Does God do all He does to glorify Himself, or for the sake of His creatures? Neither alternative satisfies. If the former, He seems a cosmic narcissist; if the latter, a cosmic therapist.

According to Jenson ( America’s Theologian: A Recommendation of Jonathan Edwards , 39), Jonathan Edwards takes the usual Calvinist view that God glorifies Himself, but as he expounds his position he in effect dissolves the opposition between the two alternatives.

He begins from the premise that God’s attributes are “a sufficiency to certain acts and effects.” From that he concludes that in valuing Himself and His attributes, He supremely values his acts and effects. Because God is a communicative Being, His acts are communications and this means that they effect knowledge. God cannot supremely value His own acts without valuing others’ knowledge of them, which is knowledge of God. God is good, and knowing Him is blessedness, and so “in supremely valuing himself, God supremely values our blessedness.”

Jenson notes that the solvent for dissolving the dilemma is a Trinitarian one.