De Moor IV:19: Classification of God's Attributes: Negative and Positive

β. Into Negative and Positive: thus Infinity, Immensity, Independence, Invisibility, etc., are called Negative: Wisdom, Goodness, Justice, etc., are called Positive. We form a conception of the Negative Attributes by way of Negation; of the Positive Attributes by way of Eminence. But the Negative Attributes for the most part are so called in relation, not to the very Attributes of God, but to the Mode of our Conception and the Names by which they are expressed; while Infinity, Independence, and Immensity, although expressed Negatively, especially indicate Positive Perfection in God. But that Negative Mode of Conceiving and expressing arises from this, that we are finite, but God and His Attributes are infinite. For, if the Infinite be referred to the finite capacity of our mind, the former necessarily exceeds the latter beyond all proportion. And what exceeds the capacity, to that extent such does not make an impression upon the same; hence the Infinite is only considered Negatively. But if we conceive of the Infinite Positively, then the Infinite is proportioned to our finite capacity, which is absurd.

ABOUT US

Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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