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Thread: Immutability of God.

  1. #21
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    Creation requires an act of creation. Acts are a type of change which brings about change. Change is mutability. Immutability and mutability are opposites. So there must also have been in some way mutability co-eternal with God or there would not have been any creation.
    Your view on divine immutability seems to be nested in the idea that the follow argument would be accurate.

    1. God is immutable
    2. God created the universe
    3. An act of creation requires a state-change in the creator (from not having exercised its will to having exercised its will)
    4. An immutable being cannot undergo a state-change
    5. Therefore an immutable being cannot create the universe
    6. Therefore god does not exist



    But there is no need to devise new theories on God's natures as you do with the concept of a temporal nature for Christ before his incarnation. Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry offers a great reply to the above argument:

    1. God is immutable
      • Immutability must be defined. It means "unchangeableness."
      • In Christian theology God’s immutability describes his nature and does not mean he cannot think, know, or experience.
    2. God created the universe
    3. An act of creation requires a state-change in the creator (from not having exercised its will to having exercised its will)
      • The nature of free will is to exercise that will. A decision is not a change of nature but of mind, and this does not violate the immutability of God’s nature.
    4. An immutable being cannot undergo a state change
      • The argument fails to clarify the difference between unchangeable in nature and the ability within that nature to make a decision.
    5. Therefore an immutable being cannot create the universe
    6. Therefore god does not exist
      • The argument fails for the reasons mentioned above.


    The problem it seems, is that you believe that "immutability" makes the divine nature something like a statue or a rock. incapable of doing anything at all for all eternity. That's why you have to come up with your "temporal" second-nature of Jesus theory. But that's not what the scriptures mean when they describe God's immutability. Immutability refers to God's faithfulness and his wisdom and his existence, and to his character, truth, ways, and purposes, not on his ability to act, or interact with creation.

    Listen to or read William Lane Craig's overview on the Doctrine of God and God's divine immutability to get a better understanding of what it means to say that God is immutable. Here's a transcript that offers a good breakdown for you: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defen...anscript/s3-10
    Last edited by Adrift; 03-15-2015 at 06:16 PM.

  2. Amen Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  3. #22
    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    • Immutability must be defined. It means "unchangeableness."
    • In Christian theology God’s immutability describes his nature and does not mean he cannot think, know, or experience.
    Immutability with God goes with His omniscience.

    My question for you is "immutability" and "mutability" two opposite attributes? God has both.
    Would they not be of two different natures? Who in the Godhead has two different natures?
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    Immutability with God goes with His omniscience.

    My question for you is "immutability" and "mutability" two opposite attributes? God has both.
    Did you read the link I posted?

    Source: Doctrine of God, William Lane Craig

    the God that you read about in the Bible is not this sort of static, unchangeable entity. He is the living God, the living God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. He is not frozen into immobility like an ice statue or a mannequin in a store window. Rather, he is an active God who is engaged with people and events in human history. He acts and reacts in personal relationships. The biblical passages that we looked at with respect to God’s immutability certainly don’t teach that God is immutable in this sort of absolute sense. Rather, it talks about how he is unchanging in his character and his faithfulness and his wisdom and his existence. He is unchangeable in those respects, but he is not frozen into immobility.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Would they not be of two different natures?
    No, God's immutability and his ability to create and interact with his creation would not require two different natures.

    Who in the Godhead has two different natures?
    Jesus...but only AFTER the incarnation, per traditional Christian orthodox teaching.

  5. Amen Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  6. #24
    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Did you read the link I posted?

    Source: Doctrine of God, William Lane Craig

    the God that you read about in the Bible is not this sort of static, unchangeable entity. He is the living God, the living God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. He is not frozen into immobility like an ice statue or a mannequin in a store window. Rather, he is an active God who is engaged with people and events in human history. He acts and reacts in personal relationships. The biblical passages that we looked at with respect to God’s immutability certainly don’t teach that God is immutable in this sort of absolute sense. Rather, it talks about how he is unchanging in his character and his faithfulness and his wisdom and his existence. He is unchangeable in those respects, but he is not frozen into immobility.

    © Copyright Original Source

    So? I'm not denying this. I am merely making the point immutability cannot be alone. So you have avoided answering me.

    The God of the OT is who we know to be the Son of God. And you have already dismissed that, have you not?



    No, God's immutability and his ability to create and interact with his creation would not require two different natures.
    Fine. Explain to me a nature which is both immutable and mutable at the same time. Or are you denying acts require action on the part of the one who acts? Explain actions without action.


    Jesus...but only AFTER the incarnation, per traditional Christian orthodox teaching.
    We have been here before. Does not change the fact there has to be mutability with God who is immutable among other key attributes. Without the act of creation there is no creation. An act is an action, a change, a mutability.

    Who is being referred to in John 1:3? What does it teach? ". . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . ." and v.10 says, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. . . ." It is talking about none other than the only-begotten v.14, v.18.

    The Apostle Paul writes, ". . . For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; . . ." -- Colossians 1:16-18.

    In other words, if there is no Son of God there would be no creation.
    Last edited by 37818; 03-16-2015 at 02:34 AM.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

  7. #25
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    So? I'm not denying this. I am merely making the point immutability cannot be alone. So you have avoided answering me.

    The God of the OT is who we know to be the Son of God. And you have already dismissed that, have you not?



    Fine. Explain to me a nature which is both immutable and mutable at the same time. Or are you denying acts require action on the part of the one who acts? Explain actions without action.


    We have been here before. Does not change the fact there has to be mutability with God who is immutable among other key attributes. Without the act of creation there is no creation. An act is an action, a change, a mutability.

    Who is being referred to in John 1:3? What does it teach? ". . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . ." and v.10 says, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. . . ." It is talking about none other than the only-begotten v.14, v.18.

    The Apostle Paul writes, ". . . For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; . . ." -- Colossians 1:16-18.

    In other words, if there is no Son of God there would be no creation.
    Are you insane or on drugs? You seem incapable of reading what others have been saying.

    Immutability of God does not mean immutability of action or thought. It means his character does not change. He can't lie, he can't turn evil, he can't not be good and loving and just and merciful. That is ALL that it means. You are taking a word "immutable" and forcing it to the extreme.

    Are you the same person after you make a post on theologyweb or do you change into a different person after you make a post? And after you eat breakfast, or go to bed at night?

    I am sure you will either ignore this again, and continue to claim that God is some frozen statue that can't do anything, while at the same time denying that is what you are saying.
    Last edited by Sparko; 03-16-2015 at 01:01 PM.

  8. Amen Adrift, Christianbookworm, DesertBerean amen'd this post.
  9. #26
    Professor Cerebrum123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Are you insane or on drugs? You seem incapable of reading what others have been saying.

    Immutability of God does not mean immutability of action or thought. It means his character does not change. He can't lie, he can't turn evil, he can't not be good and loving and just and merciful. That is ALL that it means. You are taking a word "immutable" and forcing it to the extreme.

    Are you the same person after you make a post on theologyweb or do you change into a different person after you make a post? And after you eat breakfast, or go to bed at night?

    I am sure you will either ignore this again, and continue to claim that God is some frozen statue that can't do anything, while at the same time denying that is what you are saying.
    Well, 37818 does have a point against a certain view of immutability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    There actually are quite a number of people who assert that God is timeless and immutable in exactly that sense. That is, in fact, the understanding of Classical Theology.

    William Lane Craig departs from this view by asserting that God was timeless until the creation of Time, at which point God entered time and became a tensed being. Personally, I feel that this is completely incoherent, but it is the position which Craig has espoused.
    From what I understand people like Augustine, and Aquinas held to that kind of immutability.

    Honestly, I think there might be something blocking 37818 from understanding what you are saying. His posts aren't exactly very coherent themselves, and rather frequently. Maybe a language barrier? He seems to get caught up on certain words, and then can't let that go.
    Safka, you are NOT "unknown", you were loved by many, and you will not be forgotten. I will always remember you Puginator.


  10. #27
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    Well, 37818 does have a point against a certain view of immutability.



    From what I understand people like Augustine, and Aquinas held to that kind of immutability.
    I cited this in the other thread, but I'll drop it here too. This is from professor of religion, Ron Heighfield:

    Source: Great Is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God by Ron Highfield

    What shall we say to these criticisms? First, let us deal with the critics' descriptions of the traditional doctrine. All of the critics mentioned present the tradition as if it were saying that God is unrelated, static, cold, aloof, unresponsive, and dead. But, as we have already seen, this caricature bears little resemblance to the God of the church fathers, Augustine, Aquinas, and orthodox Protestantism. For them, God is not "static" -- a term that applies to something that has potential for movement but is stuck in its present state -- but pure act. God's immutability is not the immutability of a rock but the immutability of a perfectly dynamic and unlimited life. Michael Dodds, Gerald Hanratty, and Thomas Weinandy have given persuasive answers to Aquinas's critics. Richard Muller has done the same for the post-Reformation Reformed theologians. God's immutability does not render him unrelated and aloof; rather, it guarantees his ability to be absolutely present as our totally reliable Creator. If God were not immutable, he could not come near to us -- as in the incarnation -- without being changed by the relationship. God could not be himself for us. Far from making God unresponsive and dead, his immutability assures us that God is life itself without any admixture of death (that is, mere potentiality). God is eternally and proactively our good in every situation.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Whatever view Augustine and Aquinas had pertaining to God's immutability, they still believed he created the universe, and interacted with humanity (I think Aquinas even argues that existence itself is an act). What we do know is that they did not believe that the second member of the trinity had some pre-incarnation "temporal" nature that was separate from his divine nature that allowed him to create and manifest. That's something that, as far as I can tell 37818 made up whole-cloth from his interpretation of scripture.

    Honestly, I think there might be something blocking 37818 from understanding what you are saying. His posts aren't exactly very coherent themselves, and rather frequently. Maybe a language barrier? He seems to get caught up on certain words, and then can't let that go.
    We've asked him before if English was his native language, and I'm pretty sure he said it was.

  11. #28
    Professor Cerebrum123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    I cited this in the other thread, but I'll drop it here too. This is from professor of religion, Ron Heighfield:

    Source: Great Is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God by Ron Highfield

    What shall we say to these criticisms? First, let us deal with the critics' descriptions of the traditional doctrine. All of the critics mentioned present the tradition as if it were saying that God is unrelated, static, cold, aloof, unresponsive, and dead. But, as we have already seen, this caricature bears little resemblance to the God of the church fathers, Augustine, Aquinas, and orthodox Protestantism. For them, God is not "static" -- a term that applies to something that has potential for movement but is stuck in its present state -- but pure act. God's immutability is not the immutability of a rock but the immutability of a perfectly dynamic and unlimited life. Michael Dodds, Gerald Hanratty, and Thomas Weinandy have given persuasive answers to Aquinas's critics. Richard Muller has done the same for the post-Reformation Reformed theologians. God's immutability does not render him unrelated and aloof; rather, it guarantees his ability to be absolutely present as our totally reliable Creator. If God were not immutable, he could not come near to us -- as in the incarnation -- without being changed by the relationship. God could not be himself for us. Far from making God unresponsive and dead, his immutability assures us that God is life itself without any admixture of death (that is, mere potentiality). God is eternally and proactively our good in every situation.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Whatever view Augustine and Aquinas had pertaining to God's immutability, they still believed he created the universe, and interacted with humanity (I think Aquinas even argues that existence itself is an act). What we do know is that they did not believe that the second member of the trinity had some pre-incarnation "temporal" nature that was separate from his divine nature that allowed him to create and manifest. That's something that, as far as I can tell 37818 made up whole-cloth from his interpretation of scripture.
    I've tried reading up on this stuff, especially the "potentiality", and "pure act". Right now it's just too much, and it all starts looking like gibberish.

    Yeah, I agree that 37818 has pretty much just made up this stuff whole cloth like you say.

    We've asked him before if English was his native language, and I'm pretty sure he said it was.
    I still think there is some kind of barrier here. His posts are often very confusing, and worded in a very odd way.
    Safka, you are NOT "unknown", you were loved by many, and you will not be forgotten. I will always remember you Puginator.


  12. #29
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    I still think there is some kind of barrier here. His posts are often very confusing, and worded in a very odd way.
    I hate to say this, but how he writes reminds me a little bit like how shunyadragon writes. I figured in shunyadragon's case it had more to do with age than anything else, but I have no idea if thats the case with 37818.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    I hate to say this, but how he writes reminds me a little bit like how shunyadragon writes. I figured in shunyadragon's case it had more to do with age than anything else, but I have no idea if thats the case with 37818.
    Hate to say this, but what is your excuse . . .
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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