Does God Change His Mind?

www.monergism.com | 1/31/2019 | Staff
DebraS (Posted by) Level 3
Does God Change His Mind? If God is immutable, if He does not change at all, does that mean He never changes His mind either? This is a very thorny problem. The Bible appears to say at times that God changed His mind.

Consider, for example, the following episode that took place in the time of Moses:

God - Translations - Words - Mind - God

God “relented”? Other translations render the words here, “changed His mind.” This narrative seems to make it absolutely clear that God does, in fact, change His mind from time to time. Maybe His being doesn’t change, but does His mind cast a shadow every once in awhile? The problem becomes more vexing when we read elsewhere in Scripture:

This same concept is repeated elsewhere: “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent” (1 Sam. 15:29).

Contradiction - Scripture

Is this a contradiction in Scripture? How are we to understand this?

We could throw up our hands and agree with the Bible’s critics who insist that this is a blatant error or contradiction. A more judicious approach would be to grapple with the problem of what is called phenomenological language. (The illusion or appearance of something, “the way we see it” from our perspective. As they appear to us, not necessarily as they really are. The aim of the writer is to make a theological statement, a truth about God and man and his world, he’s not using modern scientific precision and technical terminology.

Use - Language - Bible - Use - Terms

The most obvious use of phenomenological language in the Bible is its use of human terms to describe God. The Bible speaks of His coming and of His going, of His becoming angry, of His turning from wrath. He is described as having arms, hands, a face, and feet. Yet this multitude of references to God...
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