Aristotle argues that God cannot suffer, for a suffering God would be a God subject to change. To Aristotle, the perfection of God is located in God's changelessness. The logic proceeds that if God were to decrease in perfection, obviously God would cease to be perfect, and therefore, cease to be God. Moreover, if God were to increase in perfection, such increase would indicate that God had not previously been complete in perfection, thus negating God's supposed divinity. So then, to Aristotle, any "passion" (change) on God's behalf is effectively self-negating. Although I appreciate the power of Aristotle's argument concerning the necessary immutability of God, at the end of the day I am unconvinced. It seems fairly arbitrary to define perfection as 'changelessness.' While I do understand Aristotle's rationale, his argument seems blind to the counter that in preserving God's unqualified "changelessness," one has also effectively stripped God of any ability to act, thus reducing God to a benign deity lost in perpetual and eternal self-contemplation.

Historically, the Church has adopted the categories provided by Aristotle, affirming that God is "impassable." For centuries, Christian theology has located the suffering of Christ within the human nature of Christ while concomitantly affirming the More >