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|Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky|
Orthodox dogmatic theology
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In “the Father of lights” there is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James
1:17). God is perfection, and every change is a sign of imperfection and therefore is unthinkable
in the most perfect Being, in God Concerning God one cannot say that any kind of process is being
performed in Him, whether of growth, change of appearance, evolution, progress or anything
of the like.
However, unchangeability in God is not some kind of immovability; it is not a being closed
up within Himself. Even while He is unchanging, His Being is life, filled with power and activity.
God in Himself is life, and life is His Being.
The unchangeability of God is not violated by the begetting of the Son and the procession of
the Spirit, for to God the Father, there belongs fatherliness, and to His Son, sonship, and to the
Holy Spirit, procession which is “eternal, unending, and unceasing” (St. John Damascene). Thewords, filled with mystery, “the begetting of the Son” and “the procession of the Spirit,” do not
express any kind of change in the Divine life or any kind of process; for our limited minds, “begetting”
and “procession” are simply placed in opposition to the idea of “creation” and speak of
the single Essence of the Persons or Hypostases in God. The creation is something outward in
relation to the one who creates, whereas the “sonship” of God is an inward unity, a unity of the
nature of the Father and the Son; such also is the “procession” from the Essence of God, the procession
of the Spirit from the Father Who causes it.
The Incarnation and becoming man of the Word, the Son of God, does not violate the unchangeability
of God. Only creatures in their limitations lose what they had or acquire what they
did not have; but the Divinity of the Son of God remained after the Incarnation the same as it was
before the Incarnation. It received in its Hypostasis, in the oneness of the Divine Hypostasis, human
nature from the Virgin Mary, but it did not form from this any new, mixed nature, but preserved
Its Divine Nature unchanged.
The unchangeability of God is not contradicted, likewise, by the creation of the world. The
world is an existence, which is outward with relation to the nature of God. Therefore, it does not
change either the essence or the attributes of God, as the origin of the world is only a manifestation
of the power and thought of God. The power and thought of God are eternal and are eternally
active, but our creature-like mind cannot understand the concept of this activity in the eternity of
God The world is not co-eternal with God; it is created. Nevertheless, the creation of the world is
the realization of the eternal thought of God (Blessed Augustine). The world is not like God in its
essence, and therefore it has to be changeable and is not without a beginning; but these attributes
of the world do not contradict the fact that its Creator is unchangeable and without beginning (St.