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The Knowledge & Wisdom of God : The Mental Attributes of God Print E-mail
Written by Oshea Davis   
Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Mental Attributes of God[1]

 

The Knowledge of God

I have been asked to write some articles on the Mental Attributes of God regarding His knowledge and wisdom. To start I will say the phrase “mental attributes,” could I suppose, be misleading in that regarding the essence of God’s nature itself, all His attributes are mental.  That is, God is a simple invisible Spirit or Mind (John 4:24, 1 Timothy 1:17).  And so, all His essential attributes are of the mind. This is one reason why the mind of man, is the chief aspect that makes man to be in the image of God.  God does not have eyes, toes or ears to image; however, He does a glorious mind to image.

In the Christian philosophy, God is Trinity.  This is the only viable definition of God, and which without no definition of God is logically viable or defensible. That is, if one wishes to prove otherwise they must prove their philosophy of the world is true, and thus, their philosophy’s definition of a monotheistic God is not trinity.[2] At any case, God the Father being infinite, mental energy is, infinite energy.  Also, He infinitely understands His own mind.  This infinite energy and understanding of Himself is the Son, whom we call Jesus Christ.  He is the perfect image of God; and in the public world He is the perfect outshining of God in understanding/word/logic. Consequently, the Father’s Image is always before the Father in His thoughts, and so the Father therefore when He considers something (such as the creating of the world), does by seeing His understanding of Himself (the Son).  And so, in this regard, the Father made the world for His Son.  Jesus is thus, in Scripture is attributed as the Logos (John 1).  That is, being the perfect understanding of God itself, Jesus is the Logos, or the perfect logical understanding and communication(Word) of God to the public creation. The Spirit of God is attributed in as the Joy of God.  The Spirit is the infinite energy of joy of the Father toward His Son, and the Son’s infinite energy of joy for the Father.  That is, the Spirit is not an up and down emotion; rather, He is an eternal and immutable inclination of joy that Father has in the Son and the Son in the Father. By this we know the mind of God does not have emotions, but rather an immutable inclination of love of Himself.[3]  

Before we get into the aspect of knowledge itself one needs to understand the basics of the mind itself. Therefore, from what we learned about God as a Trinity we see a glimpse of what God’s mind is.  We learn 3 basic aspects: Disposition, Motion and State.

Joy[4] is not a separate action of the mind; rather, it is more so the quality[5] of a mind regarding its state.  Likewise, moral beauty is not so much a separate function from the mind; rather, moral beauty (or the lack-of) is a referring to the quality of the mind in regards to its disposition.  Lastly, logic or irrationality is not so much a separate function of the mind; rather, it is a reflection of a mind whose quality of movement either superior or dysfunctional. That is, being logical is about the quality of mind in regards to its movement. The Infinite Existence has a perfect quality of mind.  His Mind is perfection in quality of (1)state, of movement, and of (1)disposition. This excellence of mind will be imaged in the saints. God knows a thing in His Mind in the infinite quality of joy (state –The Spirit), holiness (disposition- The Father) and logic (movement –The Son). Having deep understanding in perfect logic is a great glory to the quality of a mind; a glory that belongs to God and to the Christ. And a glory, which is to be imaged in His saints. 

Now, regarding the particular point of knowledge we learn that from the beginning, as it is now[6], knowledge is propositional. By proposition we mean, a statement that is true or false. We know this for God is an invisible mind. God did not observe things to get knowledge for two reasons. One, seeing that God does not have a body or their corresponding senses, the category of observation is not compatible with God; that is, it is a false category when applied to Him. Secondly, creation is, well, created.  God existed by Himself in the infinite understanding and joy of the Trinity. In the beginning before He created, there was nothing for God to see or observe.  There was only the Mind of God and His mental, infinite understanding of Himself (the Son). This, means that from the beginning knowledge was purely mentally based, as propositions in the mind of God.[7]

Power is not so much a separate attribute of God; rather, God’s mind and thinking itself being infinite is infinite power and energy itself.  And so, when this is combined with the understanding that everything in spiritual and physical reality was thought up by God’s mind, it shows that God’s mind of knowledge is the power that shapes reality. In other words, God’s thoughts is the metaphysics(i.e. existence) and ontology(i.e. causality) of reality for the Christian philosophy. Now, because there is no other existence, causality or knowledge apart from God, it concludes that God’s knowledge is the only knowledge. It also means God’s knowledge is truth. God’s knowledge of Himself is true, and since His knowledge came from Him and created the all existence, His knowledge of all created realties are truth.  It breaks no formal law of logic for God to be self-existing—including His knowledge; as compared to be self-created which is a contradiction.

Lastly, how does this relate to the creation? This means for creatures their knowledge, if imaged after God, is proposition knowledge. Also, that their first principle (i.e. epistemology) of knowledge is God revealing Himself to them. It also means, the existence of their knowledge and the causality of it is directly by God and not by anything in creation. That is, all knowledge (even opinion) is directly put into the mind by God—who is all causality and existence. Thus, the creature needs to discover if their propositions are identical to God’s propositions. And so, if man is to know if the propositions they have are true or false, or opinion there must be two things.  God must reveal a portion of His mind to them, and then they must have a superior state, inclination and motion of thinking to be able to recognize God’s revealed thoughts. And so, if the motion (i.e. logic) of the mind is so degraded—seeing that logic is essential to thinking itself, then having a justifiable first principle will be of little use to such an inferior mind.  At any rate, this portion of God’s mind given to man is called Scripture, and the high quality of mind is the Holy Spirit (a purchased gift by Jesus Christ) recreating the human mind from a defective and sinful mind to that of the “mind of Christ[8] and so superior and high quality. Truth is only possible in the Christian philosophy.  All things that are necessary for any intelligence only converge in the Christian worldview.  All other attempts are human superstations and speculations.

 

Part II

The Wisdom of God

Having already described some foundational aspects of God’s mind and knowledge, we shall now diverge into what the mental attribute of God’s Wisdom means.  God’s wisdom is seen firstly in His logic (i.e. the basic, superior motion of His mind); secondly, His loving of Himself infinitely above all others; and thirdly, in the order of the Divine Decrees.

FIRST. Logic. Logic is not only foundation to knowledge, but also wisdom. First, one cannot think without logic.  Or better said, even if one has a knowledge, one cannot know they have a propositional knowledge, for such requires the law of noncontradiction and identity.  And so, for God logic[1] is simply the natural, high-quality motion of God’s mind. When we say the law of noncontradiction it is not as though there is a standard logic law outside of God, to which God adheres to. Rather, the law of noncontradiction is simply one particular foundational, regular motion of God’s mind, and we give this motion a name.[2] 

Now, apart from such foundational motions of the mind, God’s wisdom is seen in how (1) His mind moves flawlessly in the basic motions[3], (2) how he uses more complex motions and (3) how He perfectly applies them for every situation.

Take for example #3. The Bible (Matthew 22:23-43) shows how the Jews (Sadducees) used against Jesus, the conditional statement form of denying the consequent (through, reductio ad absurdum), which is valid syllogism.  In response Jesus, exposes that one of their premises were wrong. Remember, with valid syllogism the premises must be true in order for the conclusion to be both valid and true.  Jesus shows that men and women are not married after death, but are like angels; thus, showing one of their premises were wrong. Jesus then uses affirming the antecedent[4] with a passages of Scripture (i.e. a premise) they accepted to show the right conclusion. That is (if p, then q; p is true, therefore p). Jesus augment looks like this. “p,” If there is a resurrection, then “q,” God must have resurrect people already dead and so they are still alive;   “p,” is true, Jesus quotes Exodus showing that God four hundred years after Abraham’s death said He is presently the God of an existing Abraham, “q” therefore there is a resurrection.

SECOND. Valuing of Himself above all others. God shows off the superiority of His wisdom by valuing and loving Himself infinitely above all others. This is also a cross-over implication for understanding the nature of God’s moral beauty (i.e. Holiness).  The quality of God’s disposition of moral beauty is seen in that He knows He is the greatest beauty and value; and by this, makes Himself the goal of all His desires and wise planning, infinitely over all others. This is seen in Ezekiel 36 verse 22 Lord GOD: "I do not [forgive your sins] for your sake--[because I love you], but for My Holy Name's sake, which you have profaned.” That is, God’s promotion of Himself, who is the greatest beauty, is part of what makes His moral beauty so great and it shows Him as infinitely wise, for valuing that which is truly most valuable.  

If one cannot value appropriately, then one does not have understanding and wisdom.  For, what if one valued and esteemed illogical thinking rather than logic thinking; yet, one cannot do this without thinking logically; and God would not be able to know that the Trinity is three.  What if the God valued and esteemed Satan more than Himself and gave to Satan all his total authority?

This is important to grasp in understanding God’s wisdom because, (1) knowing what one’s goals are, (2) how they reach them and (3) if they reach them, then such will, display the glory of one’s wisdom.  For God (1) He is His goal, (or within creation the displaying of His supremacy in Christ) above all; (2) the way He accomplishes this is by wisdom in the Decrees, and (3) God does accomplish His goals by the exact planning He devised.  

THIRD. The Divine Decrees.  The subject of God’s decrees is an easy one, for we all participate—to some degree—in planning, and then executing out our plans.

God’s decrees are from the perspective of purpose, or from Top to bottom, and that the history of the world is a mirrored execution of this—or from bottom to top.

            Regarding this goal perspective, what God chose as His first goal, is last in execution and what God purposed last in his goals comes first in execution or history. I will explain this more. 

            Take for example a kid after thinking about his future life decides he wants to be a great baseball player.  This is his first “purpose,” or original goal that is.  His second choice to support the first is that he needs to be an All Star baseball player, so that he can be a great player.   Thus, his third choice in purpose is to get great averages in hitting (etc.) so that he gets chosen to be an All Star.  His next is purpose is to be drafted to play in the Major League.  His next purpose is to start playing baseball at his local high school. 

            What he first intended—first goal—was accomplished last in execution, while his last goal was executed first.  Ecclesiastes 7:8, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning.” WHY? Because the end was the original-creative-great purpose: one’s chief desire.  Precisely because your principal desire, well, is your principal desire, is why a wise man makes it his original goal and designs from top to bottom to insure his goal of value is his to hold and enjoy.        This analogy with the baseball player is in the perspective of “purpose” or “goals.”  This is the proper meaning of God’s decrees. History is the mirrored execution of God’s intentions. 

            See, if the kid only became a great baseball player by reacting to events in his life in his life, then the highest form of intellectual wisdom cannot be claimed, although some degree might.  If the kid wrote down his purpose at age 9, like the above example, but achieved his goal differently from how he planned, then he still could not claim the highest form of intellectual wisdom.  Yet, if the kid wrote down his goal, with top down purpose, in a notebook at age 9, and was able to acquire his goal, but do so by executing his design from bottom up, then he could claim the highest form of wisdom and intellectual superiority.  Here is the order of the decrees.

            TOP DOWN, ORDER of PURPOSE  -  (1.) Glory.  (2.) Jesus Christ.  (3.) Election. (4.) The Fall. (5.) Creation.

            BOTTOM UP, ORDER of EXECUTION - (6.)  Creation.  (7.)  The Fall. (8.)  Election/calling. ( 9.)  Jesus Christ. (10.)  Glory.  

            This is God’s goal in the decrees: to show His intellectual fame and majesty.  This is why the book of Romans ends with the discussion of the gospel in light of God’s decrees (ch.9-10) with doxology/worship to the glory of God’s wisdom and not love or mercy, (11:33-36, 16:27). 

            The Scripture puts emphasis on the superiority of God’s wisdom in that God had an original goal and then designed or purposed backwards (top to bottom) to insure this chief valuing is accomplished, and then executed in perfect accuracy. This is the Wisdom of Almighty God.

            Thus, Adam was never God's original design for mankind—he was in fact the last of God’s decrees, a first stepping stone; however, glorified Saints united to Christ’s divine body(by the Spirit in fellowship) was always God's original design—because it heightens Christ’s public supremacy, by having them in the best place to (1) become like Christ (2) understand Christ and (3) enjoy Him.[5]



 End notes for the Wisdom of God. 

[1] I.e. Formal logic.

[2] Therefore, man who is created in God’s image, if we are to think at all, must think within these foundational motions as God does, or we do not think at all. That is, some motions of God’s mind are so regular and foundational that if our mind’s do not image and function in them, then we do not think at all. 

[3] This point might seem too basic to mention; however, seeing that skepticism/agnosticism are popular positions among some today it has value to bring it up.

[4] The first part of the syllogism is implied by the context from Jesus: if p, then q.

[5] The 1,2,3 is in reference to the Trinity.  The Father is the moral beauty (becoming). The Son is the understanding of God (knowing).  And the Spirit is the unstoppable love shared between the Father and Son (enjoy).

 

 



 End notes for the Knowledge of God.

[1] All Scripture is NKJV unless noted

[2] For more see my book: The Undefeatable Worldview.

[3] This is also consequently, the foundation of what is righteousness in regard to a public creation.  That is, any thought and action that values God infinitely above all others.

[4] Apart from the eternal state of love the Holy Spirit creates and sustains in the mind of the believer, emotions within creation are all derivatives from God’s one state of joy in Himself. And sinful passions/emotions are those derivatives inverted and disobeyed.

[5] I.e. a superior or inferior quality.  That is, there is no standard of good or bad.  There is no good or bad for God to compare Himself to.  God is the standard; He is the measure of what superior or inferior quality is. The state, inclination and motion of God’s mind is the standard for what is the highest quality of mind is to be. Anything that is different from this is a degradation of quality and is inferior. And so, God’s state of mind having an infinite, immutable inclination of joy is not good because it measures up to a so-called standard of what a mind is to be; rather, God’s state of mind is the measure for what is the highest quality, because it is His mind. This is the same for the inclination and motion of God’s mind.

[6] That is, the Bible (John12:27) shows human observation leads to skepticism by not being reliable.  But skepticism leads to then denying of the law of noncontradiction. And so observation and the sense are not knowledge and do not give it.

[7] .  A true and false proposition might seem too simple to some; however, based on binary code (0,1,) a very complex computer OS and software is created. By true and false indicators a complex code is made.

[8] 1 Corinthians, “We have the mind of Christ.”

 
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