Coming Soon – God without Passions: A Primer

Coming Soon – God without Passions: A Primer

Back in January, I announced God without Passions: A Reader. The intent of this book was to provide access to original source writings from the 16th and 17th centuries relevant to the classical confessional Reformed doctrine of divine impassibility. While that book included an introduction designed to help understanding and processing the authors’ arguments, there were no further comments on the content of the writers.

Coming out very soon from RBAP, God without Passions: A Primer is a new (and much shorter) book that explains the doctrine of divine impassibility as it is drawn from the Scriptures and understood in the contexts of the human and divine natures. God without Passions: A Primer has been peppered (and salted) with quotations from Reformed authors (their language updated), written with a personal and pastoral perspective, and it includes study questions at the end of each of the five chapters. The chapters are:

  1. Impassibility’s Foundation
  2. The Human Half of the Equation
  3. Eminence and Negation
  4. Perfections and Incarnation
  5. Personal Applications and Pastoral Implications

God without Passions: A Primer would be a great book for personal study, and even better for group study. I hope you enjoy it!

Title Page

***You should know that “primer” is pronounced “primmer” (unlike primer used in painting).***


Seventeenth-Century Dictionary Entries Related to Impassibility

Seventeenth-Century Dictionary Entries Related to Impassibility

To Affect

  • To desire earnestly, or to minde
  • To move affection
  • To set one’s mind upon
  • To work upon one


  • Disposed, inclined
  • Taken up


  • Love, benevolence, good will, kindness, inclination, passion
  • Natural motion of the mind
  • Delight to a thing
  • Passions which affect the minde with some grief or pain, especially when they are strong and vehement


  • Incapable of suffering
  • Not moved with passion or affection
  • Not moved with any affection


  • Suffering, or ableness to suffer
  • Aptness to suffer
  • Ableness to suffer
  • An aptness, or ableness to suffer


  • Able to suffer


  • Affection, strong desire or inclination, fondness
  • Suffering, griefe
  • A suffering; an affection of the mind
  • Perturbation
  • Suffering, also an affection of the mind
  • A passion of the mind (passio, perturbatio, affectus)
  • Suffering; also an affection of the mind
  • A suffering, or any thing that is painful and grievous unto us.
  • Every motion of the minde being out of his due course, and every sinful affection; which are called passions, because they pierce the minde, and make it suffer grief

And an author’s recommendation of synonyms for…
Philip Edwards, The Beaus Academy, 28, pdf 188 Affections and Passions

Now you know. And knowing…

Coming Soon: God without Passions, A Reader

Coming Soon: God without Passions, A Reader

If you confess that God is “without passions,” you may have wondered about the meaning of that phrase, as many have. However unclear it may be to some, it is of great importance to the doctrine of God. And indeed when removed, the entire doctrine unravels. To understand this phrase requires an understanding not only of the language being used, but also of the doctrinal affirmations that precede it. In other words, confessing God “without passions” is one piece of a much larger interrelated and interdependent system.

For those who desire to study this topic so as to confess with sincerity and a clear conscience that God is “without passions,” this book will fulfill the task. Drawing from sixty authors (ten of whom were Westminster Divines), this reader provides a clear picture of both the specific meaning of the phrase “without passions” as well as the larger theological context in which it is placed. After a foreword by Carl Trueman and an introduction, there are six chapters and an appendix:

1. The Reformation (1523-1565)
2. Early Orthodoxy (1565-1640)
3. High Orthodoxy (1640-1700)
4. Particular Baptists
5. Philosophical Works
6. Confessional Documents
Appendix: Definitions of Affections and Passions

God without Passions
God without Passions Book

This book will be available through RBAP in a few days.