Skip to main content

Open to Open Theism

The Christian Standard the past two weeks have run pro and con articles about Open Theism. Here are the pro articles.

Part 1:

As someone who was asked to argue the "pro" side of open theism, I have a confession to make. I am not really "pro" open theism. As someone whose early training was in two Restoration Movement educational institutions, I am inherently suspicious of theological systems, even my own. If open theism has become such a system, I cannot say I am a proponent of it.

But I am sympathetic to some of the questions some open theists raise about traditional systematic theology, whether Calvinistic or Arminian. More importantly, I think reading the Old and New Testaments without preconceived theological systems that tell us what texts must mean suggests that open theists have something constructive to say to the church at the beginning of the third millennium.
Part 2:
Open theism arose as a system because of dissatisfaction with traditional theological formulations of the doctrine of God, whether Calvinist or Arminian.

Calvinism is known for its consistency in emphasizing the sovereignty of God over all things. With the claim that God has ordained all things, God’s sovereignty is protected. Nothing has ever or will ever happen, according to the Calvinist, that is outside of God’s knowledge, control, and predestination.

This is a consistent position, but it causes a variety of problems. If God predestines all things, it seems as if he is responsible not only for the good things but also for the manifestly evil things that plague the world.

Arminians respond to this problem by saying that while God knows all things, past, present, and future, he does not cause all things to happen because he has given angels and human beings free will. To know something, argues the Arminian, is not the same as causing it. I agree, but I am not sure that solves the problem.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…