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The doubly redundant deity

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 12, 2003

Bill Murchison has some fun with the pronouncement of the Rev. Sherman Hesselgrave that "God changes God's mind."

Ah. Hmmm. Shall we ponder?

First, the linguistics -- the deliberate avoidance of the possessive "His," so as not to identify God with male patriarchal ideas. Then, the central suggestion -- God as just another head-scratching, chin-cupping water-cooler buddy, with changing viewpoints for changing times.

The article is worth reading for its deft but gentle deflation of "Hesselgravian theology." But one of Murchison's throwaway remarks caught my attention:

Who exactly finds out about God's mind changes and then reports?

This is a profoundly important theological question, and not only with respect to the current controversies over issues of sexual morality. What grounds do we have for accepting, or doubting, the Church's claim to be a reliable conduit of God's will -- her claim, in the words of St. Paul, that "We have the mind of Christ"? If Church teaching were to change, is there a way of understanding the change other than concluding that God was wrong, or the Church was wrong, or both were? In either case, who needs a Church?

Put another way, if a man has a touchstone that tells him when the Church is right and wrong, it's the touchstone that matters to him. Who needs a Church?

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 13, 2003 1:00 AM ET USA

    Since God is Omniscient, He cannot change His mind, past, present, or future. It's not really complicated at all. God as God is simpliciter simplex. That's it, in two words !