Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Windows Into the Mind of God

How does God, with all his "omni" characteristics, think? We don't know, really, and can never know in this lifetime. We project upon him how we think, because it's the only approximation we have, but God has told us he doesn't think like we do. So, that doesn't really get us anywhere. Not being God ourselves, there is, in truth, no way for us to get inside the black box and see for ourselves.

Creation can clue us into the nature of God's power and his personal attributes analytically, even if invisible, but it cannot begin to unveil the thought processes involved in producing it. All we really have to go on in knowing the mind of God is a spattering of self-revelatory snippets scattered throughout his Word. Despite the fact that we are reflective of God (we're in his image), our suppositions and even educated guesses are of little help in gaining any insight into the mind of God because we have no "omni" characteristics. Any comparisons tend to be of the apples and oranges sort.

When we do extrapolate the results end up just plain weird. For instance, when we consider God's omniscience and his immutability and extrapolate to picture the mind of God, we can come up with some very strange constructs about what God's mind "must" be like. It is possible to conclude that God is incapable of making a decision, of forming an intention or otherwise acting mentally, because that would require a change in knowledge. Is that what God is really like?

Not at all! God's revelation in his Word blows such considerations out of the water. He made a decision to create "before" which he was not related to creation, after which he was. Change! He made a choice to interact with Abraham, thus becoming his God, before which he wasn't, after which he was. Change! He admits to having to see some things in order to know them. Change, at the very least, in regard to creation!

God reaches conclusions, God regrets, God is grieved, God becomes angry and has his anger placated. We can pass these things off as anthropomorphisms and extrapolate to utter weirdness, or we can accept these revelations as windows into the mind of God. I think that is what they were intended to be. Our LORD is not static, his "omni" characteristics don't reduce him to an all-knowing, all-seeing, ever unchanging amorphous blob. He does things which intrinsically necessitate change, even though he does not change, at least not in terms of who or what he is.

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