God is good, loving, and merciful. And while this affirmation makes good sense, it does lead to the question of how God is good, loving, and merciful. We sometimes are good. Sometimes not. But God always is and does good. So when John says, “God is love” (1 John 4:8), he means something different than the phrase “Stephanie is a loving person.”
The traditional answer is bound up in the idea of God’s simplicity. In short, God simply is who he is (Exod 3:14). So that means God is love by nature. And the two terms are basically interchangeable. To say Love is to say God because Love defines God by nature. The nature of God is identical to his properties or attributes.
While most Christians had affirmed this answer (it appears in the Reformed confessions and early Christian thought), some have now challenged the idea that God is identical to his properties. [Read more…] about Is God Identical to His Attributes?