Sunday, 3 July 2016
Confessing the Impassible God
Confessing the Impassible God: The Biblical, Classical & Confessional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility, 2015 Reformed Baptist Academic Publications
This is a unified collection of essays by Reformed Baptist theologians defending the doctrine of divine impassibility and making the case for its creedal orthodoxy. They offer a very robust and well argued Biblical case that God lacks emotion, demonstrating that this is grounded in the nature of God's being. They also survey classic Reformed and Puritan writers on the topic, demonstrating that the Reformed tradition was united in its commitment to divine impassibility. The London Baptist Confession is examined and shown to be unambiguous in its statements on God lacking passions. A review of Rob Lister's book, God is Impassible and Impassioned, is provided. The review demonstrates the inauthenticity of Lister's modified version of divine impassibility. The reviewer points out that Lister tries to make Aquinas and Calvin say the opposite of what they actually said about 'divine emotion.' The final essay relates the doctrine of divine impassibility to the pastoral issue of the believer's assurance.
It is encouraging to see Reformed Baptist theologians make a bold stand for a vital component of classic theism. At times Reformed Baptists can be a little theologically shallow, in comparison to their credobaptist brethren and sometimes sail too close to generic Evangelicalism. I would recommend this book to both Evangelicals and Catholics.