Saturday, October 20, 2007

Changeability.

A thorough conversation dealing with the question in my previous post leads to dialogue about the unchanging/changing nature of God. Does God change?

4 comments:

Joe said...
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Joe said...

He's like the wind, CONSTANTLY MOVING. There's consistancy in his constant movement. If God didn't move or change, why are we supposed to keep seeking and knocking?

He's like a rock. He isn't shaken or moved. We are to put our faith in this unchanging power. God's the same today as he was yesterday and will be the same tomorrow. His Character is the same throughout the history of the Bible.

The constant longing for relationship with his creation.

Both?

Corbin said...

Depends on how broadly you want to define change--against the Protagoran notion of a state of affairs locked in eternal stasis, or against the Heraclitean flux of non-identity. It is the dual starting points that, I believe, causes this to even be a question. One could not understand the Bible without presuming God to be involved in history, which means He exists in time, or at the least, can move in and out of time. In the most literal sense, this is change, and so God has to change to exist and to be relevant. But if one tries to absolutize the finite moments and draw inconceivable gaps between them, then all change is also destruction and creation, and God becomes nothing more than an abstract construct of discrete temporality. This sickens the realist who wants to recognize identity.

I believe the proper approach is to recognize the fluidity of existence and be comfortable with the language of change without radically absolutizing differentiation. Differences exist only in identity as much as identity results from differentiation. We can recognize changeability and permanence as two sides of the same coin.

Thomas said...

Christian authors such as C.S Lewis and A.W. Tozer teach about the immutability of God. (See chapter 9 of The Knowledge Of The Holy). Basically this argument says that "there can be no mutation in the moral character of God...His being is other than and different from all beings." I think that 100 percent of the time humans underestimate who God is. We can't even begin to know Him in whole. We only can see what He is like, through Scripure and experience. This is why Jesus spoke in parables. He understood that we have limited understanding. So instead of being frustrated with our limited brain, He chose to use simile's. (The Kingdom of Heaven is like...); (Your Heavenly Father is like...) etc. I believe that by definition, TO CHANGE means to get better or worse than you already are, or to make a better or worse decision than you already have made. I believe, I can't even pick the right words, that there is nothing that exists that is outside of God's sovereignty. So if this is true, God "getting better" cannot happen otherwise the "better" would be God. If God is the Alpha AND the Omega, then He does not exist wholly on the timeline which also defines change. He is outside of that, yet reaches into it, like a cat who reaches into the fish bowl. I do not believe that the characteristics of God change, they just become personal to each person who invite Him in. God never says "I'm not myself today"

Matthew 5:38-48, NASB

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone want to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only you brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."