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The Future of Open Theism: From Antecedents to Opportunities (book review)

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a book review by Greg Boyd While there were many precursors to the movement, Open Theism first exploded on the scene as a controversial issue among Evangelicals in the wake of the 1994 publication of The Openness of God (ed. Clark Pinnock). The years immediately following the publication of this…

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Why the 35W Bridge Collapsed – blog post 8/09/2007

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As all of you know, I’m sure, a little over a week ago the 35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed. This is the most traveled bridge in Minnesota. It was a tragedy, though the fact that only 13 people died and/or are presumed dead is really amazing, especially given that this…

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What is your perspective on the classical view that God is above time?

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In a major strand of hellenistic (Greek) philosophy, change was seen as being an imperfection. This idea was adopted by many early Church fathers and eventually became almost an assumed dogma of the Church. It was thus assumed that, since God is perfect, he must be above all change. Not…

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How do you respond to Psalm 139:16?

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“In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.” Psalm 139 is a beautiful poetic expression of God’s personal moment-by-moment involvement in our lives. So intimate is his involvement that he knows our thoughts before we utter them (vs….

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How can you put your trust in a God who’s not in control of everything?

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Question: I read your book Is God to Blame? and found it to be very compelling. It’s rocking my world. But I’m also finding I’m now having trouble trusting God like I used to. I used to believe that God ordained or at least foreknew all that was going to…

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Dealing With Objections to Open Theism, Part I

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Image by nixter via Flickr There are four major objections to Open Theism. Today we will deal with the first two and then tomorrow the third and fourth. For a basic introduction to Open Theism, click here. Objection #1: The open view denies omniscience. It is often argued that the…

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Drumming, Openness, Providence and Whatever

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Hi folks, Last Friday NDY held another dance/concert as a fund raiser for Providence Ministries. You can check out some photos here. We collected $2,000, praise God! A lot of Haitian kids will go to school with this money (and note, they couldn’t go without it). On top of raising…

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Problems with the Simple Foreknowledge View

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Some have proposed a model of divine foreknowledge which allows them to avoid the dilemma of affirming either that God creates people for the purpose of sending them to hell (Calvinism) or that he creates them without certain knowledge of their fate (open theism). In this alternative view God knows…

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What about the Gospel of John and Calvinism?

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Question: The Gospel of John seems to teach that people believe because God draws them, rather than that God draws people because they believe. If this is true, how can you deny the Calvinistic teaching that salvation is based on God’s choice, not ours? Answer: As you note, many people…

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God’s Regrets and Divine Foreknowledge

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Image by _marmota via Flickr One aspect of the portrait of God in Scripture that suggests the future is partly open is the fact that God sometimes regrets how things turn out, even prior decisions that he himself made. For example, in the light of the depravity that characterized humanity…

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How can people who believe the open view trust a God who doesn’t control the future and doesn’t know for sure what will happen?

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It’s true that according to the open view of the future things can happen in our lives which God didn’t plan or even foreknow with certainty (though he always foreknew they were possible). In this view, trusting in God provides no assurance that everything that happens to us will reflect…

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Does Prayer Really Make a Difference?

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Old Man in Prayer – Rembrandt I know the traditional cliché that prayer is for our sake, not God’s. It changes us, not God, or God’s plans. Even C .S. Lewis said that! I have the greatest admiration for Lewis, but on this account I think he is dead wrong….

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Open Theism: A Basic Introduction

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On Monday and Tuesday, Greg explained Molinism and contrasted it against the open view of the future. (Click here for part 1). Because many see the open view as a limited view of God, it’s helpful to be clear that this has less to do with the nature of God…

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How do you respond to Matthew 26:36?

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At the last supper Jesus said to Peter, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” This is probably the most frequently quoted verse by defenders of the classical understanding of God’s foreknowledge against the open view. How, they ask, could…

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What is the significance of 1 Samuel 23:9–13?

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“David heard that Saul knew that he was hiding in Keliah. Saul was seeking to kill David, so David wisely consulted the Lord as to what he should do. David said, ‘O Lord, the God of Israel, your servant has heard that Saul seeks to come to Keliah, to destroy…

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How do you respond to Isaiah 53:9?

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Speaking of the suffering servant Isaiah says, “[T]hey made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich…” As with most evangelical exegetes, I believe that Isaiah 53 constitutes a beautiful and stunning prophetic look at the person of Jesus Christ. The most impressive feature of this prophecy…

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The Case for Including Open Theism Within Arminianism

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Here is an excellent post by my good friend Roger Olson in which he makes the case that Open Theism should be embraced by Arminians as an orthodox, if somewhat non-traditional, form of their faith. In fact, Roger argues (rightly in my opinion) that Open Theism is much closer to…

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The Open View of Messianic Prophesies

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Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr A number of passages speak of particular events being foreknown by God, even events resulting from individuals’ free will. For example, dozens of prophesies in the OT accurately predict details about the coming Messiah (e.g., he would be born in Bethlehem; arise out of…

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When God Regrets

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The openness of the future is illustrated in the Bible’s depictions of God as grieving the outcome of decisions he himself has made. Regarding the incredible wickedness of humanity before Noah, for example, we read, “The Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved…

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What is the significance of Acts 21:10–12?

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While Paul and Luke were making preparations to go and preach in Jerusalem, “a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.” The prophet approached Paul, took his belt, and announced, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this…

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