An Exploration of Novatian’s Hermeneutic on Divine Impassibility and God’s Emotions in Light of Modern Concerns

in Journal of Reformed Theology
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Abstract

This essay draws attention to Novatian’s view of divine impassibility and God’s emotions. Many modern theologians have abnegated this attribute because of the alleged paradox with scriptural depictions of God’s affections. After a brief genetic study of the term impassibility, followed by a compendious survey of select modern theologians, I offer Novatian as a way forward beyond this theological impasse. The church can profit from the early polemics against Marcion who posited that the one God was unable to bear all the emotional ascriptions scripture predicates to God. To Novatian, God was impassible yet possessed a manifold of emotions.

An Exploration of Novatian’s Hermeneutic on Divine Impassibility and God’s Emotions in Light of Modern Concerns

in Journal of Reformed Theology

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