Skip to Content

Apologetics: Christian Debates: Re: [dovegiven] Is God immutable? Has God, (in scripture) ever 'changed'?: Edit Log

Here is the list of edits for this post
Re: [dovegiven] Is God immutable? Has God, (in scripture) ever 'changed'?
Dovegiven :

I've been researching among prominent rabbis on this paradox issue. (I'd like to know exactly which rabbis you side with that disagree with Malachi 3:6), that don't tend to also believe in essence there is no God as most of us think of God.

I think it an unnecessarily aggressive debating technique to attempt to shift the focus onto 'taking sides' - e.g. ‘exactly which rabbis you side with' that disagree with Malachi 3:6’ as if someone's opinion can be dismissed on the grounds that people he agrees with are held by you to be 'heretics' or 'atheists'. (I actually don't think you know enough rabbi's of either opinion to make such a judgment anyway).

No one is ‘siding with anyone’, we are just expressing an opinion. The fact of the matter is that many respected Jewish Rabbis including Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks do not think this verse is speaking about the ‘immutability’ of God. And I also think they are right. That is not to say however that I think that God's immutability has been disproved. It hasn't. I just don't think the word, as the Greeks would have understood it, is appropriate when applied to the God of Abraham.

Jonathan Sacks says of this particular verse,

When Malachi says in the name of God, “I the Lord do not change” he is not speaking about God’s essence as pure being, the unmoved mover, but about his moral commitments. God keeps his promises even when his children break theirs. What does not change about God are the covenants he makes with Noah, Abraham and the Israelites at Sinai. The Great Partnership, (God Science and the Search for Meaning) - Hodder.

The issue is not so much a paradox as a new understanding of the meaning of “Ehyeh asher ehyeh”, new because no Jewish mind had conceived it. It was born out of the legacy of Plato and Aristotle but matured in the cradle of the Christian Church to become in English "I AM what I AM", rather than "I shall be whatever I choose to be". Either statement can be demonstrated in scripture to be technically correct, because the second translation speaks of God's Sovereignty. If God chooses to change I certainly believe God is capable of it. Who could deny that?

This new definition of God's nature, in part, led eventually to the hitherto untried thought forms of Western Civilization. The unique synthesis of Athens and Jerusalem became Christianity; led to the discipline of Systematic Theology, which paved the way to the enlightenment, the scientific method and the quest for truth that that quest represents in it’s highest form.

The world owes a lot to Christianity.

Regards Chris.
Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet.4:8b.

Last edited by:

rdrcofe: May 8, 2012, 3:38 PM

Edit Log:

  • Post edited by rdrcofe Post edited by rdrcofe (Veteran) on May 8, 2012, 3:19 PM
  • Post edited by rdrcofe Post edited by rdrcofe (Veteran) on May 8, 2012, 3:23 PM
  • Post edited by rdrcofe Post edited by rdrcofe (Veteran) on May 8, 2012, 3:28 PM
  • Post edited by rdrcofe Post edited by rdrcofe (Veteran) on May 8, 2012, 3:36 PM
  • Post edited by rdrcofe Post edited by rdrcofe (Veteran) on May 8, 2012, 3:38 PM