Each attribute describes the whole of God, not just a part of him. If so, it also describes every other attribute, because all the attributes belong to who God is. Truth is one attribute of God. So in this attribute it ought to be possible to see the other attributes, all of which belong to truth.
Who God Is
Let’s explore how various attributes of God are displayed in his truthfulness. “Attributes” of God are terms describing who he is. He is eternal, infinite, transcendent, good, loving, and so on. When we consider God’s truthfulness, we can see that it goes together with many other attributes. His attributes are on display in his truthfulness.
There is an underlying general principle here, related to simplicity. As we have seen, divine simplicity means that God cannot be divided up. Subordinately, it implies that his attributes cannot be divided up, so that we could place distinct attributes into neatly separated bins. We cannot cut out one attribute at a time, and consider it in isolation from everything else that God is. In fact, each attribute describes the whole of God, not just a part of him. If so, it also describes every other attribute, because all the attributes belong to who God is.
Truth is one attribute of God. So in this attribute it ought to be possible to see the other attributes, all of which belong to truth.
Let us begin with simplicity. Each attribute corresponds to some truth about God. It is true that God is omnipresent (everywhere present). It is true that God is eternal. It is true that God is unchangeable. Each of these truths is in the environment of the others. We cannot have one without the others. If by attributes we mean permanent features of God’s character, they all belong together, because they all belong to the one God. This inherent “belonging together” is another way of describing simplicity. It is equivalent to saying that God is simple. Or, because we are using the attribute of truth, we may say that truth is simple. That does not mean that there is only one formulation of truth. But it does mean that all the formulations belong together, each formulation having the attributes of God and belonging to the unity that is in God.
We may see one effect of this unity if we reflect on the fact that no truth can be thought about or discussed in total isolation from everything else. For example, for it to be meaningful to say, “God is omnipresent,” we have to have a sense of what it means to be present. And within the created world, his presence is a presence everywhere in space.
The next attribute is omniscience. God knows all things. We have said that God is truth. So he is all truths together. Since he is personal, he knows himself, and knows all truths. For example, he knew everything about David while David was still in the womb: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 139:13). He knows the words that we will speak before we speak them: “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (v. 4).
God is absolute. By this we mean that he is not dependent on anything outside himself. This attribute is closely related to simplicity. There is nothing in back of God on which he might be dependent. We can confirm this attribute if we think about the way in which we experience contact with the truth.
We are dependent on the truth. It makes an absolute claim on us. We might think that at least some truths are dependent on the world. Consider a particular case: Oak trees, like other trees, reproduce according to their kind (Gen. 1:11–12). That is a truth about oak trees. Naively, it might appear that this truth depends on the prior fact that oak trees exist in the world. So is this truth dependent on the world? To be sure, it is a truth about the world. And we as human beings do come to know about it because of God’s word in Genesis 1:11–12 and also because there are oak trees that we can observe. But what is the origin of the truth? The origin is in God, not in the world.
In thinking about the eternity of truth, truth exists even before the world existed. God had a plan (Isa. 46:9–10; Eph. 1:11) for the world. In his plan, he knew beforehand everything that would take place. So he also knew all truths. The truths about oak trees precede the oak trees. The oak trees are dependent on the truths, rather than the reverse.