God is who He is

Exo 3:14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

Calvinists use this verse as their cornerstone. In Creating God in the Image of Man, Norman Geisler uses this single verse to prove: aseity, simplicity, necessity, immutability, impassibility, eternity, and unity (such a creative man). But there is reason, and strong reason, to think that Geisler is misusing this verse. From Act and Being: Towards a Theology of the Divine Attributes:

First is that there is a case for translating the expression in the future tense: ‘I will be who I will be’, which makes its reference to God as a ‘sea of being’ more questionable. ‘God announces that his intentions will be revealed in his future acts, which he now refuses to explain.’ Second, the expression is glossed by the writer as referring to ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’, a somewhat clear instance of naming. God hides himself while naming himself, but he does not give us that name, an actual description, albeit one which has to be filled out by future historical acts.

When Moses is literally (not the figurative use of the word “literal”) asking God what his name is, God responds not by giving him a static god of Platonism, but a God of possibility. “I am” is the prefix to a million other phrases. “I am the God who led you out of Egypt”, “I am the God of your fathers”, “I am the God who gave you Canaan”. God links himself to his actions with “I am”. He is not making some mystical case for immutability. In fact, immutability directly contradicts his purpose while contradicting the story in which this event takes place (Moses talking to God).

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
This entry was posted in Bible, Calvinism, God, Open Theism, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

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