According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Does God Change?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2014/04/does-god-change/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rogereolson_040814UTC010425_daily&utm_content=&spMailingID=45571177&spUserID=Nzg4MDU4NjI4MjkS1&spJobID=420935271&spReportId=NDIwOTM1MjcxS0

When I left America to study theology with Wolfhart Pannenberg at the University of Munich I took one theological tome with me: Hendrikus’ Berkhof’s Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Study of the Faith. (Of course I bought and borrowed other theological tomes while in Munich; this is the only one I had room for in my luggage!) I read it twice in Munich and found Berkhof a breath of fresh air (except his functional Christology). I especially like his description of God as our superior, faithful covenant partner who voluntarily allows himself to be affected deeply by us (“changeable faithfulness”).

What’s ironic about all this is that, when it comes to belief about God’s ability to change (or not) my view has not changed significantly since Sunday School and the church of my youth. “Changeable faithfulness” sums it up well. After four degrees in theology and thirty-two years teaching Christian theology in three universities, my belief about God’s immutability remains the same even if somewhat more sophisticated (by being supported by personalist theologians such as Bloesch, Brunner and Berkhof).

So, to put it in theological terms:

"God, I believe, could have remained fully God without lack or need, without any creation. However, creation out of love (the overflowing of the inner-trinitarian love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is the most understandable thing because of God’s great love."

Just as a married couple want (not need) a child to share their “couple love” with, so God wanted (not needed) a creation and beings created in his own image and likeness with whom to share his/their love. But because God is personal love, the history of creation affects God inwardly and not only outwardly. God’s emotional life is affected by what creatures do because God is love.

But through it all, God remains who he is and always has been and always will be. God’s relation to creation does not take anything away from God’s being or character or add anything to it—ethically or ontologically. Emotionally, however, creation does affect God. And God experiences new things in relation to creation. But all this is by God’s free choice; not necessity.

I must admit that I tend to think any other view tends to elevate philosophy over the biblical revelation of God and therefore is, in the most important sense, unorthodox.



continue to -


      





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