Doctrine of God - NORMAN GEISLER

Via:  CB  •  6 months ago  •  15 comments

By:   Christopheron Clark Pinnock

Doctrine of God - NORMAN GEISLER
God is a simple and unchanging Being

Sponsored by group Christian State of Mind

Christian State of Mind





    1. Impossible to pass, cross, or overcome.

Image credit: 

Watch Ameca robot | The world's most realistic humanoid robot in its FIRST public demo | Futuristic

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Is God an Android? (2011)

Is God an Android?

 Norman L. Geisler


Persons have mind, will, and feelings.  Androids have only mind and will, but no feelings. Open theists and others sometimes object to the classical view of God by claiming that if God is impassible* then He** cannot experience feelings like love and joy.  In short, it makes God into an android, or more properly, a theandroid***.  However, classical theists, including Thomas Aquinas, do not believe that God is without feeling but only that He has no changing passions (feelings). 

God is a simple and unchanging Being and, as such, He experiences no changing passions.  Hence, in his comments on Ephesians 4:30 (”Grieve not the Holy Spirit…”)  Aquinas says, this phrase could be called a “metaphorical expression” because “The Holy Spirit is God in whom there can be no emotion or sorrow” ( Commentary On Ephesians , 191).  For God cannot be “provoked to wrath” (ibid.).

However, this is not to say that God cannot have unchanging feelings. This is clear from Aquinas’ comments on whether God has love.  He rejects the objection that because love is a passion that God cannot have love by affirming that “We must need assert that in God there is love” ( Summa Contra Gentiles , I.90).  He adds, “There must be love in God according to the act of his will” (SCG, I.90.1).  God has no passive capacities (being Pure Actuality) that can be acted upon and activated by an external force.  However, God has an “intellective appetite.”  Hence, “From this it is manifest that joy or delight is properly in God” (SCG, I.90.3). The same is true of anger. 

Nothing outside of God can make Him (cause Him to be) angry.  That is, He cannot be provoked to anger (by something else), but He has anger at sin—and always has and always will because it is contrary to His holy nature.  However, by His very nature as absolutely good, God is (and always was and always will be) angry at sin. In Aquinas’ own words, “Because the sinner, by sinning, cannot do God any actual harm,” nonetheless, God is angry “in so far as he [i.e., the sinner] harms himself or another; which injury redounds to God, inasmuch as the person injured is an object of God’s providence and protection” (ST, I-II.47 ad 1).

In brief, God has no passive and changing feelings (brought about by an external cause acting on Him).  However, God has active, changeless, and eternal feelings of joy toward good and sadness toward evil.  Hence, when a sinner repents, he does not move God to change His feelings.  Rather, the sinner moves from under God’s unchanging and eternal anger toward sin to being under His eternal and unchanging joy toward good.  In short, God is impassible (having no capacity to be made to feel good or bad by any external force), but He is not without feelings, namely, an eternal active ability to experience joy, anger, and other righteous feelings.

* Note: See definition on Your Content section up top.

** God. Gender neutral. Spirit.

*** No definition found.


jrGroupDiscuss - desc
Professor Principal
1  seeder  CB     6 months ago
God is a simple and unchanging Being.

Now then; who will walk that memo up to God?!  I have issues with this one, Professor Geisler (deceased.)

Professor Principal
2  seeder  CB     6 months ago

God is Spirit. Why does humanity imagine spirit-formed beings are "Male"-gendered? Especially God, for crying out loud!

Professor Principal
3  seeder  CB     6 months ago

Nothing outside of God can make Him* (cause Him to be) angry. - Norman Geisler.

* God.

Professor Principal
4  TᵢG    6 months ago

I see no value in apologists who 'soften' the actual text of scripture with what can only be speculation / imagination.   No human being knows if God (assuming God exists) experiences emotions.    Per the Bible, God does have emotions.   With apologetic abstraction one can make largely any claim one wishes.

Bottom line, people have opined on the meaning of the Bible and the nature of the Christian God for thousands of years.   None of it matters to me since ALL of it is speculation and imagination about that which no human being could possibly know. 

Here is what I would accept:

"I do not not really know anything about God but I believe God exists and is that which created our reality."

Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  CB   replied to  TᵢG @4    6 months ago

Interesting. Admittedly, I find it 'odd' that Mr. Geisler tries to speak to the 'containment' of God as if in a bubble of sorts. I wonder what means of 'transmission' through his many years of study and devotion (Geisler passed away in 2019) brought him conclude God is unchangeable. BTW, the article seems to contradict itself to me (giving on one hand/taking away the same on the other), what say you?

Lastly, it may seem out of place for people to formulate and 'construct' opinions and worldviews about things far and away from them; but, some of that activity can be mitigated by time and deep-study on a matter of interest.

For instance, there is some biblical thought that goes along the lines that God can not be 'polluted' by what creature/creation. That is, the bible does talk about God being set apart for the very purpose of remaining 'holy' and without blemish. Evenso, Adam and Eve in the narrative are removed for their conclave in Eden, once they are proven to have seriously violated the space 'around and near' to God.

Finally, this is Mr. Geisler's take on God, feelings and change/unchange. Something that came up in another thread (that went really well this week). I thought to farther/deepen the 'talk' around it here. As there are those who tinker around the edges of almost and in some cases implying that God is android or nature and humanity are android-ish and wholly slaves to the wheel of existences hewed out for them.

Professor Principal
4.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  CB @4.1    6 months ago
Finally, this is Mr. Geisler's take on God, feelings and change/unchange.

Indeed, one of an uncountable many.

Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  CB   replied to  TᵢG @4.1.1    6 months ago

The Christian faith does have foundational doctrines/teachings; and it does allow for liberties too. As long as the 'liberties' taken do not lend themselves to abuse.

Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
5  Hal A. Lujah    6 months ago

My cousin is fighting a third reoccurrence of cancer, this time stage 4.  She has battled drug addiction throughout her life, and had a double mastectomy.  She took up running and biking as a “healthy” alternative to drugs, probably for the endorphin high, and ending up having a hip replacement surgery, which led to pain killers, which led to overdose.  She lived through it only to soon thereafter be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  Her parents are hyper religious and always emailing the family to recruit “prayer warriors” so god will heal their daughter.  The latest email came yesterday, because she has developed a very severe case of sepsis related to a new chemo port in her neck.  Somehow I seem to be the only one who sees that the god they believe in is actively trying to kill her, and they are just blindly begging it for more.

Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  CB   replied to  Hal A. Lujah @5    6 months ago

I am sorry for the damages in this life your cousin is enduring. There are ordeals in this world that we can not name ("a person being set on fire and left to burn 'away') and the stress/strain and pains of wasting away from sickness. Watching and feeling all of what we call our beauty being sapped out of us can affect the body for sure. The mind and spirit likewise. Some people become mean-spirited towards others and angry at 'the world' even spiteful as others accept that in every case: We go the way of all 'the world.' That is we all will be 'disposed of'. . . accordingly in one great sleep from which we shall not wake or we will endure the reality of our destruction incrementally.

How will we handle the time-when? None of us can know what inner fortitude we have until it is called for.

What can we do? In my case, I have prayed before when 'trouble's mounted up and did not give up hope. In doing so, I sought/asked/knocked for what I needed in the immediate: A way forward; a way out; strength to be calm throughout and not to run 'to and fro' in futility.

A stalwart of faith comes to my mind from the Jewish faith, David when is child from Bathsheba falls ill and dies:  

2 Samuel 12:22 David answered, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let him live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 

We pray because it is proper to make 'appeal' to the One we believe holds power and grace over and towards us. What do we know? May be God can delay, postpone, extend 'indefinitely,' or even grant that the curtain not come down on this occasion.

I Kings 2:2 “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man."

However, above in I Kings 2:2 King David tells his son Solomon a verse I recite at the loss of anyone I know-in my spirit and aloud. I, even I, will one day given the chance, recite it over myself: "I go the way of all the Earth. . . .  Lord, allow me to be strong and show myself a man."

Because truly we all must die—if only from old age. When my time (whenever it is) arrives it will be nothing 'new' that is happening to me that has not happened to an unsearchable number of dwellers on the Earth who have preceded me, us.

Professor Principal
5.2  seeder  CB   replied to  Hal A. Lujah @5    6 months ago

Hal, I wanted to give this comment the distinction it deserves and so I separate it from 5.1 though it is a continuation.

My faith, in solace, teaches this one thing that is 'chicken soup for the soul' of a religious person :

31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what God said to you: 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

That is, in the presence of God, in the passing away into death and its grave, if there is another place for us: be assured and take joy that nothing in the midst of the Lord who can say "Be!" is dead.

It can be a lift to the spirit. It is hope. No, it is not confirmed in this life, but then we will die anyway so why not let it do its work to calm us in the End?

And yes, I am fully aware that some view such saying as 'opioid' concoctions for people of faith. :)

Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
5.2.1  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  CB @5.2    6 months ago

And yes, I am fully aware that some view such saying as 'opioid' concoctions for people of faith.

Bingo.  Beyond that, it can foster negative impacts with relationships.  My own mother called me yesterday and asked me to pray for my cousin, knowing full well that I am a life long atheist.  It has long been a sore spot for me that she only calls me twice a year - once to wish me happy birthday and once to ask when I’m coming for Christmas.  Any other time during the year it is I that must initiate a conversation with my parents by calling them, and they always appear like they can’t wait to get off the phone with me.  Yet she will make an exception to ask me to do something as useless as pray to a god that would obviously see right through my insincere request to meddle in its plans.

Her sister’s emails to prayer warriors are equally disturbing.  The latest one even stated that if any of the email recipients wished to be removed from the list to let her know and she would do that immediately.  It came across as “if you’re not with us you’re against us.”  They just don’t see the irony of their ways.  My aunt and uncle have never once called me, written me, or emailed me for any other reason than to ask for prayers for their own reasons.  Gee, how blissful would heaven be to hang around with people like that for eternity?

Professor Principal
5.2.2  seeder  CB   replied to  Hal A. Lujah @5.2.1    6 months ago

Good morning Hal, in reading your comment, I feel. . . that you are seeing too much of a negative. Even though it is "uncomfortable" for me, someone who is remote to you and your love ones. I can speak in general to several issues, in my honest opinion.

That being said, I am ENTIRELY glad you are 'unloading' this here and now. Because it does all of us good to talk 'it' out with people who are honest enough to listen and 'try' to relate, understand, and opine. Of course, as always take what you can use for good from my comments, and toss the rest into the trash container 'nearby.' I really mean this. :)

I will 'start' with the email issue, re: Prayer warrior. It is an interesting 'spin' on a disclaimer that I often get (maybe you do too?) from companies that send me emails for various products, subscriptions, et ceteras that in the small print tell me how to disassociate myself from their mailing 'service' if I feel uncomfortable or do not wish to hear farther from them. Many of these emails, I eventually get around to making time to UNSUBSCRIBE and it is does create a moment of awkwardness as we are not accustomed to telling people to 'go away,' 'piss off,' or 'hurting their feelings.' However, it is needful to end the email repeat chain. Full stop.

This is what it seems the prayer warrior group is doing generally. It offers a way out of the chain of emails which are in a way a form of solicitation. (I have a "No Solicitation" sign on my front door after 30 years of the occasional salesperson knocking and ringing.) It took that long for me to by the sign and post it! I wish I had done it earlier - as the peace and quiet is already worth the effort in posting the sign!

The prayer group wants to be a part of somebody's life if they can benefit from an 'encouraging' word. Now are these specific people being pushy? I don't know from where I am positioned. Are they not honoring the removal process if you ask to be taken off the list? I don't know. One more thing: I have a relative who is not a 'prayer warrior' but for several years now I get texts with positive imagery or messages daily non-stop. I don't need it. I don't always respond. But, here it is again this very Saturday!  I like this relative, s/he means well of course, but it will be awkward to ask her/him to politely stop it. So I allow it. to continue. I say all this to explain that I see your issue squarely.

Finally, for the record, I am a prayer warrior for my small group that has been up and running since 9/11/2001: Three days a week ever since. I coordinate the calls connecting us. :)  We 'suspended' the calls/group only once in all these years (when we started we were five days a week!) It was their chance to get out from under the experience. They called me to re-initiate. We have been going ever since. Can you tell that this prayer warrior 'business' is serious?

Lastly, as to your parents, it has been my experience that 'old folks' - our old folks can only do what they know and consider 'best.' They believe in the power of prayer so they ASK. Let them ask you. You can just listen. It is a mother's chance to 'involve' herself (themselves) in their child's life with maybe least 'interruption.' Also, tell them how you feel about them not calling you otherwise-plainly. Make it clear that you are available for calls and communication (if you are) as communication is a two-way street. :)  Seek/ask/knock to find out what is the issue with your parents lack of picking up the phone or even texting if they do it for others. Show them plainly that you want to hear from them routinely, because you love them and not for any other reason. Even if it is as Stevie Wonder says: "I just called to say I love you!"  and hang up. The 'reply' will fly back and forth as they should. Afterwards, if nothing changes, then you continue to think the best of your loved ones even from the distance, assuming it is the best that they can do-as long as they are not harming you and your household, there is no harm or foul! :)

Hal, this kind of sharing we're doing here is STELLAR! I want you to know this comes from my heart.  So much more I could say here, but I will 'come up for air' and listen if you wish to add more. Good exchange so far!  Five stars!

Hal A. Lujah
Professor Guide
5.2.3  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  CB @5.2.2    6 months ago

Can you tell that this prayer warrior 'business' is serious?

And the results?  Let me guess … 50/50?  In other words, exactly as would be expected if no prayers were said at all.  That makes it a self serving act masquerading as an act of good will.

tell them how you feel about them not calling you otherwise-plainly. Make it clear that you are available for calls and communication (if you are) as communication is a two-way street.

I can only do this so many times and I’ve reached my limit.  It’s just something that I’ve learned to  accept.  My brother says exactly the same thing.  It’s not going to change so don’t take it personally.  Perhaps they need to start praying to their god to make themselves better people in this respect.

There is a site called Caring Bridge, where a sick person can post updates about their condition and well wishers can stay updated and post comments.  On my cousin’s account, which I do follow, I saw my mother post a very disturbing comment - disturbing to me anyways.  She said she wished she could take my cousin’s place for her.  That’s just fucked up.  My mother may irritate me with her some of her actions, but I don’t want her taking someone else’s place in the death line.

Professor Principal
5.2.4  seeder  CB   replied to  Hal A. Lujah @5.2.3    6 months ago
Can you tell that this prayer warrior 'business' is serious? And the results?  Let me guess … 50/50?

Well, not exactly,. . . we don't do it for percentages or looking at margins. It is faith, after all. In some cases, it is doing whatever can get a sick person without hope-the space they need to get to a better state of mind in a moment of indecision or deep, damaging, chronic, crisis.

You love your mother—that is a wonderful thing too!  WELL-PLAYED, HAL! :)

Professor Principal
6  seeder  CB     6 months ago
God is not without feelings, namely, an eternal active ability to experience joy, anger, and other righteous feelings. - Norman Geisler.

Mr. Geisler believed God can experience feeling like humans-but from a spiritual nature.


Who is online


23 visitors