Let us never go beyond what is written, but with child-like faith, take God at His Word. When God tells us he is displeased, pleased, angry, reconciled, and so on, He is speaking truth. We also have feelings because we are made in God’s image, and are thus able to understand what He is communicating to us. That is sufficient.

The Holy Bible often speaks of God’s emotions (feelings),[1] usually in response[2] to some human behavior. However, some theologians have claimed that since God cannot change, He does not have “real” emotions. For example, supposedly our sin cannot make Him “really” angry because that would be change in God. “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6 ESV). Instead, they say that Scriptural language referring to God’s emotional responses to events on earth is anthropomorphic, meaning human-shaped. Others, such as Charles Hodge in his Systematic Theology disagree.[3] This monograph does not present new theology, but a helpful mental perspective on the question. For example, XXVII ÷ IX = III is the same truth as 27 ÷ 9 = 3, but one is easier and clearer than the other. With the right perspective, we can take God at His word without resorting to explaining away parts of Scripture.

We encounter anthropomorphism all the time. Mickey Mouse is an anthropomorphic mouse. When a product claims to make your automobile “happy,” that is anthropomorphism. But now consider the compound eye of the fly. If we were to insist on defining eye on the basis of the structure of the human eye, then we would be using anthropomorphism by calling the means by which a fly sees an eye. But when we say that a fly has eyes, we are not referring to structure, but to function; the compound eye is the fly’s faculty of vision.

Read More

Scroll to top