Re: God and change?

Garry DeWeese (
Fri, 14 Nov 1997 17:55:51 -0700

Hi Gladwin,

I think we can see two (at least) interpertations of immutability in the
history of Christian doctrine, which are sometimes referred to as "strong"
and "weak" immutability. Strong immutability is usually connected to the
doctrine of divine simplicity which claims that God is each of his
attributes. So strong immutability claims that there can be *no* change in
any of God's properties (I use 'properties' and 'attributes'
interchangeably), intrinsic or relational.

Weak immutability, on the other hand, claims only that there is no change
in God's intrinsic attributes. An article mentioned earlier this week by
Inge Frette, "God Everlasting" by Nicholas Wolterstorff, argues (for
example) that it once was true that I was in a relation of enmity with God,
it is now true that having been regenerated by his grace, I am now in a
Father-child relation with him. So there is that change in God's
relational properties.


At 11:14 AM 11/14/1997 -0800, Gladwin Joseph wrote:
> Dear folks,
> I have long held that GOD does not change. The immutability
> of God - I thought (still think) is a necessary
> biblically orthodox belief. BUT, i sense that there are some
> on the ASA list that may hold to other alternate
> perspectives or understand it differently. From what i
> understand, does a "free" cosmos described by quantum
> reality suggest that The Transcendent and Immanent Creator
> "changes" in some way. If this change ought not to be
> understood anthropomorphically, then how does one understand
> it being consistent to both the Biblical and Cosmic record?
> Any help in calrifying this thought would be welcome.
> The "orthodox" confession in an Omnipotent, omniscient,
> and omnipresent GOD does not allow for mutability or does
> it?. Does the appearance of mutability in God through His
> creation and the revealed confession of His Immutability
> remain a mystery, much like the other ancient Christian
> paradoxes?
> God's peace to you all,
> Thanks
> gladwin
> "To confess that we may never know puts us on the
> high road to worship"