Closing Thoughts

studyPerhaps you are thinking, can’t we give the topic of divine impassibility a rest? Lord willing, this will be the last post upon it for awhile.

I felt compelled to write because of what to me is at state. Are we going to be faithful heralds and preach the Word given to us as is, or are we going to modify it, and make it fit into a prior theological proposition. What drives our interpretation? Is is our own imaginations (reasoning) or the Bible itself?

This post will be the seventh, basically to tell you where to find the previous posts.

On the theme of overstepping the bounds (Deut. 29:29).
Nov 13 – “The Flaw in – God Has Unchanging Emotions”
Nov 12 – “No Trespassing”

On the fact that God has “passions” and that they are appropriate for believers – proved from the Bible
Sept 2 – “The Zeal of the LORD”
Sept 1 – “Our God Is A Jealous God”

On the fact that God does repent (Hebrew “feel sorry”)
July 24 – “Letting God Speak for Himself’
July 20 – “Our Unchangeable God and the Repentance of God”

There is also some interchange with readers after the Nov 13 and July 24 posts.

This topic was a major consideration in the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches (ARBCA) of which I was a part. I have expressed my views in this blog after the position paper affirming classical divine impassibility in ARBCA was approved. I have done so, because there was little freedom to express contrary views during the controversy. There was no public give and take. There was no way to bounce ideas off each other. There are pastors, I know, who are very loyal men whom I am convinced do not really understand it. The posture of ARBCA toward them was to give more time to come to an understanding.  After all, it was asserted by some, that it took a while for them to finally understand  it. Really, if it is so hard to understand because it goes contrary to what you have always believed, and need a phone book length paper to explain it, shouldn’t that trigger some questions as to its validity.

The only avenue for any interchange between pastors was that each church was permitted to submit a paper to the ARBCA website housed on a password sensitive page about a month before the General Association, yet public discourse was still forbidden after that.

The controversy is over in ARBCA.  A needless split has occurred. My purpose in these posts is not to stir up the pot, but to give expression as to why I cannot embrace this unbiblical doctrine.    I’m only mentioning ARBCA now as I am attaching the paper that was submitted to the closed website prior to the ARBCA vote upon classical divine impassibility as well as our churches two page letter of resignation due to ARBCA’s embrace of this doctrine, which includes the reasons why we could not embrace it.

Ron Baines who is mentioned in the church withdraw letter, a very sincere and godly man, was the chair of the theological committee.

With this I will close the book on this topic. I have said my peace. Perhaps we disagree, but you need to know my problem has never been with any individual. So, if you were my friend prior to the controversy, you are still my friend. It is about being true to the Word of God as I see it.

I stood up at ARBCA and have written because what I strongly felt was at stake.


God without Passions

ARBCA withdrawl letter


One thought on “Closing Thoughts

  1. Brother, I have interacted with you because of that which is at stake: Undeniably, that which our God has promised to us.

    I have sought to introduce you to the classical formulation of the Doctrine of God, which I have seen to be sadly lacking in modern treatments.
    I have seen you espouse that Classical Theists are influenced by Grecian Philosophy – I strongly beg to differ, respectfully.

    I have studied this most important doctrine for years, in light of recent developments. I have found that which suggests that the historic is lacking, in regard to historical and biblical theology, itself lacking.

    I hope that you will consider recent orthodox scholarship, in light of how important that which the church has had to say, regarding this most central doctrine.

    I do not have your credentials (which far surpass mine) regarding the church. I am only a simple teacher of the Word, yet due to your already displayed humility, I would hope that you not only consider that that which I have said, but have read the book I recommended, and are ready to interact with such.

    I know I mentioned posting our current correspondence to my church’s blog, but to date, honestly, I had not seen the benefit to the brethren in doing such

    Included in this communication is my current review of the second chapter of that book I recommended to you (my reviews of this book, and its chapters, will be ongoing).

    I love you in His unchanging love, and welcome your learned feedback.


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