Tag Archives: passions

Some Reflections on “Divine Impassibility and the Uninfluenced Love of God”

On Wednesday March 8th the Analytic Theology Seminar had the pleasure of hosting Ryan Mullins, the Director of Communications and Research Fellow at the Logos Institute for Analytic and Exegetical Theology at the University of St. Andrews. Mullins endured an unbearably long flight across the pond, yet he managed to deliver a stimulating paperfb_img_1483804409430-169x300 that generated much discussion during the second portion of our seminar. In his paper, titled, “Divine Impassibility and the Uninfluenced Love of God,” Mullins made a case for a passible God. He argued that even while granting impassibilists their favored definition of love as benevolence + union, this definition pushes the impassibilist towards a passibilist God. In order to make a case for this thesis he engaged in several moves.

The first move he made was to articulate the doctrine of divine impassibility in a charitable manner. He noted that there are three common themes that make up the core of this doctrine: 1) God cannot suffer, 2) God cannot be moved, nor acted upon, by anything ad extra to the divine nature, and 3) God lacks passions. This last core component of the doctrine draws most of Mullins’s attention. He was primarily concerned with how impassibilists treat “love.” William Shedd, for instance, concludes that God lacks passions, yet God has the emotion of love. Mullins then made his way through various historical examples to explain how impassibilists attempted to attribute love to an impassible God. His survey of how this has been done historically lead him to modify the third core theme of the doctrine to “it is metaphysically impossible for God to have an emotion that is irrational, immoral, or that disrupts His perfect happiness.”

You can read the rest of the blog over at Fuller’s Analytic Theology Webpage.

Undergraduate Doxology, I mean Philosophy

This is my final post in my Theology vs. Undergraduate Philosophy Series ( When Theology and Undergraduate Philosophy Clash and St. Paul on Perceptual Plasticity and Theoretical Neutrality… Kind of. ), I promise! But I just can’t resist posting this final paragraph.

I really can’t believe that I ended the paper with the gospel and doxology!

Christian behavior is not merely about doing good works and adhering to a particular set of rules and regulations,  it is about “doing things which bring God’s wisdom and glory to birth in this world.” (Wright 71) Christian theology says that Christians are a part of new creation, they are a part of God’s renewal of creation according to his original vision for creation.  As Christians, God allows us to participate in His renewal and redemption of creation.  Thus by living according to God’s original vision for creation, we proclaim the fact that He reigns.  By having passions which fit into God’s original vision for creation we come alongside the voices of heaven saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)

Oh and again… (not to brag but just to show that University’s aren’t as “unchristian” as some say) I got an A on this paper!