Modern Theological Quotes

Quotes By Category

Appeal to Mystery
Free Will
Hypostatic Union
Negative Theology
Omniscience, Active
Omniscience, EDF
Omniscience, EDF?
Platonic Change
Self Sufficient

Appeal to Mystery

It should be readily confessed that the exact function of free will in God who is himself pure act is beyond the scope of human knowledge. Just as we cannot comprehend God as ipsum esse subsistens, we cannot comprehend the identity between God as eternal, immutable, pure act and his will for the world as free and uncoerced. Though we discover strong reasons for confessing both simplicity and freedom in God, we cannot form an isomorphically adequate notion of how this is the case. In fact, this confession of ignorance is precisely what one finds in the Thomist and Reformed traditions.
Dolezal, James E.. God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God’s Absoluteness (pp. 210-211). Pickwick Publications, An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.


Bavinck, Herman
Consequently— strictly speaking— one cannot speak of foreknowledge in the case of God: with him there are no “distinctions of time.”[ 71] He calls the things that are not as if they were and sees what is not as if it already existed. “For what is foreknowledge if not knowledge of future events? But can anything be future to God, who surpasses all times? For if God’s knowledge includes these very things themselves, they are not future to him but present; and for this reason we should no longer speak of God’s foreknowledge but simply of God’s knowledge.”[
Bavinck, Herman. Reformed Dogmatics : Volume 2: God and Creation (pp. 170-171). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Shedd, William
God’s omniscience, from the creature’s point of view, is foreknowledge; but it is not foreknowledge from God’s point of view.
William G. T. Shedd. Dogmatic Theology (Kindle Locations 4864-4865). Monergism Books. Kindle Edition.

The Immutability of God is a necessary concomitant of His aseity. It is that perfection of God by which He is devoid of all change, not only in His Being, but also in His perfections, and in His purposes and promises. In virtue of this attribute He is exalted above all becoming, and is free from all accession or diminution and from all growth or decay in His Being or perfections. His knowledge and plans, His moral principles and volitions remain forever the same. Even reason teaches us that no change is possible in God, since a change is either for better or for worse. But in God, as the absolute Perfection, improvement and deterioration are both equally impossible. This immutability of God is clearly taught in such passages of Scripture as Ex. 3: 14; Ps. 102: 26-28; Isa. 41: 4; 48: 12; Mal. 3: 6; Rom. 1: 23; Heb. 1: 11,12; Jas. 1: 17.
Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology (p. 46). . Kindle Edition.

Negative Theology

This principle of classification is perhaps the one most generally adopted. It gives rise, however, really but to two classes, namely, the positive and negative, i.e., those in which something is affirmed, and those in which something is denied concerning God. To the negative class are commonly referred simplicity, infinity, eternity, immutability; to the positive class, power, knowledge, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. Instead of calling the one class negative and the other positive, they are often distinguished as absolute and relative. By an absolute attribute is meant one which belongs to God, considered in Himself, and which implies no relation to other beings; by a relative attribute is meant one which implies relation to an object. They are also distinguished as immanent and transient, as communicable and incommunicable. These terms are used interchangeably. They do not express different modes of classification, but are different modes of designating the same classification. Negative, absolute, immanent, and incommunicable, are designations of one class; and positive, relative, transitive, and communicable, are designations of the other class.


Bavinck, Herman
God does not derive his knowledge of the free actions of human beings from his own being, his own decrees, but from the will of creatures.[ 99] God, accordingly, becomes dependent on the world, derives knowledge from the world that he did not have and could not obtain from himself, and hence, in his knowledge, ceases to be one, simple, and independent— that is, God. Conversely, the creature in large part becomes independent vis-à-vis God.
Bavinck, Herman. Reformed Dogmatics : Volume 2: God and Creation (p. 175). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Premise three says a being’s omniscience entails that a being has all experiential knowledge. Omniscience entails that a being has all experiential knowledge. That, I would say, is false. That is not the classical definition of omniscience. Remember, I said to be omniscient a being must know every true proposition p and believe no false proposition. So that means that omniscience is defined in terms of propositional truth, not in terms of experiential truth. So being omniscient does not entail, for example, knowing how it feels to have a sore back. God knows that having a sore back involves having pain and is uncomfortable, that’s propositional knowledge. But God doesn’t know himself what it’s like for his back to be sore, because he doesn’t have a back. Or he doesn’t know how it feels himself to be a sinner. Now, he knows the proposition that being a sinner feels lousy, feels guilty, feels depressing, he knows those propositions, but he doesn’t know how it feels to be himself a sinner. Or he doesn’t know what it is to be himself Bill Craig. He knows how Bill Craig feels, that’s propositional knowledge. But he doesn’t have to have the experiential knowledge of believing that he is himself Bill Craig. You see what I mean? So classically omniscience is not defined in terms of non-propositional knowledge. It is defined in terms of propositional knowledge, and there is no incoherence with God having all propositional knowledge. So, again, the objector here is saying that God cannot have the experiential knowledge of knowing what it is like to learn something. Now, I think that’s false, as I’ve already explained, I think God does know what that’s like, but that’s not entailed by omniscience. God doesn’t need to have experiential non-propositional knowledge in order to be propositionally omniscient. And that is what the doctrine of omniscience means.
William Lane Craig

Omniscience, Active

Dolezal, James
The traditional Thomist and Reformed scholastic response to these challenges has been to claim that God does not possess his knowledge of diverse things through the reception of multiple intelligible species or forms in his intellect, but, rather, has this vast knowledge of things in knowing his own essence as imitable. Additionally, the claim that God is pure act seems to proscribe the possibility that he ever receives knowledge or comes to know things.
Dolezal, James E.. God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God’s Absoluteness (p. 165). Pickwick Publications, An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Inasmuch as there is no real distinction in God between supposit and nature there is no reason to suppose that his self-knowledge is possessed by way of in-formation or discursive reasoning. God is the divinity by which he is divine and thus knows himself by himself. This self-knowledge, furthermore, is not an act of self-impressed knowledge by way of self-representation. That is, God does not cause himself to know himself. Rather, he just is that act of knowledge by which he knows himself.
Dolezal, James E.. God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God’s Absoluteness (p. 167). Pickwick Publications, An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Oden, Thomas
How can we get our sluggish intellects in touch with the awesome conception that God knows all? The divine omniscience is best viewed as the infinite consciousness of God in relation to all possible objects of knowledge. God knows past, present, and future (John of Damascus, OF 2.10). God knows external events and inward motivations (Hilary, On Trin. 9.29). God does not perceive fragmentarily as humans perceive, as if from a particular nexus of time, but knows exhaustively, in eternal simultaneity (Irenaeus, Ag. Her. 2.26-8; Catherine of Siena, Prayers 7)…

We know some things, but God knows incomparably more, greater, and better (Ambrose, To Gratian on Chr. Faith 5.6; Augustine, On Trin. 15.22; CG 12.18; Tho. Aq., ST 1 Q14.13). “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere” (Prov. 15:3; Benedict of Nursia, Rule, 19), implying that God sees all simultaneously. God knows objects as distanced from one another, but not from God, for there can be no distance of any object from God (Augustine, CG 5.11). God’s knowing is said to be (a) eternally actual, not merely possible; (b) eternally perfect, as distinguished from a knowledge that begins, increases, decreases, or ends; (c) complete instead of partial; and (d) both direct and immediate, instead of indirectly reflected or mediated (Tho. Aq., SCG 1. 63-71).
Oden, Thomas Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology

Strong, Augustus
(b) Since it is free from all imperfection, God’s knowledge is immediate, as distinguished from the knowledge that comes through sense or imagination; simultaneous, as not acquired by successive observations, or built up by processes of reasoning ; distinct, as free from all vagueness or confusion; true, as perfectly corresponding to the reality of things; eternal, as comprehended in one timeless act of the divine mind.
Augustus Strong, Systematic Theology

Charnock, Stephen
Prop. III. God knows all things independently. This is essential to an infinite understanding. He receives not his knowledge from anything without him; he hath no tutor to instruct him, or book to inform him: “Who hath been his counsellor?’ saith the prophet (Isa. xl. 13); he hath no need of the counsels of others, nor of the instructions of others. This follows upon the first and second propositions; if he knows things by his essence, then, as his essence is independent from the creatures, so is his knowledge; he borrows not any images from the creature; hath no species or pictures of things in his understanding, as we have; no beams from the creature strike upon him to enlighten him, but beams from him upon the world; the earth sends not light to the sun, but the sun to the earth. Our knowledge, indeed, depends upon the object, but all created objects depend upon God’s knowledge and will; we could not know creatures unless they were; but creatures could not be unless God knew them. As nothing that he wills is the cause of his will, so nothing that he knows is the cause of his knowledge; he did not make things to know them, but he knows them to make them: who will imagine that the mark of the foot in the dust is the cause that the foot stands in this or that particular place? If his knowledge did depend upon the things, then the existence of things did preceed God’s knowledge of them: to say that they are the cause of God’s knowledge, is to say that God was not the cause of their being; and if he did create them, it was effected by a blind and ignorant power; he created he knew not what, till he had produced it. If he be beholden for his knowledge to the creatures he hath made, he had then no knowledge of them before he made them. If his knowledge were dependent upon them, it could not be eternal, but must have a beginning when the creatures had a beginning, and be of no longer a date than since the nature of things was in actual existence; for whatsoever is a cause of knowledge, doth precede the knowledge it causes, either in order of time, or order of nature: temporal things, therefore, cannot be the cause of that knowledge which is eternal. His works could not be foreknown to him, if his knowledge commenced with the existence of his works (Acts xv. 18): if he knew them before he made them, he could not derive a knowledge from them after they were made. He made all things in wisdom (Ps. civ. 24). How can this be imagined, if the things known where the cause of his knowledge, and so before his knowledge, and therefore before his action? s God would not then be the first in the order of knowing agents, because he would not act by knowledge, but act before he knew, and know after he had acted; and so the creature which he made would be before the act of his understanding, whereby he knew what he made. Again, since knowledge is a perfection, if God’s knowledge of the creatures depended upon the creatures, he would derive an excellency from them, they would derive no excellency from any idea in the Divine mind; he would not be infinitely perfect in himself; if his perfection in knowledge were gained from anything without himself and below himself, he would not be sufficient of himself, but be under an indigence, which wanted a supply from the things he had made, and could not be eternally perfect till he had created and seen the effects of his own power, goodness, and wisdom, to render him more wise and knowing in time than he was from eternity. “Who can fancy such a God as this without destroying the Deity he pretends to adore? for if his understanding be perfected by something without him, why may not his essence be perfected by something without him; that, as he was made knowing by something without him, he might be made God by something without him? How could his understanding be infinite if it depended upon a finite object, as upon a cause? Is the majesty of God to be debased to a mendicant condition, to seek for a supply from things inferior to himself? Is it to be imagined that a fool, a toad, a fly, should be assistant to the knowledge of God? that the most noble being should be perfected by things so vile; that the Supreme Cause of all things should receive any addition of knowledge, and be determined in his understanding, by the notion of things so mean? To conclude this particular, all things depend upon Ins knowledge, his knowledge depends upon nothing, but is as independent as himself and his own essence.
Charnock, Stephen. The Existence and Attributes of God (Kindle Locations 9815-9820). . Kindle Edition.

Grudem, Wayne
Our definition of God’s knowledge speaks of God knowing everything in one “simple act.” Here again the word simple is used in the sense “not divided into parts.” This means that God is always fully aware of everything. If he should wish to tell us the number of grains of sand on the seashore or the number of stars in the sky, he would not have to count them all quickly like some kind of giant computer, nor would he have to call the number to mind because it was something he had not thought about for a time. Rather, he always knows all things at once. All of these facts and all other things that he knows are always fully present in his consciousness. He does not have to reason to conclusions or ponder carefully before he answers, for he knows the end from the beginning, and he never learns and never forgets anything (cf. Ps. 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8; and the verses cited above on God’s perfect knowledge). Every bit of God’s knowledge is always fully present in his consciousness; it never grows dim or fades into his nonconscious memory. Finally, the definition talks about God’s knowledge as not only a simple act but also an “eternal act.” This means that God’s knowledge never changes or grows. If he were ever to learn something new, he would not have been omniscient beforehand. Thus, from all eternity God has known all things that would happen and all things that he would do.
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

Shedd, William
The Divine knowlege is (a) Intuitive, as opposed to demonstrative or discursive; it is not obtained by comparing one thing with another, or deducing one truth from another; it is a direct vision. (5) Simultaneous, as opposed to successive; it is not received gradually into the mind, and by parts; the perception is total, and instantaneous. (c) Complete and certain, as opposed to incomplete and uncertain. The Divine knowledge excludes knowledge by the senses, gradual acquisition of knowledge, forgetting of knowledge, and recollection of knowledge.
William G. T. Shedd. Dogmatic Theology (Kindle Locations 4860-4864). Monergism Books. Kindle Edition.

Giesler, Norman
God know the same things we do, but he doc not know them the same way we know them. Our knowledge is discursive or inferential, moving from premise to conclusion . In human knowledge there is twofold discursiveness : where one thing is known after another, and where one thing is known through another. But God can not know things sequentially, since he is timeless and knows all things eternally at once. Nor can God know things inferentially, for he is simple and knows all things through the oneness of himself. Therefore, God cannot know anything discursively, inasmuch as discursive knowledge implies a limitation on the part of the knower.

Furthermore, even though God knows other things than himself, nonetheless, he knows them in and through himself. For God does not know other things through himself either successively or inferentially but simultaneously and intuitively. In brief, God knows the created effects in himself intuitively but not through himself in a discursive way. This is not an imperfection in God ‘s knowledge but a perfection. For God ‘s knowledge is more perfect precisely because he does not have to know things discursively or sequentially through their causes but knows them directly and intuitively.
Norman Giesler, Creating God in the Image of Man

(1)  God does not really have foreknowledge; He simply knows in one eternal Now.
(2)  God’s knowledge is not based on anything outside Himself. God’s knowledge of all things is based on knowing Himself and all other things as they preexist in Himself as their Primary Cause.
Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology v2.

MacArthur, John
The Eternal Priority of God’s Knowledge. God’s knowledge is eternal and a priori (“from the previous,” i.e., proceeding from a known or assumed cause to a necessarily related effect), not a posteriori (“from the subsequent,” i.e., from particulars to principles, from effects to causes). God’s knowledge precedes all things outside God, never being derived from reality outside himself (Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:4-5; 2 Tim. 1:9). God’s knowledge is also perfect, never increasing (lsa. 40:13- 14; Rom. 11:34). It is definite-clearly defined, precise, certain, sure, and comprehensive (Ps. 139:1-3; Heb. 4:13). And God’s knowledge is eternally active, never passive, because God’s essence is eternally active.
John MacArthur, Richard Mayhue, Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth

Bavinck, Herman
…all are known to God. He knows everything (1 John 3: 20). This knowledge is not a posteriori, obtained by observation, but a priori, present from eternity (1 Cor. 2: 7; Rom. 8: 29; Eph. 1: 4– 5; 2 Tim. 1: 9). His knowledge is not susceptible of increase (Isa. 40: 13f.; Rom. 11: 34);
Bavinck, Herman. Reformed Dogmatics : Volume 2: God and Creation (p. 166). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Berkhof, Louis
1. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. The knowledge of God may be defined as that perfection of God whereby He, in an entirely unique manner, knows Himself and all things possible and actual in one eternal and most simple act…

The knowledge of God differs in some important points from that of men. It is archetypal, which means that He knows the universe as it exists in His own eternal idea previous to its existence as a finite reality in time and space; and that His knowledge is not, like ours, obtained from without. It is a knowledge that is characterized by absolute perfection. As such it is intuitive rather than demonstrative or discursive. It is innate and immediate, and does not result from observation or from a process of reasoning. Being perfect, it is also simultaneous and not successive, so that He sees things at once in their totality, and not piecemeal one after another. Furthermore, it is complete and fully conscious, while man’s knowledge is always partial, frequently indistinct, and often fails to rise into the clear light of consciousness.
Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology (p. 54). . Kindle Edition.

Boyce, James Petigru
How does God know? or in what way does he possess knowledge?

1. Not as we gain it, by using faculties fitted to acquire it. There is in him nothing corresponding to observation, comparison, generalization, deduction, processes of reasoning, by which we pass from one step to another, or the contemplation or conjecture of suppositions or theories by which we account for facts.

2. It is even improper to speak of his knowing by intuition, as is frequently done.

3. All that we can say is that his knowledge is his essence or nature knowing. It is not something acquired, but something belonging to that nature itself and identical with it, in like manner as are his love, and truth, and justice. It is something so inherent in his nature that it exists exclusively of any means of attaining or perceiving it, which we call action.

4. The knowledge of God, therefore, not being acquired, cannot be increased. Time does not add to it. Succession of events does not bring it before God. All the objects of his knowledge are to him eternally present and known.
James Petigru Boyce, Systematic Theology

This knowledge of God is not only all-comprehending, but it is intuitive and immutable. He knows all things as they are, being as being, phenomena as phenomena, the possible as possible, the actual as actual, the necessary as necessary, the free as free, the past as past, the present as present, the future as future. Although all things are ever present in his view, yet He sees them as successive in time. The vast procession of events, thoughts, feelings, and acts, stands open to his view.
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology v1.

Platonic Change

Even reason teaches us that no change is possible in God, since a change is either for better or for worse. But in God, as the absolute Perfection, improvement and deterioration are both equally impossible.
Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology (p. 46). . Kindle Edition.

Through much of the history of the church, God has also been understood as absolutely immutable in every respect. After all, it was often reasoned , if God can change, then that changeability must indicate a change for the better or a change for the worse. But if for the better, then he was not God before; and if for the worse, then he no longer can rightly be conceived as God.
Ware, Bruce (2008-05-15). Perspectives on the Doctrine of God (p. 90). B&;H Publishing. Kindle Edition.

f. The Importance of God’s Unchangeableness: At first it may not seem very important to us to affirm God’s unchangeableness. The idea is so abstract that we may not immediately realize its significance. But if we stop for a moment to imagine what it would be like if God could change, the importance of this doctrine becomes more clear. For example, if God could change (in his being, perfections, purposes, or promises), then any change would be either for the better or for the worse. But if God changed for the better, then he was not the best possible being when we first trusted him. And how could we be sure that he is the best possible being now? But if God could change for the worse (in his very being), then what kind of God might he become? Might he become, for instance, a little bit evil rather than wholly good? And if he could become a little bit evil, then how do we know he could not change to become largely evil—or wholly evil? And there would be not one thing we could do about it, for he is so much more powerful than we are. Thus, the idea that God could change leads to the horrible possibility that thousands of years from now we might come to live forever in a universe dominated by a wholly evil, omnipotent God. It is hard to imagine any thought more terrifying. How could we ever trust such a God who could change? How could we ever commit our lives to him?
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

The IMMUTABILITY of God follows from his eternity. Since there is no “before” or “after” with God, he remains the same in his being and character. This attribute is also associated with his perfection. If God is perfect in every way, then any change in him must be for the worse. But since he is immutable, he cannot change for the worse. And since he is already perfect in every way, he has no need to change or develop.
Cheung, Vincent. Systematic Theology (Kindle Locations 1397-1400). Kindle Edition.


John Calvin
2. In this one essence are three persons, yet so that neither is there a triple God, nor is the simple essence of God divided. Meaning of the word Person in this discussion. Three hypostases in God, or the essence of God.
Calvin, John. The John Calvin Collection: 12 Classic Works (Kindle Locations 1580-1581). . Kindle Edition.

Again, whatever is proper to each I affirm to be incommunicable, because nothing can apply or be transferred to the Son which is attributed to the Father as a mark of distinction. I have no objections to adopt the definition of Tertullian, provided it is properly understood, “that there is in God a certain arrangement or economy, which makes no change on the unity of essence.”—
Calvin, John. The John Calvin Collection: 12 Classic Works (Kindle Locations 1739-1742). . Kindle Edition.

This he could not do in part merely, for it were impious to think of a divided God. And besides, on this supposition, there would be a rending of the Divine essence. The whole entire essence must therefore be common to the Father and the Son; and if so, in respect of essence there is no distinction between them. If they reply that the Father, while essentiating, still remains the only God, being the possessor of the essence, then Christ will be a figurative God, one in name or semblance only, and not in reality, because no property can be more peculiar to God than essence, according to the words, “I AM has sent me unto you,” (Ex. 3: 4.)

Calvin, John. The John Calvin Collection: 12 Classic Works (Kindle Locations 2116-2120). . Kindle Edition.

It should be readily confessed that the exact function of free will in God who is himself pure act is beyond the scope of human knowledge. Just as we cannot comprehend God as ipsum esse subsistens, we cannot comprehend the identity between God as eternal, immutable, pure act and his will for the world as free and uncoerced. Though we discover strong reasons for confessing both simplicity and freedom in God, we cannot form an isomorphically adequate notion of how this is the case. In fact, this confession of ignorance is precisely what one finds in the Thomist and Reformed traditions.
Dolezal, James E.. God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God’s Absoluteness (pp. 210-211). Pickwick Publications, An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.

When we speak of the simplicity of God, we use the term to describe the state or quality of being simple, the condition of being free from division into parts, and therefore from compositeness. It means that God is not composite and is not susceptible of division in any sense of the word.
Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology (p. 50). . Kindle Edition.

It is this conviction that lies behind the teaching of Christian theology that God is “simple,” that is, free from composition. God is identical with each of his attributes; he is what he possesses. In God “to be” is the same as to be wise, to be good, or to be powerful. All God’s attributes are identical with his essence. In all his attributes he is pure being, absolute reality. We cannot refrain from speaking of God’s being, and in the description of God’s essence Christian theology places his aseity in the foreground as the primary attribute traditionally associated with the name YHWH. God is the One who exists of and through himself, the perfect being who is absolute in wisdom and goodness, righteousness and holiness, power and blessedness.
Bavinck, Herman. Reformed Dogmatics : Volume 2: God and Creation (p. 70). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

On the whole, its teaching has been that God is “simple,” that is, sublimely free from all composition, and that therefore one cannot make any real [i.e., ontological] distinction between his being and his attributes. Each attribute is identical with God’s being: he is what he possesses.
Bavinck, Herman. Reformed Dogmatics : Volume 2: God and Creation (p. 92). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

John Frame
To say that God is simple, in scholastic philosophy, is to say that there is no compositism in his being. Specifically, there is no composition of physical parts, form and matter, actual and potential, genus and differentia, substance and accident, God and his essence, essence and attributes, attributes and one another, or essence and esse. God is not, then, in any sense made up of parts.

Granted that God is not it physical being, it is obvious that he is not made up of physical parts. Nor can he he divided into form and matter, or actuality and potentiality, since he has no matter or (passive) potentiality. Nor is he made up of genus and differentia, since he is not in a genus, nor is he a genus (godhood) differentiated by species (various gods). Nor is he made up of substance and accidents, because there are no accidents in him.-” Since God has no accidents, everything in him is essential to his being. So he is, in a sense, his essence.

But the other claims require further consideration. It is not, indeed, entirely apparent what is meant by parts or divisions in a nonphysical being. In what way could a spiritual being conceivably be divided or composed? What would he the difference, specifically, between a spiritual being whose attributes are parts of him and it spiritual being whose attributes are not parts, but somehow equivalent to himself.’

For Aquinas, parts are always something less than the whole, and parts can he understood and can function to some extent apart from the whole. They are in some measure independent of the whole. If they are united into it whole, they can also, because of their independence, he removed from the whole. And if they are united to a whole, this union is a process by which a potential union is caused to he actual.

There cannot he such parts in God, for several reasons. First, there can he nothing in him that is less, or less noble, than himself. Second, nothing in him can he removed from him, for nothing in him can not he. Third, the fact that he has many attributes is not something caused, for he is the first cause. Fourth, in God there can he no process of potentiality becoming actuality, because he is pure act, with no passive potentiality. So God’s attributes are not parts or divisions within the Godhead in Aquinas’s fairly technical sense of parts, but each attribute is necessary to God’s being. Each is essential to him, and therefore his essence includes all of them. God cannot be God without his goodness, his wisdom, and his eternity. In other words, he is necessarily good, wise, and eternal. None of his attributes can he removed from him, and no new attribute can he added to him. Therefore, none of his attributes exists without the others. So each attribute has divine attributes; each is qualified by the others. God’s wisdom is an eternal wisdom, and his goodness is a wise and (importantly) just goodness. And his esse is a necessary existence, necessary to his essence. Granted who God is, lie cannot fail to exist.
John Frame, The Doctrine of God