Responding to Objections

How do you respond to Ephesians 1:4-5?

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Question: Ephesians 1 refers to believers as predestined before the foundation of the world. How do you reconcile this with your view that free actions of people (like choosing to believe in Christ) can’t be…

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15 Reasons Open Theism is TRUE (a reply to Andrew Wilson)

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Article by Dan Kent Recently, Andrew Wilson shared an impressive critique of open theism called: “Responding To Open Theism In Fourteen Words.” Andrew’s article didn’t persuade me, but it did challenge me (seriously!). Below I…

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Does the Open View Undermine God’s Sovereignty?

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A common objection to the concept of a risk-taking God is that it seems to undermine God’s sovereignty. If any particular individual can opt out of God’s plan, then every individual could conceivably opt out…

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Isn’t the World Unsafe If God Doesn’t Control Everything?

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If God isn’t in control of everything, the world feels unsafe. If the future is open and if things can happen outside of God’s will, what guarantee is there that there is a point to…

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Does The Open View Limit God?

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Suppose you and I both agree that God is omniscient and thus knows all of reality, but we disagree over, say, the number of trees on a certain plot of land. I say there are…

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How Can Salvation by Grace Involve Free Will?

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How does salvation by grace work if people have free will? If salvation hinges on whether individuals choose to be saved or not, is salvation based on grace or works? If we have to choose…

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Free Will: Are studies that demonstrate genetic determinism a threat to free will?

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Greg shares his continuing thoughts on free will with a thought experiment (and a hand-drawn graph!) granting that we are largely determined by forces outside of our control. If we grant this presupposition, does that…

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How does an Open Theist explain all the prophecies fulfilled in the life of Jesus?

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Question: Throughout the Gospels it says that Jesus “fulfilled that which was written.” Some of these prophecies are very specific and involve free decisions of people. For example, a guard freely chose to give Jesus…

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How do you respond to Genesis 45:5; 50:20?

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Joseph said to his brothers, “…now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life,” (cf. v. 7). Joseph later says, “Even…

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How do you respond to Exodus 4:11?

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“The Lord says to Moses, “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” According to some compatibilists, this passage teaches that all infirmities…

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How do you respond to Exodus 21:12–13?

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“Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death. If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer…

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How do you respond to Ruth 1:13?

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Because her husband and two sons had died, Naomi says to her two daughter-in-laws (Ruth and Orpah), “[I]t has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has…

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How do you respond to 1 Samuel 2:25?

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Eli’s sons “would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to kill them.” Compatibilists sometimes cite this text as an example of how God determines events…

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How do you respond to 2 Samuel 16:10?

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David says of Shimei’s cursing him, “If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” Some compatibilists cite this text to suggest that…

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How do you respond to 2 Samuel 24:1 and 1 Chronicles 21:1?

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One text says the Lord incited David to count the warriors of Israel and Judah. The other text says that Satan incited David to count the warriors of Israel. (The Lord had forbidden this, as…

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How do you respond to 1 Kings 8:58?

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Solomon prays as he dedicates the temple, “The Lord our God be with us…[and] incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments…” (vs. 57-58). Compatibilists sometimes cite…

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How do you respond to Job 1:21?

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“…the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” This passage is often quoted as the proper attitude pious people should assume in the face of tragedy, with…

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How do you respond to Psalm 105:25?

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Speaking of the Egyptians, the Psalmist says,“…whose hearts he [God] then turned to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants” Some compatibilists cite this verse as evidence that God meticulously controls human hearts….

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How do you respond to Psalm 135:6?

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“Whatever the Lord pleases he does, In heaven and on earth…” (cf. Job 23:13–14; Ps. 115:3; Dan. 4:35) Some conclude from passages such as this that God’s will can never be thwarted. Since Scripture explicitly…

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How do you respond to Proverbs 16:4?

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“The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” Calvinists often cite this verse to support the conclusion that some people are created wicked for the expressed purpose…

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