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Classic Theology vs. The Contemporary - Case Study Example

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This study discusses the significance of the issue of classic theology vs. the contemporary discussion regarding the immutability of God. The acts of God within the sphere of his creation are not seen as arbitrary and his response to people is within the context of his “desires and purposes of holy love…
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Classic Theology vs. The Contemporary
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Download file to see previous pages His judgment of people is conditioned on his “changeless purpose concerning sin and conversion.  The scriptural embodiment of the doctrine of immutability is probably captured best in 1 Samuel 15:29 (RSV) where it is written, “And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent.” The scriptural basis of the doctrine of Immutability is fully developed with numerous citations and succinct specificity to unchangeableness that enlightens the doctrine. Scriptures offer confirmation that God is not mortal with the qualities of lying or a changeableness of mind (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29). There is a timelessness, unchanging quality to God in a time-dependent, changing world (Psalm 102:26). The promises of God are of an eternal nature not capriciously offered to people (Psalm 110:4; Isaiah 31:2). His steadfastness is apparent in his constancy of presence and love (Isaiah 40:28). The final book of the English Old Testament rings with the words of Malachi in Chapter 3, verse 6 (RSV), “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” The New Testament has few direct citations regarding changeableness. God’s unchangeable nature is restated for these readers in a new context (Hebrews 1:11; 7:21). While scripture offers examples that can be interpreted to show a disparity in whether God has a changeable nature, the major points of consideration would be that the New Testament offers no distinct contradiction to the attribute of God’s unchangeableness. A modern reformulation of the classic doctrine of immutability has been penned by James Packer. God is simple (that is, totally integrated), perfect and immutable. These words affirm that he is wholly and entirely involved in everything that he is and does and that his nature, goals, and ways of acting do not change, either for the better (being perfect, he cannot become better) or for the worse. His immutability is not the changelessness of an eternally frozen pose, but the moral consistency that holds him to his own principles of action and leads him to deal differently with those who change their own behavior towards him. • Would you agree more with Vanhoozer or Nygren on this issue? Why? No, They state, “…from Plato, Aristotle, and the subsequent Hellenistic tradition, the church arrived at the notion that God was altogether unmoved, impassible, immutable, nontemporal and purely actual.” Open theists uniformly teach that the church fathers were so influenced by Greek philosophy when they formulated their theology, that the church’s historical and theological understanding of God reflects a more philosophical understanding than a biblical one. Carl Henry rightfully noted, “It is true that medieval theologians were aware of the teaching of certain Greek philosophers in discussing God’s immutability. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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