Isn’t it true that God doesn’t know the future in the open view?

This is the single most common misconception people have about the open view. Open Theists and Classical Theists disagree about the nature of the future, not about how much God knows about it. Both sides grant that God knows everything. He is omniscient. He knows everything there is to know about all of reality, including the future. The disagreement is that, whereas Classical Theists believe that the future consists entirely of settled realities — and thus hold that God knows it as entirely settled — Open Theists believe that the future is partly comprised of possibilities — and thus hold that God perfectly knows it as partly comprised of possibilities.

Have you ever read one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books? The author writes out a number of possible story lines from which a reader can choose. The reader has a choice about which story line they want to read, but would anyone say the author of the book doesn’t know the future of their own book because of this? Of course not. It’s just that, in contrast to novels that include only one story line, their book includes a number of possible story lines, and the author knows all of them.

So it is with God in the open view. God creates something like a “choose your own adventure” world. The Creator sets up the parameters of human freedom and pre-settles whatever he wants to pre-settle while leaving open to human free will whatever he wants to leave open. He foreknows perfectly all the possible story lines that free agents could follow. Now, would you say this Creator doesn’t know the future? How could we say this? He foreknows all the possible story lines.

The difference between the classical view of the future and the open view of the future is that, in the open view, God has to know much more than in the classical view, just like the author of a Choose Your Own Adventure book must know more than a traditional novelist in knowing his book. But Open Theists are convinced God is capable of this much more extensive knowledge.

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