One approach to God and his attributes is Anselmian: God is "that that which no greater can be conceived." God is the greatest conceivable being, the most perfect of all beings, the being possessing all perfections. But what is a perfection? A perfection is not just any old (positive, non-Cambridge) property, but a great-making property. Some of these properties admit of degrees while some do not. To say of God that he is the ens perfectissimum, the most perfect of all beings, is to say that he possesses all great- making properties, and of those that admit of degrees, he possesses them to the highest degree.
For example, power admits of degrees; so while Socrates and God are both powerful, only God is maximally powerful. Wisdom too admits of degrees; so while both Socrates and God are both wise, only God is maximally wise. And the same holds for love and mercy and moral goodness. Many of the divine attributes, then, are maxima of attributes possessed by humans.
Are Socrates and God wise in the same sense of 'wise'? This follows if wisdom in God is just the highest degree of the same attribute that is found in some humans. Accordingly, the predicate 'wise' is being used univocally in 'Socrates is wise' and 'God is wise' despite the fact that God but not Socrates is all-wise.
Thus a commitment to univocity appears to be entailed by the Anselmian or perfect-being approach.
The polar opposite of univocity is equivocity. The phenomenon of equivocity is illustrated by this pair of sentences: 'Socrates is wise,' 'Hillary is in no wise fit to be president.' The meaning of 'wise' is totally different across the two sentences. Midway between univocity and equivocity there is analogicity. Perhaps an example of an analogical use of 'wise' would be in application to Guido the mafioso. He's a wise guy; he knows the score; but he is not a wise man like Socrates, though he is like the latter in being knowledgeable about some things. But I mention analogy only to set it aside.
My thesis: an Anselmian approach to God and his attributes such as we find in Alvin Plantinga and T. V. Morris is anthropomorphic. One takes God to have the very same great-making properties that (some) humans have, but to the maximal degree. Socrates is benevolent and merciful; God is omnibenevolent and all-merciful. And so on. In so doing, one approaches God from the side of man, assimilating God to man. God is 'made' in the image and likeness of man, as a sort of superman, but with defects removed and attributes maximized.
Well, what is wrong with anthropomorphism? The problem with it is that it fails to do justice to God's absolute transcendence and ineffability. If the difference between creatures and God is only a matter of degree, then God would not be worthy of worship. He would be "the greatest thing around" and no doubt an object of wonder and admiration, but not an appropriate object of worship. (See Barry Miller, A Most Unlikely God, U. of Notre Dame Press, 1996, p. 3)
God is the Absolute. As such, he is radically other than creatures. His attributes cannot be 'in series' with human degreed attributes even if at the limits of these series. God in not just another thing that exists and possesses properties in the way creatures possess properties.
A subsequent entry will examine the view opposite to that of perfect-being theology, that of negative theology.