Theology

The Strange Story of Two Yahwehs

Two Yahwehs

In the first century AD, every Jewish child grew up knowing the Shema: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One” (Deut. 6:4 BEREAN). This verse stresses that there’s only one God. But strangely, in the New Testament, Jesus’s Jewish followers didn’t seem bothered by the idea of Jesus being God’s Son alongside God the Father. They remained unperturbed by the potential tension of acknowledging, for lack of a better phrase, “two Yahwehs.”

If we dig deeper, we’ll see that the real issue isn’t about two Gods. It’s about how we understand monotheism today versus what the Bible’s perspective on monotheism is. Subtle clues found in 1 Timothy 6:13-16 offer insight into the nuanced Jewish concept of monotheism.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Theology

Is It True That God Will Not Allow Sin In His Presence?, Part 2

Sin In His Presence

In the previous post we observed that certain passages, which at first glance appear to suggest that God will not allow sin in His presence, have been misconstrued. The Bible is absolutely full of examples of God interacting with sinners. He was in their presence throughout all of biblical history. Let’s note just a few examples.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Misconceptions, Theology

Is It True That God Will Not Allow Sin In His Presence?, Part 1

God Will Not Allow Sin

Conventional Christian wisdom says that God will not allow sin in His presence. People repeat this so often it is accepted by Bible students as a biblical fact. The following quote is representative of this idea:

“Because GOD hates sin and GOD is righteous, just and holy, His nature disallows Himself from coexisting with sin in His presence. For this reason, GOD must keep Himself separated from sin.”1

Is this true? Does the Bible really say that God does not allow Himself to be in the presence of sin? As a matter of fact, the Bible does not say this. It is a demonstrably false teaching, but where does this notion come from?

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Misconceptions, Theology

Can God Change His Mind?, Part 2

Change His Mind

There are a few Bible passages which, on the surface, seem to say that God doesn’t change His mind. There are other passages which clearly say that God not only can change His mind, but that He has changed it on several occasions. In the previous article we noted that the passages which appear to say that God does not change His mind are in fact referring to occasions when God committed to a certain course of action that He would not deviate from.

God’s immutable nature doesn’t prevent Him from changing His decisions. He is sovereign and is free to change His decisions anytime it pleases Him. Reversing a decision is not equal to Him changing His nature. What about God’s foreknowledge? Does God’s knowledge of the future mean that things can only turn out one way?

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Theology

Can God Change His Mind?, Part 1

Can God Change

Is it possible for God to change His mind? Some people read passages such as, “For I the LORD do not change…” (Mal. 3:6 ESV), or “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8 ESV) and conclude that it is impossible for God to change His mind. They reason that if God is immutable, His decisions must also be unchangeable. 

It is also reckoned that if God is omniscient and knows all things, including the future, then it would be impossible for God to change His mind. Since He already knows what He is going to do in the future, what sense would it make that He would ever change His mind?

For people who have drawn this conclusion the idea that God can or does change His mind would undermine His divine nature. Does the Bible support these conclusions? Can God still be God if He were to change His mind? 

In this post, we’ll examine the question of God changing His mind in light of His immutability and the context of the scriptures in question. I’ll examine the question concerning God’s omniscience in a follow up article.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Theology