The new book, ‘God Without Passions: A Reader’ edited by Samuel Renihan, that we previously announced is now available from Reformed Baptist Academic Press (RBAP) for $14! (Yes, it is for sale even though the page currently says, “COMING SOON”.)
Subtitled A Reader, the primary purpose of the material presented in this book is to familiarize the reader with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English language sources pertinent to the doctrine of divine impassibility, particularly for those who confess with the Reformed confessions that God is “without body, parts, or passions.” If this material is studied carefully, the reader will encounter an excellent and diverse array of writings that touch on this subject.
If you are interested in the doctrine of God, and especially in understanding how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Reformed theologians argued for divine impassibility, this book is for you. Samuel Renihan has collected the words of sixty theologians from the Reformation and post-Reformation era in order to help readers understand the classical doctrine of divine impassibility which is sorely misunderstood in our day.
From the back of the book:
Full endorsements from the inside of the book:
“Abandonment or modification of the classical doctrine of divine impassibility has played no small part in the evangelical drift toward modified process theism. Denying passions of God is not uncommonly thought odd, or worse, biblically repugnant. Indeed, even many who continue to confess that God is impassible in some sense insist that the doctrine must now be reconceived so as to cohere with an affirmation of passion and emotional change in God. But such a revision comes at the high cost of severing impassibility of its organic bond to other divine attributes such as simplicity, pure actuality, and immutability.
Samuel Renihan’s reader is a welcome contribution that sheds much light on precisely what our Reformed forebears intended by denying passions of God. These selections set forth impassibility in its proper theological context as an entailment of God’s simplicity, pure actuality, and immutability. The picture that emerges is not one of a distant and uncaring God, but of God as so absolutely perfect in being that he cannot be moved to any greater perfection of love, mercy, or hatred of sin. This volume should aid greatly in the rehabilitation of an informed confession of God without passions.”
James E. Dolezal
Author of God without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God’s Absoluteness
“Christian teaching and theology must be derived always from the Scriptures alone. The Scriptures are the sole authority for what Christians should believe and teach as Christians. But this does not mean that there is nothing else that a Christian should do before he presumes to teach and preach the Bible. Exegetical theology precedes systematic theology authoritatively, but in other ways so also does historical theology. Of course, it does not precede it authoritatively, but it does and must precede it in an advisory capacity and as a counselor. The HCSB translates Proverbs 26:16 as follows: ‘In his own eyes, a slacker is wiser than seven men who can answer sensibly.’ Similarly, though God alone in his Word has authority over how a Christian should conduct himself, that same Christian does well to consult the seven wise men. He does foolishly when he does not. In our teaching and preaching also we must not be slackers, we must consult the wise men of historical theology. We also must not be historical snobs and take the really incredible position that our day is the wisest of all theologically. Really? Yes, we have advantages, but we also have incredible disadvantages. One of them is our modern tendency to historical snobbery.
For all these reasons, and especially in the difficult matter of the doctrine of God and divine impassibility, we are indebted to Sam Renihan for not being a slacker himself and giving us the massive work compiled in this book. He has given us the views of the ‘seven wise men’ with regard to divine impassibility. We do well to pay close attention.”
Dean of Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary
Pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Owensboro, KY
Also see the Table of Contents, Seventeenth-Century Dictionary Entries Related to Impassibility, and Erratum.