My comment: “God is not “driven by” wrath – wrath is an attribute of God’s nature.”

CMP: No, wrath is a response of another attribute, namely righteousness. But that is not really the point of this post.

Jugulum: I actually agree w/him on “wrath”. Wrath isn’t an attr. because God’s wouldn’t be wrathful if he hadn’t created. God was/is/will-be eternally holy/righteous, which includes the trait, “I will be wrathful toward sin”. You might call that a “attr. of wrath”, but I think that was the distinction CMP was making. Similarly, God wasn’t eternally merciful, apart from a sinful creation. Mercy & wrath are expressions of his eternal attributes.

Recall this post: Divine Simplicity and Malformed Arguments.

This is another good example of why we must keep ALL of God’s attributes in mind, when formulating our theology – even on the internet. What does this point of view entail? First, that God changed. That He is not immutable. In this view, God began to be wrathful (or merciful). In this view, God’s wrath is not eternal, toward sin, nor is His mercy towards sinners eternal. Did God enter the temporal realm at a certain point in time, and thereby become successive, changeable, and non-eternal? If not, this view does not, and cannot, hold water. Similarly to when we say, as Athanasius said contra the Arians, that “there was never a time when the Son was not” – we must say that there was a never a time God’s wrath was not. God is not temporal, folks. God is not changeable, and God “is not a man, that He should change His mind”.

Hear me – I understand the distinction being made by CMP and Jugulum. However – the consequences of this view are utterly unacceptable. What God does, He eternally purposed to do. God’s righteousness is eternal, yes – but His wrath, since He is Eternal, is necessarily eternal wrath. Jer 10:10 – “But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation.” Or take this – Deu 32:40-41 – “Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, And say, as I live forever, If I sharpen My flashing sword, And My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, And I will repay those who hate Me.”

As Charnock says, and as I used in my class for our 1st-6th graders recently – “Though God be least in their thoughts, and is made light of in the world, yet the thoughts of God’s eternity, when he comes to judge the world, shall make the slighters of him tremble. That the Judge and punisher lives forever, is the greatest grievance to a soul in misery, and adds an inconceivable weight to it, above what the infiniteness of God’s executive power could do without that duration. His eternity makes the punishment more dreadful than his power; his power makes it sharp, but his eternity renders it perpetual; ever to endure, is the sting at the end of every lash. And how sad is it to think that God lays his eternity as a security for the punishment of obstinate sinners… a reward proportioned to the greatness of their offences, and the glory of an eternal God!”

As to mercy, think on this – “And {He did so} to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,” – Rom 9:23. We’re all Calvinists here, right? Are not God’s decrees eternal? This is an eternal decree of mercy, folks. Not to mention Rom 9:22 – “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” Now, I’m aware of CMP’s comments in this vein – but I’m not convinced there is anything different in the “timing” of the preparation, there. God’s decrees are eternal. You do notice, I hope, that it undermines Jugulum’s idea that mercy is also a reaction to man’s actions. As Calvinists, we must be careful not to think that God’s eternal decrees are subject to the actions of men – or consequent to them. If God is Sovereign, He is utterly Sovereign.

I’m not really concerned with commenting on CMP’s main article – TurretinFan already did so, much more ably than I could have. I was concerned with the explanation offered by CMP, and then Jugulum for the wrath of God; and Jugulum’s further extrapolation to mercy. If God is eternal, than His attributes are necessarily eternal. To say otherwise brings about serious exegetical and apologetic issues.