Walk’n Thoughts

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The doctrine of God’s impassibility is under attack. Sometimes it is called the doctrine of Divine Emotivity. Impassibility means God does not suffer, that is, he does not react to external stimuli. He is without passions. Included in this, is the idea that he is without emotion.

There are many today who believe to deny God emotions is to deny man emotions. This is silly. These men mistakenly believe human emotions are unjustified if God does not emote. Somehow we must compromise God’s essential being in order to satisfy a perceived problem? God is essentially immutable, simple and purely actual. He not only does not have emotions, he *cannot* have emotions – because he is uncreated. This does not mean God lacks what we usually call emotions – love, mercy, grace, wrath, jealousy. We call these emotions because we experience these qualities emotionally. But we are created things. Created things emote. God does not experience these qualities as emotions because he is uncreated. In fact he does not experience them – he IS them (as John put it, God IS love).

God is not emotional. Christ in his human nature is emotional, but according to his divine nature he does not experience emotion. Therefore, those who knowledgeably insist God has emotions attack the glory of Christ. As Berkhof put it once: “The work of redemption required a mediator both human and divine, passible and impassible, mortal and immortal.” – The History of Christian Doctrines p 106

We need a God how does not emote, yet has condescended in the person of his Son to suffer and emote with us and for us.

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