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

Stephen

Active member
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.

We both agree that power originates with God. The degree to which he empowers others is the discussion. I believe he empowers his servants with choice, and moral choice at that. I don't get the idea that you hold that position.

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 Ahab doesn't have the power to choose, then he has no moral agency. If he has no moral agency, it was impossible for him to do morally right or do morally wrong as no choice was made. That is contrary to the entirety of the bible.

I do agree that God's plan is flexible to enough account for changing conditions. Hence we are encouraged to pray to get God to incorporate our desired changes into his plan.

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.

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.

If God knows that Adam would sin with 100% certainty, then there never was a path for his plan to come to fruition by the other route. If God knows all choices with 100% certainty then not only does God know every evil thing that will occur, he specifically willed every evil thing that has occurred and will occur at the creation. In that case, Mankind has no moral agency, all evil things that occur happened not because God allowed it, but rather because God specifically willed it.
 

Stephen

Active member
Faith changes destiny. The verses I “slung” actually answered your question that you previously asked .

You will have to connect the dots, because I am a terrible mind reader and I have no idea what you think those verses mean and where you are drawing the breakpoints between free will and a deterministic creation as it seems you are leaning alot towards the open theism position by nothing that "faith" changes things.
 

DreamyDaySongs

New Member
Hi everybody,

Where I am on this is how God works all things together for good, regardless of, and in the midst of even! human choices.
In other words, for example: How Joseph's brothers had an evil intent toward him, yet, the Lord had a good intent for him, so no matter the choices his brothers made, the Lord was able to work with all of that in Joseph's life, for His intent and will, to come to pass, to save many alive.
Nothing and noone can thwart God's will when He has a specific end in mind.

Getting there, many and probably most! of His called out ones would have rather run like Jonah. Still, and regardless, the Lord, I believe, works all things together, for good. Nothing is wasted in any of our lives and all is redeemed in the Son. We as humans on this planet have only so many * limited lanes in this maze to walk. I do believe He is aware of each lane yet gives us the dignity to choose. He is love, after all, and Love never forces. And, Love is always ready and willing to stretch out His long arm, to save.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
Hi everybody,

Where I am on this is how God works all things together for good, regardless of, and in the midst of even! human choices.
In other words, for example: How Joseph's brothers had an evil intent toward him, yet, the Lord had a good intent for him, so no matter the choices his brothers made, the Lord was able to work with all of that in Joseph's life, for His intent and will, to come to pass, to save many alive.
Including Joseph's brothers. The very same people who had evil intent were saved. It's a potent story of the power of love to forgive. Even after everything Joseph had been through, he couldn't hide the love he had for his brothers.
 

puddleglum

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

God knows everything, including what we are going to pray. If he decides to grant our prayer, he will take it into consideration in determining what the future will be.

To answer the question in the OP, if an open theist repents and becomes a Christian, he will still retain his belief in open theism for a short time, but if he studies the Bible God will reveal his error to him.
 

Stephen

Active member
God knows everything, including what we are going to pray. If he decides to grant our prayer, he will take it into consideration in determining what the future will be.

That wasn't a logically coherent answer to the question.

If God knows "what we are going to pray", there is no point in the timeline where God "will take anything into consideration". According to you, he knows it already and has already taken it into consideration. If God already knows what we are going to pray, there is no "determining what the future will be", the future has already been determined.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
If God already knows what we are going to pray, there is no "determining what the future will be", the future has already been determined.
Quite true! It necessarily follows that God has no choice in the matter. Freedom of choice or free will is the luxury of fools.
 

puddleglum

Active member
If God already knows what we are going to pray, there is no "determining what the future will be", the future has already been determined.

It has already been determined but that determination is based partly on our actions. What we do does have an effect.
 

Stephen

Active member
It has already been determined but that determination is based partly on our actions. What we do does have an effect.

You've answered the question by asserting a logical contradiction. The question is:

"Does Prayer change the predestined future, or does it have no impact on the predestined future at all?

If "it has already been determined" then "what we do" in the present has zero impact on the exhaustive predestined future. If we were predestined to do each individual act, then God made each choice for us before the world was. God is the only morally responsible one because he determined everything exhaustively.

I submit that we aren't robots or a deterministic computer program. Freedom of choice was the very first thing God spoke to Adam and Eve about. I submit that God is our Father, and we are his children growing up in his sight, and we are as predetermined to him as our children are to us.
 

puddleglum

Active member
You've answered the question by asserting a logical contradiction. The question is:

"Does Prayer change the predestined future, or does it have no impact on the predestined future at all?

If "it has already been determined" then "what we do" in the present has zero impact on the exhaustive predestined future. If we were predestined to do each individual act, then God made each choice for us before the world was. God is the only morally responsible one because he determined everything exhaustively.

I submit that we aren't robots or a deterministic computer program. Freedom of choice was the very first thing God spoke to Adam and Eve about. I submit that God is our Father, and we are his children growing up in his sight, and we are as predetermined to him as our children are to us.

My answer is not contradictory at all. Our choices help determine what the predetermined future is.

According to Genesis 1:28-30 these are the first words God spoke to Adam and Eve: And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” He gave them authority to rule the other living beings he had created and commanded them to eat nothing but plants. He said nothing about freedom of choice.

When you say we are all God's children, just who are you including in "we"?
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
If "it has already been determined" then "what we do" in the present has zero impact on the exhaustive predestined future.
If we're the ones who are actually carrying out God's will, then it is the very means by which the impact is carried out.
If we were predestined to do each individual act, then God made each choice for us before the world was. God is the only morally responsible one because he determined everything exhaustively.
I'm not so sure that's what Paul is saying in his letter. He points out that God's will is foreknown, but in order for that to be the case, it must necessarily be predestined. This is a logical necessity, but I'm not so sure it necessarily follows that God is predestining anything.
I submit that we aren't robots or a deterministic computer program.
Much of one's daily functions are autonomous. From the beating of your heart to how you react to certain events. Much of what we do is almost completely unconscious, and there really is no real difference between being unconscious and be automatons.
Freedom of choice was the very first thing God spoke to Adam and Eve about.
This seems more of an assumption than anything else.
 

Stephen

Active member
My answer is not contradictory at all. Our choices help determine what the predetermined future is.

If your choices "help determine" the future, i.e. change the future, then the future is not predetermined. This is basic logic.

According to Genesis 1:28-30 these are the first words God spoke to Adam and Eve: And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” He gave them authority to rule the other living beings he had created and commanded them to eat nothing but plants. He said nothing about freedom of choice.

I did err in saying that Eve was involved, as she wasn't created at the time. If we assume Gen 1:27 is speaking of both Adam and Eve, the words in Genesis 2:16 would predate the words in Gen 1:28-30.

Genesis 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

And Adam made a choice related to this, and he chose to know good and evil.

(That being said, there isn't a translation that I am aware of that identifies "mankind" in Gen 1 with "Adam" in Genesis 2.)

When you say we are all God's children, just who are you including in "we"?

That isn't my determination to make. I can choose who I have fellowship with, and I can choose to be a man in God's image, but that is about it.
 
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