Thinking about God’s attributes may be hard work, but no other object of study is more suitable to humble and expand our mind. It allows us to forget ourselves and focus all our attention on the only true God who is the source of all life and blessings.
When we talk about God’s attributes we try to answer questions such as “Who is God?” and “What is God like?” Now, these questions may seem futile—how can our finite minds grasp who God is or what He is like? These questions may also seem rather abstract, questions that scholars, but not ordinary Christians, may find fascinating. Instinctively, we tend to be much more interested in what God has done for us rather than in who He is. In a sense, this is understandable. Arguably, one of the achievements of the Protestant Reformation was to refocus people’s minds on what God had done for them in Christ. John Calvin frequently criticized medieval theologians for “merely toying with idle speculations”1 about the nature or the essence of God. However, Calvin and the other Reformers did not deny the utility of thinking about God’s attributes. On the contrary, they encouraged a knowledge of God that would foster pietas, as they called it, what Calvin defined as “that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his benefits induces.”2