There was one problem with these philosophically-minded defences of God’s essentially honest and transparent nature: scripture suggested otherwise. Robert Holkot, a 14th century Dominican theologian, popular in his day, now unjustly neglected, suggested there were any number of places in the Bible where God deceived demons, sinners and even the faithful. He deceived Abraham, father of the Jewish people, when he ordered him to sacrifice his son Isaac, only to revoke that order at the last moment, as Abraham held the knife over his rope-bound and trembling son.What do you think? Can God lie? If he can, would God lie? If he would, why?
Two centuries later, John Calvin reached the same conclusion while reflecting on the passage in I Kings in which God ‘wills that the false king Ahab be deceived’, sending the Devil to fulfill this wish ‘with a definite command to be a lying spirit in the mouth of all the prophets’.
Can God Lie?
An interesting article on Medieval and Early Modern inquiries into the question of whether the divine might lie.
By Grim on Tuesday, March 03, 2015