The Attributes of God: An Introduction

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ISBN: 9781433561177


How can we (created beings) know God (the Creator)?

Throughout history, the church has recognized the importance of studying and understanding God’s attributes. As the Creator of all things, God is unique and cannot be compared to any of his creatures, so to know him, believers turn to the pages of Scripture. In The Attributes of God, renowned theologian Gerald Bray leads us on an exploration of God’s being, his essential attributes, his relational attributes, and the relevance of his attributes to our thinking, lives, and worship. As we better understand God’s attributes, we will learn to delight in who God is and how he has made himself known to us in Scripture.

Part of the Short Studies in Systematic Theology series.


Gerald Bray

Gerald Bray (DLitt, University of Paris-Sorbonne) is research professor at Beeson Divinity School and director of research for the Latimer Trust. He is a prolific writer and has authored or edited numerous books, including The Doctrine of GodBiblical InterpretationGod Is Love; and God Has Spoken.

Table of Contents

Series Preface

  1. The Being of God and His Attributes
  2. God’s Essential Attributes
  3. God’s Relational Attributes
  4. The Relevance of God’s Attributes Today

Appendix: God’s Attributes in Christian Tradition
Further Reading
General Index
Scripture Index


“Recently, evangelical theologians have shown a renewed and welcome interest in the biblical, classical doctrine of God; but for lay people the debates often seem weighed down by technical jargon and historical obscurity. The result is that the practical importance of this theological renaissance for praise, prayer, and everyday life is often missed. In this context, Gerald Bray’s helpful summary of the nature of God’s attributes is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature, offering clear exposition and practical application in the tradition of forebears such as Stephen Charnock. In addition, a helpful appendix lets the reader situate contemporary theological discussion against the backdrop of catholic debates from the early church up until today.”
Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Grove City College

“Christian theology is never more countercultural, or theological, than when it speaks of God’s attributes; they challenge humanity’s puny and often idolatrous ideas of divine perfection. Bray makes a concise yet important contribution to this project by distinguishing God’s essential and relational attributes, and by showing how this distinction preserves the integrity of our relationship to the one true God. Christians can train themselves for godliness (1 Tim. 4:7) and teach in ways that accord with godliness (1 Tim. 6:3) only if they have some idea of what God is like. Indeed, if Calvin is right, we can achieve knowledge of ourselves only by understanding what God is like, for humans are created in his image. For all these reasons, what could have been an abstract discussion of God’s being is anything but that. Highly recommended!”
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“This volume is both clear and deep, concise and packed with insights—a remarkable achievement! Don’t let the size of this volume fool you. Here we have one of evangelicalism’s finest theologians wisely guiding us through difficult but awe-inspiring terrain, the attributes of our God.”
Christopher W. Morgan, Dean of the School of Christian Ministries and Professor of Theology, California Baptist University

“Those who are familiar with Gerald Bray’s work will not be surprised to find that he negotiates the very complex matter of the attributes of God with considerable skill and finesse, while at the same time having an eye to the nonspecialist. One of the most helpful aspects of the book is the way in which he clearly defines the difference between the ‘essential’ and the ‘relational’ attributes of God and demonstrates that many of the problems that have arisen in theological discussions of the attributes have come about because of confusion between the two. Incidentally, it would be worth buying the book simply for the thirty-five-page appendix in which Bray presents the history of the treatment of God’s attributes in Christian theology!”
A. T. B. McGowan, Director, Rutherford Centre for Reformed Theology; Professor of Theology, University of the Highlands and Islands

“This wonderful book introduces the attributes of God in a manner that is approachable yet precise and instructive without being pedantic. As to be expected from Gerald Bray, this work is very well balanced, bringing together his deep biblical knowledge and historical perspective along with thoughtful, gentle, and pastoral application for today.”
T. Scott Manor, President, Knox Theological Seminary

Additional information

Weight 204 g
Dimensions 203 × 133 × 10 mm

Bray, Gerald, (Author), Cole, Graham A., Martin, Oren R., (Series Editor, Series Editor)

Publication Summary

Crossway (2021), 160 pages

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