On Impassibility and Classical Theism

The following is taken from a comment i made on a friend’s blog. Let’s hear some responses:

As a scion and proud heir of neo-orthodox theology I cannot help but feel that the yesterday today and forever is a statement about God’s faithfulness, not his ontological state. We cannot have an immutable God if He is to remain the God Jesus has revealed to us. The incarnation is an event not only in time and space but in the Trinity itself. The Crucifixion is another event in the Godhead and cannot be reduced to an ambiguous mystery that doesn’t fit in with our concept of God.

The life and times of Jesus Christ reveal God to us, he is the lens throguh which we read the bible, and our theology, and any patriology any word we wish to say about the Father will not be true unless mediated to us by the life of His son, for no one knows the Father except the Son.

An immutable God is in the worst case a monad who has no relation at all to the real world, and at best one who will ever remain static in the face of our love. Even if that static response is absolute and undying love, it is invalid, because it was a choice in the Godhead, a choice out of a dynamic love that chose the incarnation, a choice out of covenant faithfulness that forever altered the godhead from unknown to known. From otherworldly to our very neighbor, whose face we can see, whose wounds we can touch, whom we eat and eat with.

You cannot eat an immutable God. Case closed.

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5 thoughts on “On Impassibility and Classical Theism

    • Yes, I am saying that in accordance with Hegel, the infinite is not opposed to the finite so that the infinite is merely the extension fo the finite beyond time yet within it. God has to be in time with us, that’s one of the things that the incarnation means.

      secondly, the idea of god being infinite is not necessarily a christian one, while we see that he is regarded as powerful in the old testament as well as the new never has it been stated as dogmatic fact within the old testament or early second tmeple period that god is infinite.

      we believe he is the creator of the universe, which implies that he is in some sense other than the universe, but that does not necessitate infinity in the classical sense.

      But, returning to the topic at hand, yes, God is in time with us, that’s Who Jesus Christ and the Spirit are, they are God in time.

  1. Thank you for posting this. I’m in agreement. Also, the pagan Greek concepts of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, impassibility and immutability are NOT found in God’s Word. Rather, we find that He is good, loving, personal, relational, and so on. (HT to Bob Enyart in Colorado).

    • Now it’s not that God is not those things, the scriptures attest to great power and knowledge, but it would be far more constructive to begin our assertions about God through Jesus, following out to discuss the father and the spirit through the revelation of Christ.

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