Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book Review: The Attributes of God

The Attributes of God. Arthur W. Pink. [This edition 1975/2000] Family Christian Press. 96 pages.

In the preface, Pink wrote, "The foundation of all true knowledge of God must be in a clear mental apprehension of His perfections as revealed in Holy Scripture. An unknown God can neither be trusted, served, nor worshipped. In this book an effort has been made to set forth some of the principal perfections of the Divine character." He concludes, "Something more than a theoretical knowledge of God is needed by us. God is only truly known in the soul as we yield ourselves to Him, submit to His authority, and regulate all the details of lives by His holy precepts and commandments."

I'm almost at a loss of words with this one. Not because this is a bad book--far from it. But because, I marked almost every page--or every other page. The chapters within The Attributes of God speak for themselves: The Solitariness of God, The Decrees of God, The Knowledge of God, The Foreknowledge of God, The Supremacy of God, The Sovereignty of God, The Immutability of God, The Holiness of God, The Power of God, The Faithfulness of God, The Goodness of God, The Patience of God, The Grace of God, The Mercy of God, The Love of God, The Wrath of God, The Contemplation of God. Each chapter is rich in depth. Each chapter relies heavily on Scripture--as it should be. Each chapter is short and concise. I think the fact that it is so short will be beneficial to readers.

Which would you be more likely to pick up: a book under 100 pages or a book over a 1000 pages? (I'm speaking of Stephen Charnock's The Existence and Attributes of God. I do plan on attempting that one this year. Why mention it at all? Well, Pink is fond of quoting Charnock, which is probably why I picked up that theological chunkster a few years ago.)

Some of my favorite quotes:

Nothing has ever come to pass, or ever will, merely because God knew it. The cause of all things is the will of God. (20)

False theology makes God's foreknowledge of our believing the cause of His election to salvation; whereas God's election is the cause, and our believing in Christ is the effect. (23)

God foreknows what will be because He has decreed what shall be. (26)

God did not elect any sinner because He foresaw that he would believe, for the simple but sufficient reason that no sinner ever does believe until God gives him faith; just as no man sees until God gives him sight. Sight is God's gift, seeing is the consequence of my using His gift. So faith is God's gift, believing is the consequence of my using His gift. (26)

However unstable I may be, however fickle my friends may prove, God changes not. If He varied as we do, if He willed one thing today and another tomorrow, if He were controlled by caprice, who could confide in Him? But, all praise to His glorious name, He is ever the same. His purpose is fixed. His will is stable. His word is sure....The permanence of God's character guarantees the fulfillment of His promises. (39)

The unregenerate do not really believe in the holiness of God. Their conception of His character is altogether one-sided. They fondly hope that His mercy will override everything else. (44)

We cannot have a right conception of God unless we think of Him as all-powerful, as well as all-wise. He who cannot do what he will and perform all his pleasure cannot be God. As God hath a will to resolve what He deems good, so has He power to execute His will. (46)

The better we are acquainted with His love--its character, fulness, blessedness--the more will our hearts be drawn out in love to Him. (77)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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