God’s Immutability: Incarnated and Consistent in the Testaments

Ryan shares his final, pre-doctoral paper from seminary on God’s unchanging nature revealed in Jesus Christ and through the entire Bible.

Introduction

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

Why God?

In a recent assignment for seminary, I was assigned a reflection of America’s Four Gods in response to the question, Why God?

In America today, “God” means many things. Paul Froese and Christopher Bader set out to understand “how God is understood literally” in America and “what we talk about when we talk about God.”[1] People create descriptions of what they believe God to be but they also have a lifestyle and worldview that reflect what they truly believe; and it is these two elements, Froese and Bader have integrated into their research in America’s Four Gods.[2] The perception of God in America generally is based on individual experience.[3] Yet there is a degree of tolerance. Thomas Jefferson said, “While I claim a right to believe in one God, I yield as freely to others that of believing in three.”[4] Yet when God is spoken of Americans mean something. From their research, Froese and Christopher propose four views of God in America: Read more