Question: Can A Person Believe In Open Theism and Still Be Christian?

RiJoRi

Well-known member
Me neither! Open Theism is degrading God to man's level,and seems to totally ignore prophecy.

--Rich
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
I read book God of the Possible by Gregory Boyd I am NOT sure how God can be God if he doesn't know future?
Omniscience indicates the faculty of all knowing. If this indicates only the faculty itself, then there can be no room for whatever can be known as well as a knower. There's a similar argument for pure consciousness which cannot be conscious of anything without losing that purity.
 

Bob Carabbio

Well-known member
I read book God of the Possible by Gregory Boyd I am NOT sure how God can be God if he doesn't know future?
CHristians can be BONE IGNORANT of things, and still have God given FAITH in the perfect SIN OFFERING of Jesus on the Cross that cleanses them.
HEY!! "Open Theism" is nothing but "Theology". All God's Chilluns gots "Theologies".
 

Stephen

Active member
I read book God of the Possible by Gregory Boyd I am NOT sure how God can be God if he doesn't know future?

What's wrong with God making the future without knowing it exhaustively?

Think about the interaction in heaven in 1 Kings 22

19 And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left;
20 and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’
And one said one thing, and another said another. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’
22 And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’
And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’
And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’
23 Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you.”

Here we see:
  • In verse 20 God has to ask who will entice Ahab. Is it because he knows or doesn't know?
  • In verse 20, two sinless beings around the throne of God have differing opinions on how to do things.
  • In verse 22, the Lord asks how it will be done. Is it because he knows or doesn't know?
  • In verse 23, what the angel (presumably an angel) does, the LORD is credited as doing.

Does this sound like God exhaustively knows the future (i.e. Calvinism), or does this sound like God makes the future and chooses from possible options and is constantly interacting with his creation (i.e. Open Theism)?
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
What's wrong with God making the future without knowing it exhaustively?

Think about the interaction in heaven in 1 Kings 22

19 And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left;
20 and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’
And one said one thing, and another said another. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’
22 And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’
And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’
And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’
23 Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you.”

Here we see:
  • In verse 20 God has to ask who will entice Ahab. Is it because he knows or doesn't know?
  • In verse 20, two sinless beings around the throne of God have differing opinions on how to do things.
  • In verse 22, the Lord asks how it will be done. Is it because he knows or doesn't know?
  • In verse 23, what the angel (presumably an angel) does, the LORD is credited as doing.

Does this sound like God exhaustively knows the future (i.e. Calvinism), or does this sound like God makes the future and chooses from possible options and is constantly interacting with his creation (i.e. Open Theism)?
It sounds like a way to tell a story that won't bore the tar out of people. When we see Adam and Eve hiding from God, it seems ridiculous to us, but it's supposed to spotlight how idiotic it is to think one can hide from God. The author has God ask where they are as if he doesn't know, but at some point, we know intuitively that there is no place Adam and Eve can hide. Elsewhere we read that God is everywhere, even in the depths of hell. You can't get away from the guy.

The closest I think one can get to making your position logical would be a God who puts something into motion, but he doesn't have to actually know the specifics because he already knows with 100% certainty how it will turn out. I can toss a stick into the woods, and even though I may not see where it lands, or how it bounces, I know that my dog is going to find it within the next few seconds, and bring it back to me.

I can spray paint onto a metal surface, and even though I can't actually see each individual molecule of paint as it hits the surface, I can see the results well enough to move the sprayer when there's enough coverage.
 

Stephen

Active member
The closest I think one can get to making your position logical would be a God who puts something into motion, but he doesn't have to actually know the specifics because he already knows with 100% certainty how it will turn out. I can toss a stick into the woods, and even though I may not see where it lands, or how it bounces, I know that my dog is going to find it within the next few seconds, and bring it back to me.

I can spray paint onto a metal surface, and even though I can't actually see each individual molecule of paint as it hits the surface, I can see the results well enough to move the sprayer when there's enough coverage.

Those analogies fit how I see it. God doesn't have to have exhaustive knowledge of every last molecule in the universe to get the job done (as RC Sproul would have it).

Instead, he can be a king on his throne and set policy and empower capable servants, and rule, with sufficient room for people to have free will.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
Those analogies fit how I see it. God doesn't have to have exhaustive knowledge of every last molecule in the universe to get the job done (as RC Sproul would have it).

Instead, he can be a king on his throne and set policy and empower capable servants, and rule, with sufficient room for people to have free will.
Capable servants empowered to rule over others form a direct link from my hand to the stick sitting in the woods. In that case, I know where that stick is at every step. Free will is another issue. Until one discovers the kingdom, they have no choice. Free will then becomes irrelevant.

Likewise, when the kingdom is revealed by God, there simply is no choice. Vessels of mercy cannot resist God's mercy while vessels of destruction cannot resist is wrath. God's foreordained sovereign will does not preclude anyone free will. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive, any more than my foreknowledge of where my dog is going to go infringes upon my dog's free will. The fact remains that I determine when and where my dog is going to fetch the stick.
 

Stephen

Active member
Capable servants empowered to rule over others form a direct link from my hand to the stick sitting in the woods. In that case, I know where that stick is at every step. Free will is another issue. Until one discovers the kingdom, they have no choice. Free will then becomes irrelevant.

Likewise, when the kingdom is revealed by God, there simply is no choice. Vessels of mercy cannot resist God's mercy while vessels of destruction cannot resist is wrath. God's foreordained sovereign will does not preclude anyone free will. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive, any more than my foreknowledge of where my dog is going to go infringes upon my dog's free will. The fact remains that I determine when and where my dog is going to fetch the stick.

Capable servants form an indirect link to rule over others. As the example of 1 kings 22 highlighted, the servant determined how to get the job done and was empowered to do it. God didn't have those particular details planned out, but was rather concerned with the overall plan. As the biblical example shows, the servant only intervened after Ahab (and his wife) had a long history of freely made bad choices that God tried dissuade them from with the prophet Elijah. The servant wasn't governing Ahab's every move. And in the end, Ahab became a vessel of destruction after choosing to become one.
 

Leatherneck0311

Well-known member
Those analogies fit how I see it. God doesn't have to have exhaustive knowledge of every last molecule in the universe to get the job done (as RC Sproul would have it).

Instead, he can be a king on his throne and set policy and empower capable servants, and rule, with sufficient room for people to have free will.
Unchecked Copy Box
Mat 10:29 - Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

Unchecked Copy Box
Mat 10:30 - But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Unchecked Copy Box
Mat 10:31 - Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
 

Stephen

Active member
Unchecked Copy Box
Mat 10:29 - Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

Unchecked Copy Box
Mat 10:30 - But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Unchecked Copy Box
Mat 10:31 - Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Do you have any thoughts on how this relates to the discussion or is this just random scripture dropping?

The hairs on the apostle's head being numbered is the point. They are special to God and Jesus is reassuring them that they are under divine protection (see context of the passage) and far more valuable than sparrows or the other people in the story. The hairs on the apostles head were numbered, it violates Christ's point to extrapolate that fact to every other person in the story.

And yes, sparrows do not fall to the ground apart from the father's knowledge and remembrance as Luke 12:6-7 shows. Does that indicate exhaustive divine foreknowledge, or God knowing what happened after the fact?

Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
 

Leatherneck0311

Well-known member
Do you have any thoughts on how this relates to the discussion or is this just random scripture dropping?

The hairs on the apostle's head being numbered is the point. They are special to God and Jesus is reassuring them that they are under divine protection (see context of the passage) and far more valuable than sparrows or the other people in the story. The hairs on the apostles head were numbered, it violates Christ's point to extrapolate that fact to every other person in the story.

And yes, sparrows do not fall to the ground apart from the father's knowledge and remembrance as Luke 12:6-7 shows. Does that indicate exhaustive divine foreknowledge, or God knowing what happened after the fact?

Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
I don’t see apostles in that verse which lends itself to God knowing the numbers of hair on everyone’s head. Since Jesus was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world God’s foreknowledge is well established.
Daniel 2:28
However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.

Acts 2:23
this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God~s-Foreknowledge
 
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Stephen

Active member
I don’t see apostles in that verse which lends itself to God knowing the numbers of hair on everyone’s head.

Matthew 10 is the chapter where Jesus gives instructions to the 12 apostles before sending them out to witness to the Jews. In context, he is speaking to the apostles exclusively.

Since Jesus was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world God’s foreknowledge is well established.

Jesus certainly is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and also God will fill the earth with his glory. Those are specific details to God's plan.


The question is whether the rest of us were predestined to a similar degree, or does time and chance happen to us all?
 

Leatherneck0311

Well-known member
Matthew 10 is the chapter where Jesus gives instructions to the 12 apostles before sending them out to witness to the Jews. In context, he is speaking to the apostles exclusively.



Jesus certainly is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and also God will fill the earth with his glory. Those are specific details to God's plan.


The question is whether the rest of us were predestined to a similar degree, or does time and chance happen to us all?
Daniel 2:28
Verse Concepts
However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.

Acts 2:23
Verse Concepts
this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God~s-Foreknowledge.
 

Leatherneck0311

Well-known member
Matthew 10 is the chapter where Jesus gives instructions to the 12 apostles before sending them out to witness to the Jews. In context, he is speaking to the apostles exclusively.



Jesus certainly is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and also God will fill the earth with his glory. Those are specific details to God's plan.


The question is whether the rest of us were predestined to a similar degree, or does time and chance happen to us all?

Unchecked Copy Box
Act 16:30 - And brought them out,and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

The Jailer Converted​


Unchecked Copy Box
Act 16:31 - And they said, Believeon the Lord Jesus Christ, and thoushalt be saved, and thy house.
 

Stephen

Active member
Daniel 2:28
However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.

Acts 2:23
this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

Act 16:30
- And brought them out,and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

Act 16:31
- And they said, Believeon the Lord Jesus Christ, and thoushalt be saved, and thy house.


What's with the random verse slinging?



My question to you, does Prayer change the predestined future, or does it have no impact on the predestined future at all?
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
Capable servants form an indirect link to rule over others. As the example of 1 kings 22 highlighted, the servant determined how to get the job done and was empowered to do it. God didn't have those particular details planned out, but was rather concerned with the overall plan.
This doesn't sound like any god that warrants much more respect than what we see in Greek or Roman mythologies. The empowerment originates in God so he's directly involved; it's his power.
As the biblical example shows, the servant only intervened after Ahab (and his wife) had a long history of freely made bad choices that God tried dissuade them from with the prophet Elijah.
The prophet Elijah presents an option which Ahab is incapable of choosing. I think the greater point here is in noting that it really doesn't matter what he does because God's plan accounts for any and all possibilities.

If Adam doesn't sin, God's plan comes to fruition. If Adam sins, God's plan comes to fruition through a different course of events, all of which are known to God. God doesn't have to do anything because he knows what will happen regardless of what anyone may choose.
The servant wasn't governing Ahab's every move. And in the end, Ahab became a vessel of destruction after choosing to become one.
and God knows the end from the beginning. God knows, not just what Ahab is likely to do, but knows with 100% certainty. Again, this doesn't necessarily preclude Ahab from making a free will decision, but his decision isn't the guiding factor. As Paul points out, it is God's mercy which is the driving factor.
 

Leatherneck0311

Well-known member
What's with the random verse slinging?



My question to you, does Prayer change the predestined future, or does it have no impact on the predestined future at all?
Faith changes destiny. The verses I “slung” actually answered your question that you previously asked .
 
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