Open Theism Summary

First off I want to thank Brad, but especially Sam & Jonathan for engaging me on the subject with grace and humility. What started off as a simple question asked by me from a young member in my church has led to countless hours of reading, blogging, thinking, and praying.

I had studied this subject over 10 years ago, although Open Theism was not as popular as it is today so I never really tackled that subject as much as I have recently. The interesting thing is that I have concluded, what I had concluded 10 years ago. No body really seems to know. We have philosophical arguments, and arrive at theological conclusions, but in the end no body really knows how it works. My conclusion is that God has divine providence over his creation, has divine foreknowledge, and man has free will. How these work together is a mystery, and will be debated for many, many years. I understand that for the Academic world, and those seeking for logical answers this is not sufficient, but for me on a personal level it is.

I have personally chosen to approach this matter with the utmost humility, understanding that I am a finite creature trying to comprehend an infinite divine being. By no means am I done with the subject matter, as I have just come back from the book store with two more books to read. In all fairness to the Open Theist camp, I have purchased the 2nd edition of John Sanders book “The God Who Risks” 350+ pages worth, and “How Much Does God Foreknow?” by Steven C. Roy in defense of Traditional Theism.

At times like this I wish I was wired more artistically, than logically and would be fine with just expressing the wonders of God, rather than trying to understand them. I just feel like Job, and just want to express myself like singer/writer Matt Redman.

1 Then Job replied to the LORD:

2 I know that You can do anything
and no plan of Yours can be thwarted.

3 [You asked,] “Who is this who conceals [My] counsel with ignorance?”
Surely I spoke about things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know. – Job 42 – CSB

Blessed Be Your Name

by Matt Redman
- - -
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord...
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One Response

  1. Robert: I decided to post my thougths on Open Theism here to help the dialog along (I first posted in my Comments section after your post). I did much research a few years back on the topic in order to present the Reformed view of God over and against the Arminian and Open views. The problem with Open is that they posit if God doesn’t control the future (is not sovereign), then he can’t know the future (is not omniscient), and that he in fact changes his mind based on our actions (is not immutable). You can see where that leads. If Jesus didn’t know the future, then his prophecies of the future are guesses. That leads to a consistent Open adherent to question whether or not scripture can be true. Was Jesus wrong in his prophecies? Then scripture is suspect. The fellow who had me give the presentation was an Open adherent. He left our church when he realized that he couldn’t hold to the infallibility of Scripture. By the way, the Arminian view: God is immutable and omniscient, but not sovereign (at least not in matters of salvation, i.e., election). The Reformed view of course is that God is sovereign, omniscient, and immutable.

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