Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Love of an Impassible God

If we define passions as the transition from one emotive state to another or the increase in intensity of such a particular state, then the doctrine of divine impassibility teaches us that God does not have passions as fluctuating within Himself or as influenced from anything outside Himself.

Far from espousing a cold, static, and uninvolved Deity, this doctrine actually enhances the Christian's hope and comfort in that when Scripture teaches that God is love, it does not say that God becomes more or less loving as contingent upon the creature, but that His love is as eternal as He Himself is. In fact "love" as predicated on God is God Himself! Such security and stability for the objects of His love in Christ!

Speaking on the doctrine of divine simplicity, which is foundational to the doctrine of divine impassibility, Dr. James Dolezal writes:

There is nothing in God that is not God. If there were, that is, if God were not ontologically identical with all that is in him, then something other than God himself would be needed to account for his existence, essence, and attributes. But nothing that is not God can sufficiently account for God. He exists in all his perfection entirely in and through himself. At the heart of the classical DDS [doctrine of divine simplicity] is the concern to uphold God's absolute self-sufficiency as well as his ultimate sufficiency for the existence of the created universe...By appealing to God's simplicity I aim to show that God and the world are related analogically and that the world in no sense explains or accounts for God's existence and essence. If God were yet another being in the world, even if the highest and most excellent, then the world itself would be the framework within which he must be ontologically explained. But as Creator, God is the sufficient reason for the world's existence and thus cannot be evaluated as if he stood together with it in the same order of being. It follows from this that God can neither be measured, nor his simplicity refuted, according to the modalities unique to created beings. (God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God's Absoluteness [PICKWICK Publications, Eugene, Oregon:2011])

The ff. video is a discussion on the doctrine of divine impassibility that is as profound as it is edifying:

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