dan_starcevich — 2017-07-19T13:58:37-04:00 — #1
I am exploring Open Theism and am starting by developing a definition of it. This has proven to be tougher than anticipated as the terms "open" and "openness" when used theologically seem to be more connotative than denotative. Nevertheless, here is what I have for a definition. Critiques and questions are welcomed.
I am defining Open Theism (OT) in terms of who God is and what God does. In OT God’s most important characteristic is His love for human-kind. He has plans and objectives and knows all that He will do in the future. However, by granting man libertarian free will, He has chosen to limit His knowledge of future events. Based upon His exhaustive knowledge of the past and present God possesses only probable, and anticipatory knowledge of the future. Therefore God responsively engages with man and sensitively adapts His actions in response to the actions and prayers of human beings.
By libertarian free will I mean that when given a choice of multiple courses of action man’s choices are made free from any constraints posed by human nature or the predetermination of God. Those possessing libertarian free will are therefore free to act in any way they choose, even in ways that are contrary to one’s nature, predisposition or even greatest desires.
dave_l — 2017-07-19T14:18:39-04:00 — #2
For one, man always chooses sin apart from the New Birth. So would it absolve God of creating evil if he refused to control it? Wouldn't this be worse than if he controlled it? I think it is best to have him create evil for good purposes and then to control it.
justin_gatlin — 2017-07-21T09:36:19-04:00 — #3
This is a very good definition of open theism. What resources are you using for your study?
dave_l — 2017-07-30T10:54:18-04:00 — #4
Did the pre-incarnate Son have the same limited knowledge as the incarnate Son? If he did not know the things the Father had put in his own power after his incarnation, could he have known them any time before? Since his memory would make his humanness, along with limited knowledge and weakness impossible. But with human like limitations before the incarnation, the Son would also grieve, and learn, and struggle with all the weaknesses the open theists enjoy pointing out.
Thoughts? this is just a theory I'm batting around.
gao_lu — 2017-07-30T19:55:58-04:00 — #5
I would only speculate that the limitations were something that God in the form of Jesus took upon Himself temporarily for purposes of being born and dying on earth.
Probably we can't speak with absolute knowledge about the nature of God.
dave_l — 2017-07-31T07:23:51-04:00 — #6
Thanks for your thoughts. I presently see the passages depicting the human like limitations of God in the Old Testament as truth presented in a way primitive degenerate souls could understand. But also the spiritually enlightened could understand metaphorically. Anthropomorphisms for want of a better word.
The staunch literalists are all over the board trying to limit and humanize God for the sake of literalness.