Thinking of Our God's immutability.

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earl40

Puritan Board Professor
While looking into the impassibility of God I have come to the conclusion that the confessional view is that God does not experience anything, which includes not only pain and suffering, but anything that can cause joy or happiness. I understand this may be somewhat problematic to many, in that some (not many) Christians understand that God cannot be grieved in a proper sense. To be consistent in our faith we should understand anything that supposedly causes God to change properly should be rejected forthwith, and understood the scripture is using anthropometric (or anthropormathic) language to convey that God appears to change.

Where do you stand?
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
God is unchangeable. That does not lead to an emotionless God, however. It is true that he is unchanging in who he is, but do we fully understand who he is that we are allowed to take away from his essence that which belongs to his essence? There are plenty of Scripture which talks about the joy of the Lord, or his anger against the wicked, or his pleasure in his children. God also finds joy in his own holiness, pleasure within himself, contentment within himself. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is proof that God isn't an emotionless God. It proves that he IS love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have these things from him, but unlike him we only have them we are not the source of them. He is the source of these fruits which never changes. To experience joy, does not always necessitate a change even within a human being much less God. If you mean by "feel" that his joy comes and goes as things please him I would agree he doesn't feel joy but is joy. If I misunderstood what you meant, please correct me.

Ps 36:8
 
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C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
This will turn into a discussion on accomodation, and reactionary principles drawn from that.

I cover this in-depth in Two Wills.

However, Edward Pearse had a title that Soli Deo Gloria published called "A Beam of Divine Glory" which explains impassability (with immutability) in a relational context. It is astoundingly helpful if its still in print.

I quote him on this topic in the Reformed Apprentice Volume 2 on the Doctrine of God.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
God is unchangeable. That does not lead to an emotionless God, however. It is true that he is unchanging in who he is, but do we fully understand who he is that we are allowed to take away from his essence that which belongs to his essence? There are plenty of Scripture which talks about the joy of the Lord, or his anger against the wicked, or his pleasure in his children. God also finds joy in his own holiness, pleasure within himself, contentment within himself. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is proof that God isn't an emotionless God. It proves that he IS love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have these things from him, but unlike him we only have them we are not the source of them. He is the source of these fruits which never changes. To experience joy, does not always necessitate a change even within a human being much less God. If you mean by "feel" that his joy comes and goes as things please him I would agree he doesn't feel joy but is joy. If I misunderstood what you meant, please correct me.

Ps 36:8

I think you did not misunderstand me. :) I will say this with no horns. God does not have emotions. To have emotions always entails a change in being.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
This will turn into a discussion on accomodation, and reactionary principles drawn from that.

I cover this in-depth in Two Wills.

However, Edward Pearse had a title that Soli Deo Gloria published called "A Beam of Divine Glory" which explains impassability (with immutability) in a relational context. It is astoundingly helpful if its still in print.

I quote him on this topic in the Reformed Apprentice Volume 2 on the Doctrine of God.

Does Pearce capitulate any via his relational context view?
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
I think you did not misunderstand me. :) I will say this with no horns. God does not have emotions. To have emotions always entails a change in being.
Using the term "emotions " is probably the wrong noun for me to use, but it's speech which we humans can understand. God does not have eyes but he does in fact see all things. He does not have a mind but he does know all things. God uses human body parts to give us a picture of what he is saying to us about himself. The fact that he is the source of joy (your example ) necessitates that he does perfectly "feel" that joy bc it is part of who he is.....he is the source of joy along with all the other fruits of the Holy Spirit . Because he is joy that joy is perfect and never waxes nor wanes. It is perfectly constant. Therefore, it does not change who he is, but he still perfectly "feels" them (fruit of the Holy Spirit) bc they make up who he is along with all his other attributes. Scripture speaks of the joy of the Lord, the love of the Lord, the wrath of God, the patience of God, the kindness of God etc. Unlike us, these emotions or maybe a better word is attributes do not take turns in exhibiting themselves within him they are constant bc he is those things. We might be happy one minute then sad the next. It is impossible for us to feel complete joy and sadness at the same time. But God is able to have perfect pleasure and joy about his holiness while having perfect wrath against the wicked at the same time. I do believe he feels these attributes bc he's not a dead God made out of stone, wood, metal, or clay. How does God feels things is something we have no knowledge about.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Using the term "emotions " is probably the wrong noun for me to use, but it's speech which we humans can understand. God does not have eyes but he does in fact see all things. He does not have a mind but he does know all things. God uses human body parts to give us a picture of what he is saying to us about himself. The fact that he is the source of joy (your example ) necessitates that he does perfectly "feel" that joy bc it is part of who he is.....he is the source of joy along with all the other fruits of the Holy Spirit . Because he is joy that joy is perfect and never waxes nor wanes. It is perfectly constant. Therefore, it does not change who he is, but he still perfectly "feels" them (fruit of the Holy Spirit) bc they make up who he is along with all his other attributes. Scripture speaks of the joy of the Lord, the love of the Lord, the wrath of God, the patience of God, the kindness of God etc. Unlike us, these emotions or maybe a better word is attributes do not take turns in exhibiting themselves within him they are constant bc he is those things. We might be happy one minute then sad the next. It is impossible for us to feel complete joy and sadness at the same time. But God is able to have perfect pleasure and joy about his holiness while having perfect wrath against the wicked at the same time. I do believe he feels these attributes bc he's not a dead God made out of stone, wood, metal, or clay. How does God feels things is something we have no knowledge about.

I agree with much you said here. :) Like the "emotion" we should understand the word "feel", and what it entails, also to not assume incorrectly that God feels. To feel would entail experiencing something that was not experienced the moment before, and of course Our God is outside of time. This thought goes along with all feelings and emotions which includes anger, sorrow, or the idea of God taking any pleasure in His creatures as if He lacked.
 
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