A key bit of jargon

Let me offer a nice bit of theo-jargon here—“anthropopathism”—for anyone who doesn’t already know the term. I’ll then comment on it and invite any responses.

An anthropopathism is the emotional and less-well-known cousin of anthropomorphism. The latter term refers to human descriptions of God that use bodily terms—as in the Father having arms or legs despite texts that tell us he is a never-seen Spirit. An anthropopathism makes a similar God-to-human parallel but instead denotes our use of the language of human emotions to describe God attitudes and activities when he—as immutable—is necessarily emotionless.

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1 Comment

  1. Darrelyn Tutt


    In regard to your recent post, I am looking for your insight on Job.
    God’s conclusion and response to the intensive and various afflictions of his servant, Job, are met with a theological conversation of creation. There is no reference to any of Job’s particular sufferings or any identification with his personal losses.
    God does not write Job a hymn, as I should like to read, in final conclusion but speaks of a wisdom that is infinately beyond our understanding. Isaiah 55:8,9 come to mind.
    Since affliction is a catalyst and springboard to faith and maturity, maybe our emotions don’t matter quite as much as we like to believe; and suffering becomes significant in that it brings an awareness of our neediness and dependence on Christ.

    God always has such a “bigger” picture, Ron, and I perceive He wants us to understand the thread of His sovereignty through it all, even more than emotional reassurances.
    “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor.4:17,18
    I am one of those individuals one would catagorize as extreme and passionate; forever struggling with leaning to one side or the other. I am not sure always what to think of this arena of emotion that has been such a source of conflict for me and in relation to my own suffering. My investment in God’s word, and His working in the lives of others, is leading me to very different conclusions than I held years ago regarding emotion.
    Emotions are a mystery to me, Ron.
    Darrelyn Tutt

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