II. It has also been argued that the doctrine of the atonement is inconsistent with divine immutability. The atonement is supposed to effect a change in the mind of God: that He is reconciled, on account of the atonement, to those with whom He was formerly displeased, and compelled to love what He formerly hated.
The problems with this objection are:
A. Much of what we said above regarding the first objection could equally be applied to this one, because at heart it resolves into the same objection. But it should also be noted that whenever orthodox theologians have used language which seems to imply a change in God, this is nothing more than what is done by the inspired authors themselves. Scripture frequently uses that we call anthropopathism.
B. This may seem like we are shifting the difficulty from our shoulders to that of the authors of Scripture. But look at it this way: Are we to suppose, on the authority of Scripture, no less, that the atonement does effect a change on the immutable God? This would be blasphemy. What we affirm is that the texts of Scripture which do use anthropopathism only seem to imply a change in God. We do not say that they really imply such a thing.