God: Aware, Caring, and Unflappable—Donald A. Carson (1946 – )

Donald A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, shows how modern misconceptions of God are, in reality, practices of idolatry. To think of God only in “emotional” terms separated from other attributes of His being, prepares the way for God to be presented publicly as little more than a super human being—capable of feeling, but powerless over the world and its problems.

The modern therapeutic God may be superficially attractive because he appeals to our emotions, but the cost will soon be high. Implicitly we start thinking of a finite God. God himself is gradually diminished and reduced from what he actually is. And that is idolatry.

Closer to the mark is the recognition that all of God’s emotions, including his love in all its aspects, cannot be divorced from God’s knowledge, God’s power, God’s will. If God loves, it is because he chooses to love; if he suffers, it is because he chooses to suffer. God is impassible in the sense that he sustains no “passions,” no emotion, that makes him vulnerable from the outside, over which he has no control, or which he has not foreseen.[1]


[1] D. A. Carson, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2000), 60.