The Impassibility of God Reconsidered in Light of Modern Conceptual Metaphor Theory

This paper looks to challenge the classical view of the impassibility of God.

At the Carey conference in January Jeff Smith (Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Coconut Creek, Florida) delivered three inspiring messages—but they prompted questions about the impassibility of God at the final Q & A plenary session. Various luminaries on the platform gave answers such as the Bible is using human language, and such is the language of accommodation—much was ‘mere analogy and metaphor’—clearly implying that these linguistic devices cannot bear the weight of the concepts to be conveyed. I was not convinced—and when I came to look at the subject, I realised there has been some pushback in recent years against the received wisdom of impassibility.