God’s Summary Attributes


We’ve learned that all of God’s attributes adjust to and assist one another. However, there are some attributes that are classified as “summary attributes,” because they don’t fit well into the other categories

Accordingly, God’s attributes of perfection, blessedness, beauty, and glory, fall into the category of “summary” attributes, because they celebrate all of what God is, and are enfolded into the other attributes at all times. In other words, when God employs his wisdom, goodness, or any other of his attributes, an infusion of the summary attributes takes place, making all of God’s character reflect perfection, blessedness, beauty, and glory.

As we turn the page on God’s attributes, I would like us to look doctrine as it pertains to God’s three O’s, as defined by Wayne Grudem in Systematic Theology:

  • doctrine: What the whole Bible teaches us today about some particular topic:
  • omnipotence: The doctrine that God is able to do all his holy will (from Latin omni, ‘all,’ and potens, ‘powerful’).
  • omnipresence: The doctrine that 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.
  • omniscience: The doctrine that God fully knows himself and all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act. [i]

As you can readily see, the above observations about God’s attributes align with and accommodate the doctrine of the three O’s.

In summary, we must remember that God’s attributes work in concert with another, but sometimes as one or two instruments in a fine tuned orchestra. Therefore, we should never explore one attribute without the other, because that would diminish how truly fine and brilliant God is.

Until next time…

[i] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994)