The attention of the argument now turns away from trying to prove God to instead proving how the Christian God is not eradicated by St. John’s argument. As the Damascene Cosmological argument goes, anything that is mutable requires a creator. At this point, many critics of Christianity are quick to point out that the God of Christianity is mutable. They point to the fact that the Bible shows him changing his mind, having emotional reactions to human beings, creating out of a need, and then changing in the Incarnation.
If it can be shown that the God of the Bible changes then we must be open-minded enough to change our beliefs. It is unfair for the Christian to require the non-theist to be open-minded in considering the existence of God, but to remain close-minded in considering the existence of his own God. Therefore, if it can be shown that the Christian God changes, either the Damascene Cosmological argument is wrong or the God of the Bible does not exist.
What follows was no easy undertaking and was in fact much more difficult to write than the first part of this argument. I would make an argument for God changing, answer the argument, and find a retort to my own answer. I did this until I could go no further on each argument; I did not do this to solidify my beliefs, but rather to test them. I will say that while challenged, my beliefs withstood the test. I did not create any strawman and any critic of Christianity who would like to point out that the Damascene Cosmological argument contradicts Christianity should be pleased with the objections against Christianity I raise.
The one thing I would ask is for people not to think that when I appeal to mystery I am using my philosophical “mulligan.” Rather, since God is above us it is impossible to comprehend him. Since we must speak of God absent of comprehension, this will ultimately lead to some very unsatisfactory responses and beliefs. Sadly, this is how Christianity must function at its deeper levels, where we can find a logically consistent belief and one that might even be factually compelling, but still leaves us unsatisfied emotionally. But that feeling of being unsatisfied is not enough to toss out the argument; even if we don’t feel an argument stratifies our curiosity, if the argument seems plausible and is non-contradictory, we must allow for its possibility.
My plan for the next few posts is to deal with a few of the problems critics could bring up concerning the Christian God changing. The first objection would be that God is said to have changed His mind or “repented” of his actions. The second objection would deal with God’s emotional reactions to humans. In both of these objections, God is seemingly moved by his creation, but an immutable being cannot be moved, because to move is to change and to change is to require a creator. The third objection deals with God’s need to create and whether or not it was a need after all; if God needed to do something, then he was absent of that something. By being absent of something, he would have held within his nature to increase his quality, therefore making him mutable. The final objection deals with matters relating to the Incarnation and whether or not God changed in the Incarnation.
In all of this, I have done my best to explore each argument fairly. In every objection, I reasoned my way to a conclusion that satisfied me, was logically consistent, fit with what we know about God from the Bible, and should be considered orthodox (as my answer matches those of the Church fathers and, more importantly, Scripture). If you do not find the same in what I have to say then please let me know.
This was a scheduled post. I am currently out of town and subsequently have turned comments off since I cannot moderate or interact with commenters. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this post, please feel free to contact me.