not many ways in which to do so. Grudem tries to find a way to explain this problem by using communicable and incommunicable attributes. In the handouts, incommunicable is defined as absolute and God chooses not to share them with others, communicable is defined as relative and are the attributes that God chooses to share with others.1 These attributes are how God chooses to communicate who He is with the world and allow us to better understand Him. The incommunicable attributes that I see most in God are His eternity and His omnipresence. When I think of these attributes and God, I feel that I can better comprehend God. By using eternity and omnipresence to get to know God better, I can have a better faith in knowing that He is always with me and He will never leave me.
When talking about a God that is eternal, you must understand that means that God had no beginning and will have no end. To explain God’s eternity Grudem states, “To be “infinite” is to unlimited, and this doctrine teaches that time does not limit God or change him in any way.”2 If God is infinite then time, as it does to humans on earth, does not apply to Him. We see a day as one rotation of the earth and a year as one rotation around the sun, which is defiantly not how God sees time pass. God, on the other hand, can see any point in time as He sees fit. God knows exactly what is taking place and with his omnipresence can know exactly what needs to be done. Omnipresence is a concept that has baffled many people, myself included. Grudem explains it as, “God does not have size or spatial dimensions, and is present at every point of space with his whole being, yet God acts differently in different places.”3 Omnipresence is a way to understand how God, the Father, could be more present in the Old Testament and how he was less present in the New Testament, and finally even less so in the present time. Although Jesus was very prominent in the New Testament and now the Holy Spirit is most prominent in our lives today. Although God does play different roles at each period in time, He is always there for us in whatever way possible and needed. The omnipresence attribute is understood the most in the Holy Spirit but it is found in all three forms of God. The Holy Spirit, as we know it, acts through each person individually, hardly ever takes a physical form, and is our link to God, the Father. The Holy Spirit works in very mysterious ways and we can know that through the attribute of omnipresence, the Holy Spirit will always be with us no matter where we are. Omnipresence is also present in the Son even though He is a human, He is also fully divine and as such omnipresence still can be found in Him. Finally omnipresence in the Father is one that is seen most throughout the Bible. God the Father’s being is not one that is physical, yet He can take a physical form (example would be the burning bush) in order to talk to us which shows us how God can act and do things differently as any point in time.
We can see that all of God’s attributes are present at any given time. Omnipresence and eternity are very intertwined because without one or the other it would be hard to understand either of them. If God is not eternal, then how can He be present in every time and everyplace without limitation? Eternal and omnipresence also complement each other in the idea that God acts differently at different times, because without the attribute of being everlasting and being everywhere, you cannot even begin to understand the decisions that lead God through the path of human time in which we see him in the Bible.
The communicable attributes are what we can use to become closer to God. These attributes are ones that...