On God and Fickleness

Here is a wise and righteous general conducting a defensive war to save his country. At mid-summer an observer says to him, “General, have you not changed your plan of campaign since you began it?” He replies, “I have.” Says the observer, “Then you must be a fickle person?” He replies, “No, I have changed it not because I was fickle, but for these two reasons: because I have been unable and have failed in some of the necessary points of my first plan; and second, I have found out things I did not know when I began.” We say that is perfect common sense, and clears the general from all charge of fickleness. But suppose he were, in fact, almighty and omniscient? Then he could not use those excuses, and if he changed his plan after the beginning he would be fickle. Reader, dare you charge God with fickleness?

–The Reverend Robert Lewis Dabney, Confederate Army chaplain and Stonewall Jackson’s Chief of Staff

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