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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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  • Darin Clarke

    I think the theist’s gist of the situation is that God wants us to choose to do good without knowing for sure if He is real to prove our Faith in His Holy Word. To the theist God’s Divine Plan is dynamic and malleable to the point that one’s Prayers are relevant because even though God knows what we will choose we do not. and as to your point it does seem silly to think that God knew he was going to change his mind before he did it the theist would claim it to be part of His Divine Plan to make us think he was changing his mind to appear more human to us.

    yes it’s rediculous i know, but good points you brought up. this also crosses over into subjectivea nd objective moralirty