Original Research - Special Collection: Trinity

Divine attributes in a trinitarian key

Johannes P. Deetlefs
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2665 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2665 | © 2022 Johannes P. Deetlefs | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 August 2022 | Published: 13 October 2022

About the author(s)

Johannes P. Deetlefs, Department of Historical and Constructive Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


The traditional treatment of the divine attributes in theological discourse has been criticised for what some scholars regard as the influence of Greek philosophy, which they argue may result in distorted concepts of the divine. A further development in the doctrine of God is the renewed consciousness of the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity. The purpose of this article is to consider how these developments may impact the doctrine of the divine attributes. Can the doctrine of the Trinity enhance an articulation of the divine attributes? To illustrate the difference that a trinitarian approach to the divine attributes could make, divine omnipotence, as well as the possibility of discovering new attributes will be considered.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article is an intra-disciplinary study with implications for dogmatics or systematic theology. It addresses the doctrine of the divine attributes from a trinitarian perspective. At stake is the impact of different approaches within the same discipline. In this case, the engagement is between a trinitarian versus a classical approach to the study of the divine attributes.


attributes; beauty; hospitality; monotheism; omnipotence; relational; trinitarian; Trinity

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