On a personal level, when looking at this topic, as with so many, I want to know what is real – not what is fashionable. I’m aware, to an extent, we are all fashion vicitims – influenced by cultures then and now. And it probably is a muddle of mindsets that we inhabit, inherited hotch-potches of various kinds of thinking. We may disagree on how far those influences extend and emphasise some over others – but I think we’d all agree that influences are there, whatever side of the fence we’re coming from.
Some more thoughts on the issue of a ‘feeling God’ – you’ll find previous musings here and here. It’s worth reading the comments, too.
I do believe in the unchanging nature of God. I do not want in any way to imply anything different. But when we are told not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, the one who intercedes for us with ‘groans we cannot express’ I cannot get away from a picture of a dynamic God who responds to us in grace, listening and speaking, showing grace and compassion. His nature is steadfast, his love unchanging. But I do not think this necessarily means that God looks upon us and ‘feels’ nothing.
That word ‘feeling’ – so all encompassing, so hard to compartmentalise. There is no doubt that language has its limits.
Neither do I claim that this ‘feeling’ is the same as the human variety – could it not be possible that there is a divine equivalent? Do we equate human emotion with the feelings of God? Are then, these human descriptions of divine realities?
Think of all the questions we could ask!
Of course, I haven’t even touched on the issue of ‘does God change his mind?’ – I’ll save that for another post.
Happily dabbling in conjecture, now. Feel free to dabble with me.