It seems as if during the past two weeks, I can’t escape resources that continually affirm the unchangeable attribute of God. Earlier this week, I wrote a post called Does Prayer Change God’s Mind? and argued that prayer changes us, not God. Prayer is a one of God’s avenues to bringing about his will in the world. So, why do we pray? We pray so we can present our lives to the Lord in a way that says, “Jesus, change me. Make me more like you. Let me pray in your will, that my request will be granted because it glorifies you.”
This whole debate stems out of the openness and process theology debate. Openness theology (open theism) says that God has not ordained all things and that he doesn’t even know all things. Process theology goes a step further: because change is a primary quality of genuine existence, God must therefore change in his being.
Obviously they haven’t read Psalm 102:25-27. “Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.”
With that, here are some quotes from others about this:
Norman Geisler, on Moses changing God’s mind in Exodus 32: “There was a change in Moses. As leader and mediator for his people, there was a change in Moses’ heart, which allowed God’s unchanging mercy to flow to Israel through Moses as their mediator.”
Wayne Grudem: “If God could change (in his being, perfections, purposes, or promises), then any change would be either for the better or for the worse. But if God changed for the better, then he was not the best possible being when we first trusted him. And how could we be sure that he is the best possible being now? But if God could change for the worse (in his very being), then what kind of God might he become? Might he become, for instance, a little bit evil rather than wholly good? And if he could become a little bit evil, then how do we know he could not change to become largely evil-or wholly evil?…How could we ever trust such a God who could change? How could we ever commit our lives to him?”
William Barrick: “Indeed, if man is capable of changing the mind of God, then it might be argued that man knows more about governing this world than God.”