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Book Review: The Attributes of God

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In the autumn of last year, a man in our church loaned me a copy of this book by A. W. Pink. I don’t think he meant for me to keep it six months, but I have. It has taken me that long to read this short, 117 page book. The reason? I am not a deep thinker. In matters of theology, and this includes my daily Bible reading time, I have to have silence. I have to mull things over, sometimes re-reading pages a few times before moving on. This book was worth my time.

Here is a listing of chapters, or attributes of God, that are discussed in this little book:

1. The Solitariness of God

2. The Decrees of God

3. The Knowledge of God

4. The Foreknowledge of God

5. The Supremacy of God

6. The Sovereignty of God

7. The Immutability of God

8. The Holiness of God

9. The Power of God

10. The Faithfulness of God

11. The Goodness of God

12. The Patience of God

13. The Grace of God

14. The Mercy of God

15. The Love of God

16. The Wrath of God

17. The Contemplation of God

I had the most difficulty with the first three chapters. I have now read through each chapter, but I am thinking of re-reading those first three again. I think I will also purchase my own copy so that I can highlight and underline. There are many glorious, and yet, sometimes painful, truths in this little book.

A few quotes from this book:

From “The Supremacy of God”:

Men imagine that the Most High is moved by sentiment, rather than actuated by principle. They suppose that his omnipotency is such an idle fiction that Satan is thwarting his designs on every side. They think that if he has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, constantly subject to change. They openly declare that whatever power he possesses must be restricted, lest he invade the citadel of man’s “free will” and reduce him to a “machine”. They lower the all-efficacious Atonement, which has actually redeemed everyone for whom it was made, to a mere “remedy”, which sin-sick souls may use if they feel disposed to;… (page 36)

The supremacy of the true and living God might well be argued from the infinite distance which separates the mightiest creatures from the almighty Creator. He is the potter, they are but the clay in his hands, to be molded into vessels of honor, or to be dashed into pieces (Ps. 2:9) as he pleases. (pages 36-37)

I freely admit that I had formed just such a “god” in my mind. The god that I had imagined was much like myself, fettered with my human sentimentality and human thoughts and ideas. This chapter jarred me, and convicted me. The God that saved me is a powerful God. Our human frailties cannot stop Him from His will. Isn’t that a relief? His yoke truly is easy; His burden is light.

I wish I could share the chapter on the “Sovereignty of God” in its entirety, but time fails me.

From the “Grace of God”:

Eternal life is a gift, therefore it can neither be earned by good works, nor claimed as a right. Seeing that salvation is a “gift”, who has any right to tell God on whom he ought to bestow it? It is not that the Giver ever refuses this gift to any who seek it wholeheartedly, and according to the rules which he has prescribed. No! . . . Is God obliged to force his gift on those who value it not? . . . But nothing more riles the natural man and brings to the surface his innate and inveterate enmity against God than to press upon him the eternality, the freeness, and the absolute sovereignty of Divine grace. That grace cannot be earned or won by any efforts of man is too self-emptying for self-righteousness. (page 86)

Again, piercing words! I had imagined that God felt about things the way I think about them. How foolish and prideful I am!

On “The Mercy of God”:

It is not the wretchedness of the creature which causes him to show mercy, for God is not influenced by things outside of himself as we are. (page 94)

From “The Love of God”:

There are many today who talk about the love of God, who are total strangers to the God of love. The Divine love is commonly regarded as a species of amiable weakness, a sort of good-natured indulgence; it is reduced to a mere sickly sentiment, patterned after human emotion. Now the truth is that on this, as on everything else, our thoughts need to be formed and regulated by what is revealed thereon in Holy Scripture. That there is urgent need for this is apparent not only from the ignorance which so generally prevails, but also the low state of spirituality which is now so sadly evident everywhere among professing Christians. How little real love there is for God. One chief reason for this is because our hearts are so little occupied with his wondrous love for his people. The better we are acquainted with his love – it’s character, fullness, blessedness – the more our hearts will be drawn out in love to him. (page 99)

I apologize for this lengthy post, but there were so many blessings to share! I hope they have blessed you, too. I hope you will be encouraged to study the attributes of God. Jehovah is good, He is holy, He is sovereign – He is everything! I want to love Him, live for Him and share Him with others more.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Attributes of God

  1. Uh, oh, that “low state of spirituality among professing Christians” hits me between the eyes, as do other statements. Does he suggest ways for being more occupied with the wondrous love of God–reading the Bible more, meditating on God’s word, witnessing to the lost, eliminating distractions such as technology, etc.?
    Love,
    Mother

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    1. If we want to be occupied by the love of God, we should mediate on the Gospel: the glorious death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! And then we worship Him. There is no checklist of things to do. It’s that simple and that difficult.

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