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None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God

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For too long, Christians have domesticated God, bringing him down to our level as if he is a God who can be tamed. But he is a God who is high and lifted up, the Creator rather than the creature, someone than whom none greater can be conceived. If God is the most perfect, supreme being, infinite and incomprehensible, then certain perfect-making attributes must be true of h For too long, Christians have domesticated God, bringing him down to our level as if he is a God who can be tamed. But he is a God who is high and lifted up, the Creator rather than the creature, someone than whom none greater can be conceived. If God is the most perfect, supreme being, infinite and incomprehensible, then certain perfect-making attributes must be true of him. Perfections like aseity, simplicity, immutability, impassibility, and eternity shield God from being crippled by creaturely limitations. At the same time, this all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-wise God accommodates himself, exhibiting perfect holiness, mercy, and love as he makes known who he is and how he will save us. The attributes of God show us exactly why God is worthy of worship: there is none like him. Join Matthew Barrett as he rediscovers these divine perfections and finds himself surprised by the God he thought he knew.


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For too long, Christians have domesticated God, bringing him down to our level as if he is a God who can be tamed. But he is a God who is high and lifted up, the Creator rather than the creature, someone than whom none greater can be conceived. If God is the most perfect, supreme being, infinite and incomprehensible, then certain perfect-making attributes must be true of h For too long, Christians have domesticated God, bringing him down to our level as if he is a God who can be tamed. But he is a God who is high and lifted up, the Creator rather than the creature, someone than whom none greater can be conceived. If God is the most perfect, supreme being, infinite and incomprehensible, then certain perfect-making attributes must be true of him. Perfections like aseity, simplicity, immutability, impassibility, and eternity shield God from being crippled by creaturely limitations. At the same time, this all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-wise God accommodates himself, exhibiting perfect holiness, mercy, and love as he makes known who he is and how he will save us. The attributes of God show us exactly why God is worthy of worship: there is none like him. Join Matthew Barrett as he rediscovers these divine perfections and finds himself surprised by the God he thought he knew.

30 review for None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ronni Kurtz

    I was fortunate enough to work through this book by Matthew Barrett a few times prepublication. I couldn't recommend the volume any more than I do. Barrett capably delivers what has been complicated matters regarding divine perfections like simplicity, aseity, impassability, and more, in a remarkably accessible way. If you're looking for a solid introduction to God's attributes, in an undomesticated way, then look no further.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt Pitts

    This book is precisely what the church needed in the wake of the renewed interest in the classical doctrine of God. Subjects such as divine simplicity and impassibility are not commonly heard in churches and can be difficult to understand and explain. Barrett has done both pastors and church members a great service by expounding these attributes of God and others from a classical perspective with the aid of Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and Bavinck. This is an excellent and accessible book I plan This book is precisely what the church needed in the wake of the renewed interest in the classical doctrine of God. Subjects such as divine simplicity and impassibility are not commonly heard in churches and can be difficult to understand and explain. Barrett has done both pastors and church members a great service by expounding these attributes of God and others from a classical perspective with the aid of Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and Bavinck. This is an excellent and accessible book I plan to use for our church-wide summer book discussion this year.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Steele

    None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God by Matthew Barrett is a book for our times. Better put, it is a book that is desperately needed in this generation. Many books that explore the subject of theology proper are fraught with errors. Barrett’s book is quite the opposite. None Greater takes readers on a journey which is undergirded by the theological wisdom of Anselm, Augustine, and Aquinas. Barrett stands on Anselm’s shoulders in particular and argues, “God is someone whom none great None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God by Matthew Barrett is a book for our times. Better put, it is a book that is desperately needed in this generation. Many books that explore the subject of theology proper are fraught with errors. Barrett’s book is quite the opposite. None Greater takes readers on a journey which is undergirded by the theological wisdom of Anselm, Augustine, and Aquinas. Barrett stands on Anselm’s shoulders in particular and argues, “God is someone whom none greater can be conceived.” This theme strikes a welcome chord in a culture that is drowning in views of God which are weak, fragile, and unbiblical. At the outset, the vision of God is one of grandeur and glory; a vision that is a vivid portrayal of the God of the Bible. Barrett invites readers to explore God in all his glory by exploring a series of attributes including infinity, aseity, simplicity, immutability, impassibility, timeless eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, ommisapience, righteousness, goodness, love, jealousy, and glory. The chapter on impassibility is especially helpful as the author presents a very difficult doctrine in terms that are easily understood and digested. Each attribute is discussed in light of Anselm’s helpful view that God is someone than whom none greater can be conceived. The net result leads readers not only to a better understanding of God, but one that leads to a worshipful response. Barrett shows the practical benefits of following and worshiping this great and glorious God: “The same infinite power of the Almighty that raised Jesus from the tomb is at work in us who believe." This work stands in a solidly Reformed tradition, but is designed for pastors and laymen. It is my pleasure to highly commend this book. I trust that it will receive a wide reading and impact the next generation for God’s glory! I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Bierig

    Cant recommend this highly enough. What a special read. Dr. Barrett does a great job with the OT. The "A-Team" was super helpful. This is the most devotional and heart-soaring book I've read in 2019.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Parkison

    I had the distinct privilege to read this book before publication, and I have been eager for its release since then. Dr. Barrett has done the Church of Jesus Christ a great service here. The average Christian in the West today is plagued by a puny view of God--a god who is "reckless" and temperamental and moody; a god who is relatable to us. But Dr. Barrett shows that such a god cannot save and is not worthy of worship. Thankfully, such a god does not exist. The Triune God of the Bible is unlike I had the distinct privilege to read this book before publication, and I have been eager for its release since then. Dr. Barrett has done the Church of Jesus Christ a great service here. The average Christian in the West today is plagued by a puny view of God--a god who is "reckless" and temperamental and moody; a god who is relatable to us. But Dr. Barrett shows that such a god cannot save and is not worthy of worship. Thankfully, such a god does not exist. The Triune God of the Bible is unlike us--he is able to save and he is worthy of worship. Chapter after chapter, Barrett shows how these classic doctrines of theology proper are far from etherial, abstract ideas--they are rather doxilogical fodder. Every pastor should read this book, and then give it away to his members like crazy!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Summary: Drawing on classical and reformed theology, discusses the perfections of God, that set God apart from all else. It seems a common tendency in Christian preaching, and even in our informal conversations, to try to "bring God down to our level."  Christian Smith, in a study of the religious beliefs of American teens, coined a term to describe the God of many: "moral therapeutic deism." In this system, there is a belief in a God who made the world, who wants us to be nice and fair, the purp Summary: Drawing on classical and reformed theology, discusses the perfections of God, that set God apart from all else. It seems a common tendency in Christian preaching, and even in our informal conversations, to try to "bring God down to our level."  Christian Smith, in a study of the religious beliefs of American teens, coined a term to describe the God of many: "moral therapeutic deism." In this system, there is a belief in a God who made the world, who wants us to be nice and fair, the purpose of life being to feel happy and good about oneself, God only gets involved in our lives when we need God, and that good people will go to heaven when they die. Such a God is nice, domesticated, and mostly irrelevant to our lives. God is like us, only a bit better and maybe more powerful. The classical theologians like Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas, and those in the Reformed tradition of the author thought quite differently. For them, God, as Anselm put it, is "someone than whom none greater can be perceived," hence the title of this work. While God may have certain communicable attributes like love, that are evident in part in human beings, God's incommunicable attributes are utterly unlike any other creature and set God apart as incomparably greater than human beings. It was this God that Matthew Barrett discovered in college when he read Calvin's Institutes, and the other theologians mentioned above, opening his eyes to the glory and majesty of God. His hope in this book is that through a study of God's attributes, particularly those dealing with the incommunicable perfections of God, to sow the same sense of wonder in his readers, inviting them to give up their domesticated versions of God for the incomparably greater undomesticated God of scripture. The first three chapters of the book lay groundwork. First he explores the incomprehensibility of God, that we may speak of attributes, but none of us may see or know God in God's very essence. It is not that God in unknowable, because God makes God's self known through God's works. He discusses how we may speak of God in analogical language as revealed by God to us, and sometimes in anthropomorphic language of hands, eyes, even wings, none of which are true of God's essence. Most of all, we must recognize that God is infinite in God's perfections, and without limits--a staggering realization for finite and imperfect creatures. The remainder of the book discusses the perfections of God: God's aseity or self-existence independent of all of creation. God's simplicity, that even when we speak of various attributes, these are not "parts" of God but compose a seamless whole. God's immutability, that God does not change, grow, improve, or diminish, which is a tremendous comfort. God's impassibility, that God does not experience emotional changes, both settled in his promise-keeping love, and holy wrath toward evil. God's eternity, that he is timeless and not exists in the eternal present. God is omnipresent: not bounded by a body, infinitely present. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnisapient: all-powerful, all knowing and all-wise. God is both holy and loving: the high and lifted up God Isaiah sees, who cleanses his mouth and takes his guilt away and lovingly commissions him. A God who is jealous for his own glory, inviting us into a similar jealousy for the glory and reputation of God above all in our world. I found this discussion far from the "sterility" often found in such treatments of the attributes of God. Barrett helps us understand how each attributes both feeds our worship of God and is of great consolation to the believer. For example, the aseity of God means that the gospel depends on a God who does not depend on us. He deals with questions that may arise, such as how we can speak of simplicity and yet believe in a triune God. He differentiates an immutable God from one who is rigidly immobile. He deals with the classic conundrum of God creating a rock so big he cannot lift. His discussion of impassibility is particularly intriguing in taking on Jurgen Moltmann's "suffering God." Yes Christ in his humanity suffers, but God does not suffer, God redeems. God is not like the family suffering over a family member trapped in a fire, but rather the fireman who has the capability and compassion to enter the burning building, enduring the flames and the smoke, to rescue the loved one. I'm not sure I buy this, and it seems these ideas are framed in either/or terms, not admitting the possibility of both/and, or the possibility of a quality of suffering in the God of eternal love who from eternity both purposed creation and the redemptive work of Christ. This is a highly readable contemporary rendering of classical theology. It has become popular to bash classical statements of theology. Often, what is being bashed are caricatures. Here is the real stuff, articulated clearly and winsomely. I didn't agree at every point, but found myself again and again marveling at the greatness of God and challenged to consider the ways I'm tempted to domesticate God. That, I think, is what makes for good theological reading and may be found here. ________________________________ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    This book is much more than just an exploration of the attributes of God. I am impressed with Barrett clarifying how the attributes are interrelated. He shows how we cannot latch on to the attributes we like and ignore the rest. Barrett will not let us create a comfortable God, a being like us. Nor will he let us have a God we can control. Barrett has given us a view of God consistent with the Bible. He deals with some of God's attributes and actions that might not be popular with people who want This book is much more than just an exploration of the attributes of God. I am impressed with Barrett clarifying how the attributes are interrelated. He shows how we cannot latch on to the attributes we like and ignore the rest. Barrett will not let us create a comfortable God, a being like us. Nor will he let us have a God we can control. Barrett has given us a view of God consistent with the Bible. He deals with some of God's attributes and actions that might not be popular with people who want God to just be love. We are reminded that God is not a glorified human. He is not like we are. Our finite minds cannot even begin to comprehend His infinite being. We are so limited in our understanding, there will always be mystery. While this book is generally readable, it is theology. Sometimes I had to stop and reread passages to make sure I was grasping what Barrett was communicating. He has included a glossary to help readers with theological terms, such as aseity. I highly recommend this book. I have read a number of recent books where the authors attempt to make God someone we can like and accept like a glorified human. Barrett portrays God as He is revealed in the Bible. I am glad Barrett has set the record straight. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Interviews related to the book here: (Part 1) https://credomag.com/2019/03/none-gre... & (Part 2) https://credomag.com/2019/03/none-gre... https://www.booksataglance.com/author... http://servantsofgrace.org/matthew-ba... https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/ar.... Article about the book: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/ar.... Videos about the book: Short introduction on why Barrett wrote the book & conversation with Jason Allen: https://www.mbts.edu/2019/03/booktalk... “Does God Suffer? Interviews related to the book here: (Part 1) https://credomag.com/2019/03/none-gre... & (Part 2) https://credomag.com/2019/03/none-gre... https://www.booksataglance.com/author... http://servantsofgrace.org/matthew-ba... https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/ar.... Article about the book: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/ar.... Videos about the book: Short introduction on why Barrett wrote the book & conversation with Jason Allen: https://www.mbts.edu/2019/03/booktalk... “Does God Suffer?”: https://credomag.com/2019/03/does-god... "Does God Change?": https://credomag.com/2019/04/does-god... "Why Must God Be A Perfect Being?": https://credomag.com/2019/03/why-must.... Book review: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/re....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Liles

    In perhaps one of the best known Christian songs says it the same way as Matthew Barrett does for this book. Chris Tomlins wrote for the pre-Chorus for the song God of This City, "There is no one like our God." So, what does this have to do with Barrett's book None Greater? Everything. God is unlike any other who pretends to be Him: There is no one like our God. I've had the greatest time reading this book and it has gotten me to see the God of this world, of this universe, is more powerful tha In perhaps one of the best known Christian songs says it the same way as Matthew Barrett does for this book. Chris Tomlins wrote for the pre-Chorus for the song God of This City, "There is no one like our God." So, what does this have to do with Barrett's book None Greater? Everything. God is unlike any other who pretends to be Him: There is no one like our God. I've had the greatest time reading this book and it has gotten me to see the God of this world, of this universe, is more powerful than a raging flood. If anyone has had the chance to see the power of flood waters at work knows the immense power of water. Times this by infinity and you have God's power all wrapped up. But here's the catch: no one on this planet alive understands God's power. God explains it to Job this way, "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding...When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:2-7, New King James). In the same way Matthew Barrett does his best in showing the wild and woolly attributes of God. From showing us that God doesn't depend upon man, that God is more than the sum of the Father, The Holy Spirit, and the Son -- Jesus Christ, and the fact He never changes we get the point that God is far above and higher than us: He is to be revered a such. It is in this blogger's review of None Greater that I find this is a book worth reading and diving into. I received a complimentary cope of this book from Baker Books for a fair and objective review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jason Alligood

    Dr. Matthew Barrett has given us a gem of a volume in None Greater. For those who have grown up in the church, it is likely you have been taught the attributes of God. But how often are those attributes limited by seeking to understand them from the perspective of humanity rather than understanding who God has revealed Himself to be in and of Himself? Dr. Barrett brings to light some of the misconceptions of the Triune God and helps the reader see them as all of who God is. This is an extremely Dr. Matthew Barrett has given us a gem of a volume in None Greater. For those who have grown up in the church, it is likely you have been taught the attributes of God. But how often are those attributes limited by seeking to understand them from the perspective of humanity rather than understanding who God has revealed Himself to be in and of Himself? Dr. Barrett brings to light some of the misconceptions of the Triune God and helps the reader see them as all of who God is. This is an extremely readable book, but do not think that it is not also theologically rich. This is a book for all who profess Christ and desire to know their God.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Justin Dillehay

    Matthew Barrett has done the church a great service by giving us classical theism in laymen's terms. As classical and orthodox as Stephen Charnock's Existence and Attributes of God, but without the 17th century language and page-long paragraphs. As readable as John Frame's The Doctrine of God, but more narrowly focused and without the anti-scholastic biblicism.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nisin Mathew

    Amazing!! All of it, but especially ch11.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Donnie DeBord

    Great Dr Barrett has provided a great introduction to the doctrine of God. The book demonstrates that God is that which none greater can be conceived. This thesis is proven by showing why God must be the greatest possible being in all his attributes and what that means to us as his creatures.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    Catholicism, reformed theology taints what could have been a great book In his new book, “None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God,” Matthew Barrett presented what I thought would be an interesting and important read on the attributes of God. While he does present attributes such as God’s immutability, omnipotence and omnipresence, Barrett relies heavily on both Catholic and reformed theology (Calvinism), which leads to confusion for readers unfamiliar with this form of biblical heresy. Catholicism, reformed theology taints what could have been a great book In his new book, “None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God,” Matthew Barrett presented what I thought would be an interesting and important read on the attributes of God. While he does present attributes such as God’s immutability, omnipotence and omnipresence, Barrett relies heavily on both Catholic and reformed theology (Calvinism), which leads to confusion for readers unfamiliar with this form of biblical heresy. (For example, John Calvin believed in limited atonement and that only a chosen number were ordained to be saved (from his famous TULIP illustration), while the rest of humanity was destined for hell, which runs contrary to what the Bible teaches. In addition, Barrett quotes from the likes of Martin Luther, who was vehemently anti-Semitic.) Published by Baker Books, Barrett’s 304-book is laden with quotes, references and citations from what he calls “the A-Team”: Augustine of Hippo (canonized by the Catholic Church), Anselm of Canterbury (a Catholic mystic) and Thomas Aquinas (a Catholic priest). Barrett also quotes C.S. Lewis, who once confessed to praying for the dead, and quotes the Creed of Chaldeon, which falsely gives credence to “our Holy Fathers” and “the Mother of God.” Moreover, he extensively uses Catholic theological terms such as impassibility and aseity to claim that “God is impassible in the sense that He cannot experience emotional changes in state due to His relationship to and interaction with human beings and the created order.” Yet, the Bible says He is High Priest who is “touched with the feelings of our infirmities” and that He relents, as well as Jesus (who is God) weeping upon seeing Lazarus’ sisters’ grief over his death. In addition, Barrett uses the terms divine simplicity, pure act and passive potency (page 97), which are Catholic terms that have little, if anything, to do with the attributes of God. He seems to go from the inane (the above examples) to the absolutely absurd when he asks some rhetorical, albeit, insulting questions, such as “Can God create a rock so big He cannot lift it? (pg. 190).” And “Can God whisper a secret He cannot know? (pg. 192).” Overall, Barrett relies too much on the opinions and comments of others (especially heretical Catholic and reformed theologians) rather than doing his own research into both the Greek and Hebrew meanings that more accurately and poignantly describe the attributes of God. If you’re looking for a fairly good book on the attributes of God, I’d recommend J.I. Packer’s classic, Knowing God. I gave Barrett’s book a 1 out of 5 stars. Full disclosure: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, I received this book free through the Baker Books Bloggers Program. My opinions are my own and I wasn’t required to write a positive review. © 2019 by Doug S., M.A.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    The term “theological” can be explained as the logical study of the things of God (theos). The new book None Greater fits that description as it deals with “the undomesticated attributes of God.” The writer, Reformed theologian Matthew Barrett, writes in the logical style of a debater. Each chapter starts with his premise and then examines the various implications of that premise – including the objections and false assumptions of people who don’t hold his theological position. He writes, “In th The term “theological” can be explained as the logical study of the things of God (theos). The new book None Greater fits that description as it deals with “the undomesticated attributes of God.” The writer, Reformed theologian Matthew Barrett, writes in the logical style of a debater. Each chapter starts with his premise and then examines the various implications of that premise – including the objections and false assumptions of people who don’t hold his theological position. He writes, “In theology, it’s the details that matter, determining whether one is a heretic or a Bible-believing Christian. That is why theology is all about making distinctions.” (Matthew Barrett, None Greater, Baker Books, 2019, p. 189) In describing God’s attributes he relies heavily on his “A team (Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas)” (p. 75) – and intersperses their wisdom with insights from John Calvin, Herman Bavinck, a theologian in the Reformed tradition, Stephen Charnock, a minister in the 1600’s, and his own Biblical exegesis. Barrett is convinced that the God of the Bible is far greater than the conceptions Christians have of God when we “create a God in our own image, always defining God’s attributes according to our own limitations” – hence domesticating God (p. 9). From an editor’s perspective, the book is very well formatted with clever, relevant caption headings. There are personal stories Barrett weaves throughout to offset the dominant academic tone. And, for the most part, that Biblical exegesis is coherent and logical. Occasionally, however, Barrett overstretches himself and belabors points that are more convoluted. This is particularly true in his chapter on God’s impassibility, titled “Does God have emotions?” Similarly weak is the final chapter on God’s jealousy. It’s unfortunate that the book ends on a weaker chapter; the book would have been strengthened by a fitting summary conclusion that ties all the attributes together and challenges readers to apply these attributes of our “undomesticated” God in our daily living. For people who like to debate “theological distinctions,” this book will have value, but for others Barrett writes in a rarified atmosphere which makes breathing difficult. 4 stars M.L. Codman Wilson, Ph.D. 3/29/19

  16. 5 out of 5

    Peter Butler

    None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God by Matthew Barrett begins with the affirmation of Anselm that God is “that than which none greater can be conceived.” As he writes, “At the start of this book, and throughout, we have claimed, with Anselm’s help, that God is someone than which none greater can be conceived. All attributes, we have agreed, stem from this one truth. If God is the supreme being, the being of greatest perfection, then any limitation to his being is impossible. A sup None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God by Matthew Barrett begins with the affirmation of Anselm that God is “that than which none greater can be conceived.” As he writes, “At the start of this book, and throughout, we have claimed, with Anselm’s help, that God is someone than which none greater can be conceived. All attributes, we have agreed, stem from this one truth. If God is the supreme being, the being of greatest perfection, then any limitation to his being is impossible. A supreme being must be an infinite being, and an infinite being must be independent, simple, immutable, impassible, eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, all-wise, holy, and loving” (241) and jealous of His own glory (241ff). Barrett goes through all the aforementioned attributes carefully – like a surgeon making very precise cuts and joining together every part of the body. He gives a full and holistic picture of Who God is in the Scripture. I was impressed with the clarity and precision of his writing and how he shows the interconnectedness of the attributes – emphasizing that God is His attributes – He does not merely have them. This is a book every pastor and seminarian would profit from not merely for its explanation of the attributes, but for its devotional thrust that carefully layers upon the reader reasons to praise God and worship Him. This book could also be used in a college setting or in an adult Bible study. And, perhaps, with high school students with a philosophical/logical background. (This book made me remember and thank God for Mr. Chapin and his “Literature and Philosophy” class that I took in high school that helped me moving forward in my studies.) At the back of the book there is an extensive glossary, as well as endnotes, and a lengthy bibliography that one might cull for further study. I highly recommend this book. [This review appears on my blog, Amazon.com, and Goodreads.com.]

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Matthew Barrett’s None Greater: the Undomesticated Attributes of God (Baker Books, 2019) clearly articulates the standard “classical theism” of much of western theology’s and reformed theology’s history. Barrett’s work is a capable defense of the idea that god is “infinite in being and perfection, a completely pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or emotions, unchangeable, immensely vast, eternal, limitless, almighty, completely wise, completely holy, completely free, and completely abso Matthew Barrett’s None Greater: the Undomesticated Attributes of God (Baker Books, 2019) clearly articulates the standard “classical theism” of much of western theology’s and reformed theology’s history. Barrett’s work is a capable defense of the idea that god is “infinite in being and perfection, a completely pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or emotions, unchangeable, immensely vast, eternal, limitless, almighty, completely wise, completely holy, completely free, and completely absolute” (Westminster Confession of Faith §2.1, via the EPC)–in other words, the notion that god is entirely simple, without emotions, and timeless. Now, reading that may prompt a question in yourself: do I believe this of the Lord? Does this match the god I’ve encountered in Scripture? Is this who Jesus is? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a committed classical theist; I haven’t done the research to be convinced one way or the other, and I’m still troubled by (a) god’s passibility and (b) how the divine and human natures correspond in the incarnation. Nevertheless, it’s unquestionable that this conception of god is the predominant conception among western theologians (though, among the laity I doubt) up until the last century or so, and it therefore has the weight of tradition behind it. Which is to say, discard at your own peril. Barrett explains and argues for the model well, and the argument is worth your consideration. The church exists for the purpose of the worship and glorification of god. Books such as this exist to equip the church to do so in spirit and in truth. <><><> Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers http://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksb... program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wa....

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy Langmaack

    I eagerly jumped into None Greater. What I found was an incredibly in-depth review of the amazing characteristics of God and what that means for us. In the introduction, Barrett sets out the goal to write a narrative that makes the attributes of God accessible to all. And yet, the narrative should also remind us of how much grander than ourselves God truly is. I’m still working my way through the pages of this book. I have been learning a lot from Barrett. But what I’ve found is that this book re I eagerly jumped into None Greater. What I found was an incredibly in-depth review of the amazing characteristics of God and what that means for us. In the introduction, Barrett sets out the goal to write a narrative that makes the attributes of God accessible to all. And yet, the narrative should also remind us of how much grander than ourselves God truly is. I’m still working my way through the pages of this book. I have been learning a lot from Barrett. But what I’ve found is that this book reads more like a seminary text than a book ready to explain God to your average Joe. I typically get my reading time first thing in the morning, but this book was too deep for me to read as I’m still first waking up in the morning. Barrett takes the reader into deep concepts I’ve never learned about in any of my Bible study thus far. And I’ve loved learning these concepts. But I unfortunately feel like I don’t quite have a grasp on everything Barrett is trying to teach because the way he has chosen to explain God uses so many technical terms, I’m lost in some of the definitions. I have a feeling None Greater is a book I’ll be reading again in the future. It has opened my eyes to who God is and how much greater he is than the box I’ve placed him in. None Greater will definitely broaden your horizons and help you wrestle through more of who God is and what that means for your worship and your life. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Seán

    The Good: This is by far one of the best popular level discussions on God’s attributes available today. I found Barrett’s discussions on aseity, simplicity, and jealousy to be particularly engaging. But more than this, I appreciated that Barrett brought the attributes into conversation with each other, showing how they are doctrinally linked in a necessary (and profoundly coherent) way. The Bad: I would have appreciated a more robust discussion on Open Theism, which is only given a brief treatmen The Good: This is by far one of the best popular level discussions on God’s attributes available today. I found Barrett’s discussions on aseity, simplicity, and jealousy to be particularly engaging. But more than this, I appreciated that Barrett brought the attributes into conversation with each other, showing how they are doctrinally linked in a necessary (and profoundly coherent) way.
 The Bad: I would have appreciated a more robust discussion on Open Theism, which is only given a brief treatment in the book. The works of Greg Boyd in particular means that open theism will continue to be a topic of discussion due to Boyd’s prolific writing, particularly on evil, suffering and, more recently, on his cruciform hermeneutic—all of which assume (and argue in favour of) open theism.

 The Ugly(ish): A handful of chapters had sections that seemed like unending quotes from Stephen Charnock, which was distracting. However, even given this, the book was well written and chapters well structured, such that even these moments of distraction didn’t take away substantially from the book and its arguments. I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karl Dumas

    Far too many Christians try to put God in a box of their own making. It goes without saying that they don’t succeed, but that doesn’t keep them from trying. There are just too many things about God that get in the way of even their best efforts. Perhaps you’ve even tried to tame God once or twice yourself. Matthew Barrett, in None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God (Baker Books, 2019) does an admirable job of showing us why we’re never going to domesticate God. Not for lack of trying, Far too many Christians try to put God in a box of their own making. It goes without saying that they don’t succeed, but that doesn’t keep them from trying. There are just too many things about God that get in the way of even their best efforts. Perhaps you’ve even tried to tame God once or twice yourself. Matthew Barrett, in None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God (Baker Books, 2019) does an admirable job of showing us why we’re never going to domesticate God. Not for lack of trying, but because of who God is. This is theology as you may or may not have seen it presented before. Those who love to argue the finer points will whole-heartedly embrace this book. For those who are little less theologically trained however, it may be a difficult read. It’s obvious that Barrett has put a great deal of thought and research into this book, but from my point of view it’s more suited to a Theological Seminary classroom than the living room of the average Christian. I received a copy of this book from the publisher as a participant in their blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. 4/5

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Matthew Barrett has written one of the best and most accessible works on the attributes of God. Barrett provides clear teaching and defense of historic orthodoxy in relation to the attributes of God. In defending the truth Barrett ably demonstrates the dangers of many newer approaches to the attributes.  In twelve meaty chapters Barrett expounds upon all of the attributes of God. In his introduction Barrett rightfully reminds readers that the purpose of studying the attributes is doxological in n Matthew Barrett has written one of the best and most accessible works on the attributes of God. Barrett provides clear teaching and defense of historic orthodoxy in relation to the attributes of God. In defending the truth Barrett ably demonstrates the dangers of many newer approaches to the attributes.  In twelve meaty chapters Barrett expounds upon all of the attributes of God. In his introduction Barrett rightfully reminds readers that the purpose of studying the attributes is doxological in nature, that we might know God better and praise Him in light of his divine self-disclosure. This book definitely lends itself to that as it delves into the perfection of God in all His attributes. If this title doesn't find itself on all the lists of best Christian book of 2019 I will be surprised. Barrett has provided for readers a much needed introduction to attributes. Whether you are a pastor or lay-member   I highly commend this book to you. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Walker

    In None Greater, author Matthew Barrett writes about God as “someone than whom none greater can be conceived.” He does this by writing about a topic that been written about many times throughout the years: the attributes of God. What makes this book unique from all the other books about God’s attributes is that he writes about the divine attributes to show God’s absolute supremacy over every other being. He does this in chapters like: “Can We Know The Essence Of God?”, “Is God Made Up of Parts?” In None Greater, author Matthew Barrett writes about God as “someone than whom none greater can be conceived.” He does this by writing about a topic that been written about many times throughout the years: the attributes of God. What makes this book unique from all the other books about God’s attributes is that he writes about the divine attributes to show God’s absolute supremacy over every other being. He does this in chapters like: “Can We Know The Essence Of God?”, “Is God Made Up of Parts?”, and “Is God Bound By Space?.” Although None Greater is a theology book and contains some very deep theology, it remains accessible to most laypeople. It’s definitely not an easy read, but it doesn’t require a theology degree to understand it. Whenever a new word or concept is introduced, it is thoroughly explained in the text and in the glossary at the end of the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to do a deep study on the attributes of God. I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bro. Austin McCormick

    Dr. Barrett’s book on the Undomesticated Attributes of God has been and will continue to be a helpful resource in my Library. Barrett presents attributes of God that are deeper than “God is Love”, yet explains these attributes in a way that the typical lay-person can understand the riches of God. Dr. Barrett does a great job incorporating historical theologians to help aid his 12 chapter book on the attributes of God. Amongst the theologians that are cited are: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Bavinc Dr. Barrett’s book on the Undomesticated Attributes of God has been and will continue to be a helpful resource in my Library. Barrett presents attributes of God that are deeper than “God is Love”, yet explains these attributes in a way that the typical lay-person can understand the riches of God. Dr. Barrett does a great job incorporating historical theologians to help aid his 12 chapter book on the attributes of God. Amongst the theologians that are cited are: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Bavinck, Calvin, Charnock, Edwards, Etc. Dr. Barrett’s usage of these historical figures help to understand how the church has historically viewed the God of the Bible. The glossary in the back of this book is a valuable resource. Have you ever heard of God’s Aseity? I hadn’t. (Aseity [a se]. God is independent of the created order, self-sufficient, and self-existent. Put positively, he is life in and of himself.). (Barrett 248). If you would like to study about how God has revealed himself through Scripture, this book is the perfect one for you!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Senft

    Matthew Barrett does a good job in this book detailing attributes of God. I enjoyed reading this book and I found it to be helpful. He writes in a very different way then what I expected. I have previously read the book None Like Him by Jen Wilkin and in her book she too talks about different attributes of God. I found for myself that Barrett’s book took the foundational ideas and concepts in Wilkin’s book and expanded on it. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to learn more a Matthew Barrett does a good job in this book detailing attributes of God. I enjoyed reading this book and I found it to be helpful. He writes in a very different way then what I expected. I have previously read the book None Like Him by Jen Wilkin and in her book she too talks about different attributes of God. I found for myself that Barrett’s book took the foundational ideas and concepts in Wilkin’s book and expanded on it. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to learn more about the uncommunicable attributes of God. I received this book from Baker Books as an advanced reader copy solely to read and review the book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Juan Reyes

    I gave the book 3 stars because it fails to interact with other views of the divine attributes. The author puts forth views of the attributes that best fit with his Calvinist theology. On the issue of omniscience and foreknowledge, for example, the author doesn't discuss the molinist alternative. He simply dismisses it quickly. Someone who is not a Calvinist will find some of his points wanting (as was my case). I much prefer Paul Copan's briefer discussion of the attributes in his "Loving Wisdo I gave the book 3 stars because it fails to interact with other views of the divine attributes. The author puts forth views of the attributes that best fit with his Calvinist theology. On the issue of omniscience and foreknowledge, for example, the author doesn't discuss the molinist alternative. He simply dismisses it quickly. Someone who is not a Calvinist will find some of his points wanting (as was my case). I much prefer Paul Copan's briefer discussion of the attributes in his "Loving Wisdom".

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Barrett says how people are quick to substitute God with false god’s made in our image that we can domesticate. He wrote this book to “fill the house with good theology proper”, so believers can learn about and study the true and living God. Throughout the book, readers will learn about God’s incomprehensibility (the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know), aseity, simplicity, immutability, inpassibility, righteousness, goodness, love, and so much more with the help of Augustine, Anselm Barrett says how people are quick to substitute God with false god’s made in our image that we can domesticate. He wrote this book to “fill the house with good theology proper”, so believers can learn about and study the true and living God. Throughout the book, readers will learn about God’s incomprehensibility (the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know), aseity, simplicity, immutability, inpassibility, righteousness, goodness, love, and so much more with the help of Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas (the A-team). I would say this is more of a layman’s systematic theology. Not only is it short (<300 pages, minus the glossary and sources), it’s very easy to read and understand. It will challenge many reader’s view of God, that’s for sure! * I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    victoria

    This book was an incredible writing and very inspiring to read with that also will giving us to discovery and learning in to the deeper understanding what we are really know about God and to understand his work with in the proper path of theology by putting heart out side and being more doing follow in the right direction in every God word. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “I received complimentary a copy of this book from Baker Books Bloggers for this review “.

  28. 4 out of 5

    P.J. Mills

    This book is absolutely magnificent. In a day where there is no shortage of overly emotional and heretical gibberish written on the doctrine of God, here is a much needed, refreshing, and theologically sound examination of God's attributes. The book is written in an engaging and understandable format that both layman and scholar can benefit from. I highly recommend this soul stirring and God exalting work from Matthew Barrett.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eric Tomkulak

    Clear, concise theology in relatively easy to understand language. Very instructive, and Professor Barrett paints a beautiful picture, navigating God's attributes, while staying tethered to God's greatness and simplicity, climaxing with God's holiness, and jealousy for His own Glory. Read it, and use it to show and instruct others: there truly is None Greater than God, and this is joyous news for us.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alfredo Gonzalez

    Food for thought I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is a shame that a considerable part of the people of God sometimes view their Lord as a mere, larger version of themselves. This books presents us with a God who is high and exalted, one who is ultimate, independent, impassible, truly omniscient, and utterly perfect. The thrice holy God of Scripture has no peer. Dr. Barrett presents deep theological topics in an accessible way. Can’t wait for his book on the Trinity.

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