Thursday, November 8, 2012

Does God really repent? "Yes" says Oliphint

I can't stress enough how helpful I find the writings of Professor Scott Oliphint. His books have been very formative in my understanding of God. In the following excerpt, Oliphint explains that though some characteristics of God are covenantal as opposed to essential, this does not mean they are any less literally true. Consider this quote from Reasons for Faith,
Well there can be no question that there are truths given to us in God's revelation that point to his essential character, and others that point to his covenantal character, we should be careful to note that those covenantal attributes of God are no less "literal" than are his essential attributes. Repentance, then, is not simply something that "seems to us" like repentance. It is literal repentance, he is (covenantally) changing directions because of his faithfulness to his covenant. But it is repentance of a condescended, covenant God who has come down, taking on the form of a creature, in order to glorify himself, and it is repentance that does not in anyway sacrifice, undermine, or otherwise alter his essential character as a se. He repents, all the while remaining the eternal, immutable "I AM." (253-4)
Is this easy to understand? No. But I think it remains faithful to the biblical record.

The sovereign, omniscient God of the universe condescendingly repents. Amazing!

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