Ryan shares his final, pre-doctoral paper from seminary on God’s unchanging nature revealed in Jesus Christ and through the entire Bible.
The unchangeable nature of God, known as His immutability, is a classic theological subject in Theology Proper. In seeking to understand how God’s character is immutable, it is helpful to consider the historical understanding of the immutability of God, to examine the characteristics of God revealed in the incarnation as the central hinge point of one’s theological understanding, and to weigh the character of God in the Old and New Testaments. The intention of this essay is to show that the incarnation and Fatherhood of God are key scriptural themes to understanding the unchanging character of God and that the immutability of God has been consistent, not contradictory, throughout the Bible. There is a limitation to this presentation, namely that the Trinity, in particular, will not be explored in detail but will rather be assumed—whether talking about God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit, all will be considered God and fully relevant to studying God’s immutable nature. Yet, this limitation does not undermine the argument made in this paper. Far from a Stoic view of a God who is above emotion, Scripture reveals a God who loves and fully experiences emotion, although not mastered by emotion. The testamental presentations of God’s nature will be addressed including how God’s “repentance” in the Old Testament and “Fatherhood” in the New are unified within His character and consistent as displayed in the character of Jesus Christ, the exact imprint of God’s attributes in human flesh (Heb 1:3; Col 2:9). Read more