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The Consistency of God… or Not

One of the big selling points for God is that he is alleged to be unchanging. One Christian I recently talked to put it this way, “God is the same today as he was yesterday.” The implication is that God’s views are consistent and unchanging.

In one sense, this makes sense. If God knows everything, then his “standard” is always the same. He will never receive new information to cause him to change his view. The only reason why humans change our opinions on any given issue is if we are presented with new information either in the form of evidence or an argument we had not heard before. But if God is all knowing, then no new evidence or new arguments can be made and so he would have no reason to change his view… ever.

On the other hand, the Bible does not agree with this reasoning. There are many places in the Bible where God “relents” or changes his mind on a particular course of action after being persuaded by an evil sinning human. Plus, just try bringing up an Old Testament verse advocating stoning, slavery, or some other horrifyingly immoral action and see what your average Christian has to say about it. Most will tell you that the old law no longer applies because Jesus fulfilled the convenient… or something. That is just a sly way of saying that God changed his mind.

Now of course, God doesn’t actually exist and this is just an interesting discussion which shows just how poorly thought out the concept of a God really is.  But it is always interesting to bring these discussions to the religious and see what they have to say on this dichotomy. Will they support a God that is all knowing and therefore can’t change or will they support the character as he is portrayed in the Bible, who clearly isn’t all knowledge and has changed quite a bit over time.

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