Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word "apologetics" derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense.

Open theism?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Open theism?

    I'm in a discussion with someone on another forum who is an Open Theist and claims God has no foreknowledge of man's free-will decisions. They believe this would be incompatible with free will. Any opinions about Open Theism? Arguments for or against so I can better understand this topic?

  • #2
    A good article about this issue can be found here:
    The Foreknowledge of God

    I would also like to add the fact that God fully knows the hearts of all people. This teaching can be found in many passages. Here are a few examples from the Old Testament:
    Genesis 6:5
    Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (NASB)
    1 Samuel 16:7
    But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (NASB)
    1 Kings 8:39
    then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men (NASB)

    And yet elsewhere we read that God tested each Israelite in order "to know" what was in if their hearts.
    Deuteronomy 8:2
    You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. (NASB)

    The previous passages cited which took place both before and after Deuteronomy 8:2 makes it clear that God fully knows the hearts of all.
    1. David Guzik: God tested Israel. It was not because He didn't know their hearts, but because they didn't know their hearts. We have to constantly be corrected of our over-estimation of ourselves.
    Deuteronomy 8 Commentary - David Guzik Commentary on the Bible
    2. John Gill: to know what was in thine heart; that is, to make it known to themselves and others; for God knew all that was in it, the wickedness of it, the unbelief, rebellion, and frowardness of it, and needed not any ways and means to get into the knowledge of it; see 2 Chronicles 32:31
    Deuteronomy 8 Commentary - John Gill's Exposition on the Whole Bible
    Comment>

    • #3
      Hi AlmostGreta, outside of the fact that 'every' church within the pale of orthodoxy considers Open Theism a heresy, one of the many problems I have with it is the fact that, if true, there is no prophetic statement, no promise that God has ever made to us, that can be trusted or relied upon as something that will come to pass.

      I've gotta go right now, but I'll try to get back here later today. BTW, John Piper wrote a pretty good book on the subject that you might want to check out called, Beyond the Bounds. And CARM's owner, Matt Slick, has quite a few articles posted about it here on his website.

      Yours and His,
      David


      9 “Remember the former things long past,
      For I am God, and there is no other;
      I am God, and there is no one like Me,
      10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
      And from ancient times things which have not been done,
      Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
      And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'" ~Isaiah 46
      Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

      "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

      "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

      "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

      "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
      Comment>

      • #4
        Oh, and WELCOME TO CF :)
        Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

        "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

        "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

        "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

        "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
        Comment>

        • #5
          Thank you St. Worm! Thank you Faber for the links. So it is actually considered a heresy, then, and not just a controversial new theology? Good to know. Personally, I think God has foreknowledge--as I saw in an essay online, look at Jesus's exact prediction of Peter's future denial of him.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by almostgreta View Post
            Personally, I think God has foreknowledge--as I saw in an essay online, look at Jesus's exact prediction of Peter's future denial of him.
            Or God could just be a real good guesser ;)

            Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

            "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

            "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

            "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

            "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
            Comment>

            • #7
              Here's what a portion of the Westminster Confession of Faith has to say about this (the Scriptural references upon which this portion of the Confession is based can be found by clicking on the numbers):


              Chapter III

              Of God's Eternal Decree

              I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;[1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]

              II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions;[4] yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[5]

              Yours in Christ,
              David


              8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
              Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
              9 For He spoke, and it was done;
              He commanded, and it stood fast.
              10 The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
              He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
              11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
              The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
              12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
              The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. ~Psalm 33
              Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

              "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

              "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

              "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

              "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by St_Worm2 View Post

                Or God could just be a real good guesser ;)
                Yes, that must be it :)

                Thanks for the excerpt from the Westminster Confession. I will have to bring this up to the person I'm dialoguing with. Westminster is for Presbyterians, right?
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Hi AG, the Westminster Confession is for all Christians (assuming that what it teaches us about God, the Bible, and Christianity is true, right ;)). But yes, the WCC is principally associated with Presbyterians.

                  In Christ,
                  David


                  "The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as
                  I have intended, so it has happened, & just as
                  I have planned, so it will stand"

                  Isaiah 14:24
                  Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                  "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                  "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                  "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                  "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    What happens to heretics? Are they still saved? They still accept Jesus, after all. It's just their ideas about him are a little off. (I'm getting somewhat concerned about my dialogue partner, who just--though they claim otherwise and say I'm reading them wrong--implied that Jesus did not exhaustively foreknow what would happen with Peter, but was able to predict it anyway by extrapolation from present conditions. In other words, that he guessed.)
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Originally posted by almostgreta View Post
                      What happens to heretics? Are they still saved? They still accept Jesus, after all. It's just their ideas about him are a little off. (I'm getting somewhat concerned about my dialogue partner, who just--though they claim otherwise and say I'm reading them wrong--implied that Jesus did not exhaustively foreknow what would happen with Peter, but was able to predict it anyway by extrapolation from present conditions. In other words, that he guessed.)
                      I tend to view it through the lens of Matthew 7:23
                      21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
                      "I never knew you" is very personal and specific. I like to think of Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses who believe in a Jesus, but the person they describe is clearly not THE Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, and they are not placing their trust, leaning with all of the weight of their salvation, on Jesus work on the Cross. Those are the heresies (or so it seems to me) that will clearly lead to an "I never knew you". To be confused about whether your baptism as a baby was the One Baptism or if you needed an adult baptism after making a public confession hardly seems like the sort of thing that would take your eye off Jesus as the Alpha and Omega (beginning and end) of your salvation.

                      Some confusion about God is almost to be expected, or he probably isn't God. He is, after all, beyond our full comprehension.

                      So in who or what is your friend trusting? That will tell you whether or not to worry. Is their view so distorted that they cannot be trusting in the True Jesus, but in some Idol they have fashioned that sort of resembles Jesus just a little?

                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by almostgreta View Post
                        What happens to heretics? Are they still saved? They still accept Jesus, after all.
                        A lot of people think they have accepted Jesus when in fact they haven't. Salvation comes when someone repents of his sin and turns to Jesus for salvation. It is possible for someone to have an intellectual belief in Jesus, accepting the fact that everything the Bible says about Jesus is true, and yet not be saved. One sign that a person is a true follower of Jesus will be that he will recognize the truth that is taught in the Bible.
                        My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
                        (John 10:27 ESV)
                        A genuine believer is unlikely to be deceived by false teaching. That doesn't mean all Christians will agree on everything. If you spend time on this forum you will find that there are a lot of disagreements among Christians. But there is agreement on the essentials, including belief in the omniscience of God. Jesus was not guessing when he told Peter what would happen; he knew.
                        Clyde Herrin's Blog
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                          A lot of people think they have accepted Jesus when in fact they haven't. Salvation comes when someone repents of his sin and turns to Jesus for salvation. It is possible for someone to have an intellectual belief in Jesus, accepting the fact that everything the Bible says about Jesus is true, and yet not be saved. One sign that a person is a true follower of Jesus will be that he will recognize the truth that is taught in the Bible.
                          My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
                          (John 10:27 ESV)
                          A genuine believer is unlikely to be deceived by false teaching. That doesn't mean all Christians will agree on everything. If you spend time on this forum you will find that there are a lot of disagreements among Christians. But there is agreement on the essentials, including belief in the omniscience of God. Jesus was not guessing when he told Peter what would happen; he knew.
                          A very good point! The saved (elect/chosen) have the Holy Spirit as a teacher to guide us into all essential truth. So the rejection of Truth can be seen similar to a faith wothout works ... it is a dead and ineffectual belief, not a life transforming reality.
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            This person believes two things: (A) that we all have libertarian free will, and (B) that libertarian free will is incompatible with foreknowledge. Thus, they believe that God does not know our future decisions. Yet they also believe he infallibly acts to achieve his purposes. Via contingency planning, or something. Basically, their God can do everything the classical God can do, but they claim he does so without knowing exactly, "down to the microsecond," what would happen and when. In this way, in this person's mind, human freedom is preserved.
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              And preserving human freedom evidently comes before everything else, although they deny this.
                              Comment>
                              Working...
                              X
                              Articles - News - SiteMap