Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Key Ideas of Open Theology - Part 2/5: "Rice, Oord & Wikipedia"

Key Ideas of Open Theology - Part 2

What is Open Theism? with Richard Rice
Apr 6, 2020

Since IVP's publication of The Openness of God in 1994, evangelical theology has grappled with the alternative vision of the doctrine of God that open theism offers. Responding to critics who claim that it proposes a truncated version of God that fails to account for Scripture and denies many of the traditional attributes of God, open theism's proponents contend that its view of God is not only biblically warranted but also more accurate—with a portrayal of God that emphasizes divine love for humanity and responsiveness to human free will. No matter what one's assessment, open theism inarguably has made a significant impact on recent theological discourse.

Now, twenty-five years later, Richard Rice recounts in this volume the history of open theism from its antecedents and early developments to its more recent and varied expressions. He then considers different directions that open theism might continue to develop in relation to several primary doctrines of the Christian faith.

The ALTER: Episode 52
Open and Relational Theology, w/ Thomas Jay Oord
August 25, 2021
[Interview starts at 28.31]

To quote Oord, "Most theologies suck. They’re too technical or they describe a God nobody understands." Since The ALTER is all about sacrificing bad ideas for the sake of transformation, it sounds like theologian/philosopher Thomas Jay Oord and I will get along just nicely. Thomas is joining the show to talk about his latest book, "Open and Relational Theology" (https://amzn.to/3y8T4EQ), and I'm hoping you enjoy this theologically-bent episode of The Alter! Learn more about Oord and his work at: http://thomasjayoord.com

Open theism

Open theism, also known as openness theology and free will theism,[1][self-published source?] is a theological movement that has developed within Christianity as a rejection of the synthesis of Greek philosophy and Christian theology. Open theism arises out of the freewill theistic tradition of the church which goes back to the early church fathers.[2] Open theism is typically advanced as a biblically motivated and logically consistent theology of human and divine freedom (in the libertarian sense), with an emphasis on what this means for the content of God's foreknowledge and exercise of God's power.[3]

Noted open theist theologian Thomas Jay Oord identifies four paths to open and relational theology:[4]

  1. following the biblical witness,
  2. following themes in some Christian theological traditions,
  3. following the philosophy of free will, and
  4. following the path of reconciling faith and science.

Roger E. Olson said that open theism triggered the "most significant controversy about the doctrine of God in evangelical thought" in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.[5]

Exposition of open theism

In short, open theism says that since God and humans are free, God's knowledge is dynamic and God's providence flexible. While several versions of traditional theism picture God's knowledge of the future as a singular, fixed trajectory, open theism sees it as a plurality of branching possibilities, with some possibilities becoming settled as time moves forward.[6][7] Thus, the future as well as God's knowledge of it is open (hence "open" theism). Other versions of classical theism hold that God fully determines the future, entailing that there is no free choice (the future is closed). Yet other versions of classical theism hold that even though there is freedom of choice, God's omniscience necessitates God foreknowing what free choices are made (God's foreknowledge is closed). Open theists hold that these versions of classical theism do not agree with:

  1. the biblical concept of God
  2. the biblical understanding of divine and creaturely freedom

and/or result in incoherence. Open Theists tend to emphasize that God's most fundamental character trait is love, and that this trait is unchangeable. They also (in contrast to traditional theism) tend to hold that the biblical portrait is of a God deeply moved by creation, experiencing a variety of feelings in response to it.[8]

Comparison of open and Reformed theism

The following chart compares beliefs about key doctrines as stated by open theists and Calvinists after "the period of controversy" between adherents of the two theisms began in 1994.[9] During this period the "theology of open theism… rocked the evangelical world".[10]

DoctrineOpen TheismCalvinism
Scripture (the Bible). "In the Christian tradition, the Old and the New Testaments are considered Holy Scripture in that they are, or convey, the self-revelation of God."[11]"Committed to affirming the infallibility of Scripture"[12]Scripture is "the infallible Word of God".[13]
God's Power. "God's power is limited only by God's own nature and not by any external force."[14]"God is all-powerful."[15]"God is all-powerful."[16]
God's Sovereignty. "God's ultimate Lordship and rule over the universe".[14]Portraying God as ordaining whatever happens reduces "humans to robots".[17]"Nothing that exists or occurs falls outside God's ordaining will. Nothing, including no evil person or thing or event or deed."[18]
God's Perfection. "God as lacking nothing and free of all moral imperfection".[14]Believes in "(because Scripture teaches) the absolute perfection of God."[19]Believes that, because "Scripture says" it, God "will always do what is right".[20]
God's Foreknowledge. "God's knowing things and events before they happen in history".[21]"God is omniscient" about "settled" reality, but the future that God "leaves open" can be known only as open "possibility" without specific foreknowledge.[22]Classically Augustinian-Calvinist view: "God knows the future because he preordains it."[23]
The Fall. "The disobedience and sin of Adam and Eve that caused them to lose the state of innocence in which they had been created. This event plunged them and all mankind into a state of sin and corruption."[24]God "does not unilaterally and irrevocably decide what to do". God's decisions are influenced by "human attitudes and responses".[25]"Ultimate reason" for the Fall was "God's ordaining will".[18]
Free Will. "The term seeks to describe the free choice of the will which all persons possess. Theological debates have arisen over the ways and to the extent to which sin has affected the power to choose good over evil, and hence one's 'free will'."[26]Promotes incompatibilism, the doctrine that "the agent's power to do otherwise" is "a necessary condition for acting freely".[27]Promotes compatibilism, the doctrine that "freedom" of the will requires only "the power or ability to do what one will (desire or choose) to do" without constraint or impediment, even if what one wills is determined.[28]
Free Will and God's Sovereignty. A "caustic debate" began about 1990 over "God's sovereignty and human free will".[29]Saying that God governs human choices reduces "angels or humans to robots in order to attain his objectives."[30]God governs "the choices of human beings", but without "cancelling [their] freedom and responsibility".[31]
Theodicy issue. "The justification of a deity's justice and goodness in light of suffering and evil".[32]To meet the "conditions of love", God exercises "general rather than specific sovereignty, which explains why God does not prevent all evil".[33] Also, God "does not completely control or in any sense will evil" because the world is "held hostage to a cosmic evil force".[34]Because "Scripture says" it, God "will always do what is right".[35]

Historical development

Contemporary open theists have named precursors among philosophers to document their assertion that "the open view of the future is not a recent concept," but has a long history.[36]

The first known post-biblical Christian writings advocating concepts similar to open theism with regard to the issue of foreknowledge are found in the writings of Calcidius, a 4th-century interpreter of Plato. It was affirmed in the 16th century by Socinus, and in the early 18th century by Samuel Fancourt and by Andrew Ramsay (an important figure in Methodism). In the 19th century several theologians wrote in defense of this idea, including Isaak August DornerGustav FechnerOtto PfleidererJules LequierAdam Clarke, Billy Hibbard, Joel Hayes, T.W. Brents, and Lorenzo D. McCabe. Contributions to this defense increased as the century drew to a close.[a]

The dynamic omniscience view has been affirmed by a number of non Christians as well: Cicero (1st century BC) Alexander of Aphrodisias (2nd century) and Porphyry (3rd century). God's statement to Abraham “Now I know that you fear me” (Gen 22:12) was much discussed by Medieval Jewish theologians. Two significant Jewish thinkers who affirmed dynamic omniscience as the proper interpretation of the passage were Ibn Ezra (12th century) and Gersonides (14th century).[citation needed]

Sergei Bulgakov, an early-20th-century Russian Orthodox priest and theologian advocated the use of the term panentheism, which articulated a necessary link between God and creation as consequence of God's free love and not as a natural necessity. His sophiology has sometimes been seen as a precursor to 'open theism'.

Millard Erickson belittles such precursors to open theism as "virtually unknown or unnoticed."[40]

After 1980

The term "open theism" was introduced in 1980 with theologian Richard Rice's book The Openness of God: The Relationship of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Free Will. The broader articulation of open theism was given in 1994, when five essays were published by evangelical scholars (including Rice) under the title The Openness of God. Recent theologians of note expressing this view include: Clark Pinnock (deceased as of 2010), Greg BoydThomas Jay OordJohn E. SandersDallas WillardJürgen MoltmannRichard RiceC. Peter WagnerJohn PolkinghorneHendrikus Berkhof, Adrio Konig, Harry Boer, Bethany Sollereder, Matt Parkins, Thomas Finger (Mennonite), W. Norris Clarke (Roman Catholic), Brian Hebblethwaite, Robert Ellis, Kenneth Archer (Pentecostal) Barry Callen (Church of God), Henry Knight III, Gordon Olson, and Winkie Pratney. A significant, growing number of philosophers of religion affirm it: Peter Van InwagenRichard Swinburne (Eastern Orthodox), William HaskerDavid BasingerNicholas WolterstorffDean Zimmerman, Timothy O'Connor, James D. Rissler, Keith DeRose, Richard E. Creel, Robin Collins (philosopher/theologian/physicist), J. R. LucasVincent Brümmer, (Roman Catholic), Richard Purtill, Alan Rhoda, Jeffrey Koperski, Dale Tuggy, and Keith Ward. Biblical scholars Terence E. Fretheim, Karen Winslow, and John Goldingay affirm it. Others include writers Madeleine L'Engle and Paul C. Borgman, mathematician D.J. Bartholomew and biochemist/theologian Arthur Peacocke.[41]

Philosophical arguments

Open theists maintain that traditional classical theists hold the classical attributes of God together in an incoherent way. The main classical attributes are as follows:[42]

  • All-good: God is the standard of moral perfection, all-benevolent, and perfectly loving.
  • Simplicity: God has no parts, cannot be differentiated, and possesses no attribute as distinct from His being.
  • Immutability: God cannot change in any respect.
  • Impassibility: God cannot be affected by outside forces.[43]
  • Omnipresence: God is present everywhere, or more precisely, all things find their location in God.[44]
  • Omniscience: God knows absolutely everything: believes all truths and disbelieves all falsehoods. God's knowledge is perfect.
  • Omnipotence: God can do anything because he is all-powerful and not limited by external forces.

Contradictions in the traditional attributes are pointed out by open theists and atheists alike. Atheist author and educator George H. Smith writes in his book Atheism: The Case Against God that if God is omniscient, God cannot be omnipotent because: "If God knew the future with infallible certainty, he cannot change it – in which case he cannot be omnipotent. If God can change the future, however, he cannot have infallible knowledge of it".[45]

Open theism also answers the question of how God can be blameless and omnipotent even though evil exists in the world. H. Roy Elseth gives an example of a parent that knows with certainty that his child would go out and murder someone if he was given a gun. Elseth argues that if the parent did give the gun to the child then the parent would be responsible for that crime.[46] However, if God was unsure about the outcome then God would not be culpable for that act; only the one who committed the act would be guilty. This position is, however, dubious, as a parent who knows his child was probable, or likely, or even possibly going to shoot someone would be culpable; and God knew that it was likely that man would sin,[citation needed] and thus God is still culpable. An orthodox Christian might try, on the contrary, seek to ground a theodicy in the resurrection, both of Christ and the general resurrection to come,[47] though this is not the traditional answer to evil.

Varieties of open theists

Philosopher Alan Rhoda has described several different approaches several open theists have taken with regard to the future and God's knowledge of it.

  • Voluntary Nescience: The future is alethically settled but nevertheless epistemically open for God because he has voluntarily chosen not to know truths about future contingents. It is thought Dallas Willard held this position.
  • Involuntary Nescience: The future is alethically settled but nevertheless epistemically open for God because truths about future contingents are in principle unknowable. William Hasker, Peter Van Inwagen,[48] and Richard Swinburne espouse this position.
  • Non-Bivalentist Omniscience: The future is alethically open and therefore epistemically open for God because propositions about future contingents are neither true nor false. J. R. Lucas and Dale Tuggy espouse this position.
  • Bivalentist Omniscience: The future is alethically open and therefore epistemically open for God because propositions asserting of future contingents that they 'will' obtain or that they 'will not' obtain are both false. Instead, what is true is that they 'might and might not' obtain. Greg Boyd holds this position."[49]


Norman Geisler, a critic of open theism, addresses the claims that the Classical attributes were derived from the Greeks with three observations:[50]

  1. The quest for something unchanging is not bad.
  2. The Greeks did not have the same concept of God.
  3. Philosophical influences are not wrong in themselves.

An open theist might respond that all such criticisms are misplaced. As to observation (1), it is not characteristic of open theists to say that the quest for something unchanging is bad. Indeed, open theists believe God's character is unchanging.[51] As to observation (2), open theists do not characteristically say traditional forms of classical theism have exactly the same concept of God as the Greeks. Rather, they argue that they imported only some unbiblical assumptions from the Greeks.[52] They also point to theologians of the Christian tradition who, throughout history, did not succumb so strongly to Hellenistic influences.[53] As to observation (3), open theists do not argue that philosophical influences are bad in themselves. Rather, they argue that some philosophical influences on Christian theology are unbiblical and theologically groundless. Consider John Sanders' statement in The Openness of God (1980):

Christian theology, I am arguing, needs to reevaluate classical theism in light of a more relational metaphysic (not all philosophy is bad!) so that the living, personal, responsive and loving God of the Bible may be spoken of more consistently in our theological reflection ...[54]:  100 

Opponents of open theism, both Arminians, and Calvinists, such as John Piper,[55] claim that the verses commonly used by open theists are anthropopathisms. They suggest that when God seems to change from action A to action B in response to prayer, action B was the inevitable event all along, and God divinely ordained human prayer as the means by which God actualized that course of events.

They also point to verses that suggest God is immutable, such as:

  • Malachi 3:6: For I, the Lord, have not changed; and you, the sons of Jacob, have not reached the end.[b]
  • Numbers 23:19: God is not a man that He should lie, nor is He a mortal that He should repent. Would He say and not do, speak and not fulfill?[c][56][57]
  • 1 Samuel 15:29: And also, the Strength of Israel will neither lie nor repent, for He is not a man to repent."
  • Isaiah 46:10: [I] tell the end from the beginning, and from before, what was not done; [I] say, "My counsel shall stand, and all My desire I will do."

Those advocating the traditional view[who?] see these as the verses that form God's character, and they interpret other verses that say God repents as anthropomorphistic. Authors who claim this can be traced back through CalvinLutherAquinasAmbrose, and Augustine. Open theists note that there seems to be an arbitrary distinction here between those verses which are merely anthropopathic and others which form God's character. They also note that the immediate sense of the passages addressing God's inalterability ought to be understood in the Hebrew sense of his faithfulness and justice. In other words, God's love and character is unchanging; this, however, demands that His approach to people (especially in the context of personal relationship) be flexible.[58]

Literary debate

In the early 18th century, an extended public correspondence flourished around the topic of open theism. The debate was incited by Samuel Fancourt's 1727 publication, The Greatness of Divine Love Vindicated. Over the next decade, four other English writers published polemical works in response. This led Fancourt to defend his views in six other publications. In his 1747 autobiography, in response to some who thought that this controversy had affected his career, Fancourt wrote, "Should it be suggested, that my religious principles were a prejudice unto me—I answer: so are those of every Dissenting Protestant in the [United] Kingdom with some, if he dares to think and to speak what he thinks." Fancourt also names other writers who had supported his views.

In 2005, a "raging debate" among evangelicals about "open or free-will theism" was in place.[59] This period of controversy began in 1994 with the publication of The Openness of God.[60][61]:  3  The debate between open and classical theists is illustrated by their books as in the following chart.[62]

YearOpen theism books and commentsClassical theism books and comments
1980Rice, Richard (1980). The Openness of God: The relationship of divine foreknowledge and human free will. Nashville, Tennessee: Review & Herald. – Rice was the "pioneer of contemporary evangelical open theism."[61]:  5 Critical acclaim, but public mostly unaware of open theism; the controversy had not yet begun.[61]:  5 
1989Hasker, William (1989). God, Time, and Knowledge. Cornell Studies in the Philosophy of Religion. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
1994Pinnock, Clark; Rice, Richard; Sanders, John; Hasker, William; Bassinger, David (1994). The Openness of God. InterVarsity. – "ignited a firestorm of controversy".[61]:  5 "Provoked numerous hostile articles in academic and popular publications."[61]:  5  The "conservative backlash" was "quick and fierce".[63]
1996Basinger, David (1996). The Case for Freewill Theism: A philosophical assessment. InterVarsity. – Considers divine omniscience, theodicy, and petitionary prayer in freewill perspective.[64]McGregor Wright, R. K. (1996). No Place for Sovereignty: What’s wrong with freewill theism. InterVarsity. – Sees open theism as wrong biblically, theologically, and philosophically.[64]
1997Boyd, Gregory (1997). God at War: The Bible & spiritual conflict. InterVarsity. – Made open theism the centerpiece of a theodicy.[61]:  6 Geisler, Norman (1997). Creating God in the Image of Man?. Bethany. – Asserts that open theism should be called new theism or neotheism because it is so different from classical theism.:  78 
1998Sanders, John (1998). The God who Risks: A theology of providence. InterVarsity. – "The most thorough standard presentation and defense of the openness view of God."[65]Erickson, Millard (1998). God the Father Almighty: A contemporary exploration of the Divine attributes. Baker. – Accuses open theists of selective use of Scripture and caricaturing classical theism.[66]
2000Pinnock, Clark (2000). Most Moved Mover: A theology of God’s openness. Baker and Paternoster. – "The most passionate and articulate defense of openness theology to date."[67]
Boyd, Gregory (2000). God of the Possible: A Biblical introduction to the open view of God. Baker. – "A genuinely evangelical portrayal of the biblical God."[68]
Ware, Bruce (2000). God's Lesser Glory: The diminished God of open theism. Crossway. – "The most influential critique of open theism."[61]:  6 
2001Boyd, Gregory A. (2001). Satan and the Problem of Evil: Constructing a trinitarian warfare theodicy. InterVarsity. – "A renewed defense of open theism" and a theodicy grounded in it.[69]Frame, John (2001). No Other God: A response to open theism. P & R.
Geisler, Norman; House, Wayne; Herrera, Max (2001). The Battle for God: Responding to the challenge of neotheism. Kregel. – "Debate seemed to turn somewhat in favor of classical theism."[61]:  6 
2002–2003Boyd, Gregory A. (2003). Is God to Blame? Beyond pat answers to the problem of evil. InterVarsity. – Attacked classical theists as "blueprint theologians" espousing a "blueprint world view".:  47, 200 Huffman, Douglas; Johnson, Eric, eds. (2002). God under Fire: Modern scholarship reinvents God. Zondervan.
Erickson, Millard (2003). What does God Know and When does He know it?: The current controversy over divine foreknowledge. Zondervan. – Attacked "open theism as theologically ruinous, dishonoring to God, belittling to Christ, and pastorally hurtful".:  371 
Piper, John; Taylor, Justin; Helseth, Paul, eds. (2003). Beyond the Bounds: Open theism and the undermining of Biblical Christianity. Crossway.
2004–2012Hasker, William (2004). Providence, Evil, and the Openness of God. Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Religion. Routledge. – Contains appendix titled "Replies to my critics".:  187–230 Branch, Craig, ed. (2012). "Open Theism: Making God like us". The Areopagus Journal. The Apologetics Resource Center. 4 (1). – Book's stated purpose is to "demonstrate the errors of open theism".
2013–2014Ham, Garrett (2014). The Evangelical and the Open Theist: Can open theism find its place within the evangelical community?. Kindle. – Argues that proponents of open theism have a right to be called "evangelical".Scott, Luis (2013). Frustrating God: How open theism gets God all wrong. Westbow. – Declares that "open theists get God all wrong".:  xviii 
presentThe Internet brought open theists and their debate with classical theists into public view.[70] – An internet site supporting open theism is "Open theism – a basic introduction"reknew.org. May 2014.The Internet brought classical theists and their debate with open theists into public view.[70] Two internet sites supporting classical theism (from the Calvinist perspective) are: "The foreknowledge of God"desiringgod.org. and
"Open theism and divine-foreknowledge"frame-poythress.org.

See also


  1. ^ Retrospective lists of (approximately) open theists:
    Jowers (2005)
    names Audius and Socinus.[37]
    Sanders (2007)
    names the following as “proponents” of “dynamic omniscience”: Edgar S. Brightman, Adam Clarke, Isaak Dorner, Samuel Fancourt, Gustave T. Fechner, Billy Hibbert, William James, Lorenzo D. McCabe, Otto Pfleiderer, and Andrew Ramsay.[38]
    Boyd (2008, 2014)
    names the following as “open theists”: 4th century Calcidius, 18th–19th century T.W. Brents, Adam Clarke, Isaac Dorner, Samuel Fancourt, G.T. Fechner, J. Greenrup, Joel Hayes, Billy Hibbard, J. Jones, Jules Lequier, Lorenzo McCabe, Otto Pfleiderer, D.U. Simon, and W. Taylor.[39]
  2. ^ "For I, the Lord, have not changed": Although I keep back My anger for a long time, My mind has not changed from the way it was originally, to love evil and to hate good. — Rashi[full citation needed]
  3. ^ "God is not a man that He should lie": He has already promised them to bring them to and give them possession of the land of the seven nations, and you expect to kill them in the desert? — Rashi[full citation needed] – [See Mid. Tanchuma Mass'ei 7, Num. Rabbah 23:8] – "Would He say ...": Heb. הַהוּא. This is in the form of a question. And the Targum (Onkelos) renders, "who later relent". They reconsider and change their minds.


  1. ^ "Open Theism"opentheism.info. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  2. ^ Sanders, John (July 30, 2007). "An introduction to open theism"Reformed Review60 (2). Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  3. ^ "A brief outline and defense of the open view"ReKnew.
  4. ^ "Paths to open and relational theologies"thomasjayoord.com. For the Love of Wisdom and the Wisdom of Love. May 13, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  5. ^ Olson, Roger E. (2004). The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 190.
  6. ^ Tuggy, Dale (2007). "Three Roads to Open Theism" (PDF)Faith and Philosophy24 (1): 28–51. doi:10.5840/faithphil200724135ISSN 0739-7046.
  7. ^ Rhoda, Alan R.; Boyd, Gregory A.; Belt, Thomas G. (2006). "Open Theism, Omniscience, and the Nature of the Future" (PDF)Faith and Philosophy23 (4): 432–459. doi:10.5840/faithphil200623436ISSN 0739-7046.
  8. ^ "chapter 1". The Openness of God.[full citation needed]
  9. ^ WRS Journal 12:1 (Feb 2005), 5.
  10. ^ WRS Journal 12:1 (Feb 2005), Editor's notes, inside cover.
  11. ^ Donald K. McKimWestminster Dictionary of Theological Terms (Westminster John Knox, 1996), 251.
  12. ^ Gregory A. BoydGod at War: the Bible and Spiritual Conflict (InterVarsity, 1997) 106.
  13. ^ John Piper, "Why I Trust the Scriptures", http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/ConferenceMessages/ByDate/2008/2629_Why_I_Trust_the_Scriptures/ (accessed October 9, 2009).
  14. Jump up to:a b c Donald K. McKim, Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms (Westminster John Knox, 1996), 117.
  15. ^ Gregory A. Boyd, Is God to Blame? Moving Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Evil. (InterVarsity, 2003) 42.
  16. ^ Carl F. Ellis, Jr., "The Sovereignty of God and Ethnic-Based Suffering" in Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor, 124. (Crossway, 2006).
  17. ^ Greg Boyd, "How do you respond to Isaiah 48:3-5?", http://reknew.org/2008/01/how-do-you-respond-to-isaiah-483-5/
  18. Jump up to:a b Talbot, "All the Good That Is Ours in Christ", in Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor, 43-44 (Crossway, 2006).
  19. ^ Greg Boyd, "A Brief Outline and Defense of the Open View", http://www.gregboyd.org/essays/essays-open-theism/response-to-critics/ (accessed October 11, 2009).
  20. ^ Mark R. Talbot, "All the Good That Is Ours in Christ", in Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor, 41 (Crossway, 2006).
  21. ^ Donald K. McKim, Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms (Westminster John Knox, 1996), 115.
  22. ^ Gregory A. Boyd, "The Open Theism View", in Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views, ed. James K. Beilby, Paul R. Eddy, 14 (InterVarsity, 2001).
  23. ^ James K. Beilby, Paul R. Eddy, eds., Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views, 11 (InterVarsity, 2001).
  24. ^ Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, eds., Nelson's Student Bible Dictionary: A Complete Guide to Understanding the World of the Bible (Thomas Nelson, 2005), s.v. "FALL, THE".
  25. ^ Rice, Richard (1994). "Biblical support for a new perspective". In Pinnock, Clark H.; et al. (eds.). The Openness of God: A biblical challenge to the traditional understanding of God. InterVarsity.
  26. ^ Donald K. McKim, Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms (Westminster John Knox, 1996), 109.
  27. ^ Robert Kane, "The Contours of Contemporary Free Will Debates", in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, ed. Robert Kane, 10-11 (Oxford USA, 2005).
  28. ^ Robert Kane, "The Contours of Contemporary Free Will Debates", in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, ed. Robert Kane, 12, 13 (Oxford USA, 2005).
  29. ^ Roger E. Olson, The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology (Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), 186-187.
  30. ^ Greg Boyd, "How do you respond to Isaiah 48:3-5?", http://reknew.org/2008/01/how-do-you-respond-to-isaiah-483-5/.
  31. ^ Mark R. Talbot, "All the Good That Is Ours in Christ" in Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor, 69 (Crossway, 2006).
  32. ^ Donald K. McKim, Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms (Westminster John Knox, 1996), 279.
  33. ^ John Sanders, The God Who Risks: A Theology of Providence (InterVarsity, 1998), 268.
  34. ^ Gregory A. Boyd, God at War: the Bible and Spiritual Conflict (InterVarsity Press, 1997), 20, 291.
  35. ^ Mark R. Talbot, "All the Good That Is Ours in Christ", Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor, 41 (Crossway Books, 2006).
  36. ^ Gregory A. Boyd, Satan and the Problem of Evil (InterVarsity, 2001), 91, n.11.
  37. ^ Jowers, Dennis W. (February 2005). "Open theism: Its nature, history, and limitations"WRS Journal12 (1): 4. (in print and online)
  38. ^ Sanders, John (2007). The God Who Risks: A theology of providence. InterVarsity. pp. 167, 323 note 135.
  39. ^ Boyd, Gregory A. (August 2008). "Newly discovered open theists in church history"reknew.org. Retrieved August 1, 2014. and Satan and the Problem of Evil. InterVarsity. 2001. page 91, note 11.
  40. ^ Millard J. Erickson, What Does God Know and When Does He Know It?: The Current Controversy over Divine Foreknowledge (Zondervan, 2006), 248.
  41. ^ To see documentation to verify most of the people on this list see John Sanders, The God Who Risks: A Theology of Divine Providence, revised edition (InterVarsity press, 2007) 166-169.
  42. ^ Classical theism
  43. ^ Creel, Richard. Divine Impassibility. p. 11.
  44. ^ St. AugustineConfessions. Church Fathers. Book I – via newadvent.org.
  45. ^ Smith, George H. (1974). Atheism: the case against GodNew York City: Nash. p. 74ISBN 0-8402-1115-5OCLC 991343.
  46. ^ Elseth, Howard R.; Elseth, Elden J. (1977). Did God Know? A Study of the Nature of GodSaint Paul, Minnesota: Calvary United Church. p. 23. OCLC 11208194.
  47. ^ N. T. Wright Evil and the Justice of God
  48. ^ http://andrewmbailey.com/pvi/Omniscient_Being.pdf
  49. ^ Rhoda, Alan (February 21, 2006). "Alanyzer: Four Versions of Open Theism". Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  50. ^ Geisler, Norman L. (1997). Creating God in the Image of ManMinneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House. p. 96. ISBN 1-55661-935-9OCLC 35886058.
  51. ^ Bouma, Jeremy. "Open Theism and 'Most Moved Mover': Changeability".
  52. ^ "The Early Church Fathers on Hellenism and Impassibility"Open Theism.
  53. ^ "God as Most Moved Mover"Open Theism.
  54. Jump up to:a b Rice, Richard (1980). The Openness of God: The relationship of divine foreknowledge and human free will. Nashville, Tennessee: Review and Herald Pub. Association. ISBN 978-0812703030. ISBN 0812703030 – Note that the first part of this book's title was repeated by Pinnock, Rice, & Sanders (1994).
  55. ^ Piper, John (January 1, 1976). "The Sovereignty of God and Prayer". Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  56. ^ Singer, Tovia. "Monotheism". Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  57. ^ Spiro, Ken. "Jewish followers of Jesus"Seeds of Christianity. Simple to Remember. Retrieved August 19, 2013 – via simpletoremember.com.
  58. ^ Boyd, Gregory A. (2000). God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. ISBN 080106290XOCLC 43589372.
  59. ^ Inbody, Tyron (2005). The Faith of the Christian Church: An introduction to theology. Eerdmans. page 98, note 31.
  60. ^ Pinnock, Clark H.; Rice, Richard; Sanders, John (September 22, 1994). The Openness of God: A Biblical challenge to the traditional understanding of God. Inter Varsity Press, Academic. ISBN 978-0830818525. Note that this later book has the same short title as Rice (1980).[54]
  61. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Jowers, Dennis W. "Open Theism: Its nature, history, and limitations"WRS Journal12 (1).
  62. ^ Cited by Jowers:[61]:  5  Risler, James. "Open Theism"The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. University of Tennessee at Martin. ISSN 2161-0002 – via www.iep.utm.edu.
  63. ^ Larsen, Timothy; Treier, Daniel J., eds. (2007). The Cambridge Companion to Evangelical Theology. Cambridge University Press. p. 25.
  64. Jump up to:a b Back cover of cited book.
  65. ^ "Review of The God who Risks". WRS Journal12 (1): 31–33. February 2005.
  66. ^ Stallard, Mike (Fall 2001). "The open view of God: Does he change?". The Journal of Ministry & Theology5 (2): 5–25.
  67. ^ "Publisher's description". Baker Academic. Archived from the original on June 29, 2017.
  68. ^ On back cover of Brueggemann
  69. ^ "Gregory A. Boyd and the problem of evil"dts.edu (review).
  70. Jump up to:a b Coffman, Elesha. "Open debate in the openness debate"Christianity Today.


  • Trinity and Process, G.Boyd, 1992
  • "Satan & the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy", Greg Boyd (2001) ISBN 0-8308-1550-3
  • The Case for Freewill Theism: a Philosophical Assessment, David Basinger, 1996, InterVarsity Press, ISBN 0-8308-1876-6
  • The Openness of God: The Relationship of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Free Will, Richard Rice, 1980, Review and Herald Pub. Association, ISBN 0-8127-0303-0
  • The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understanding of God, Clark Pinnock editor, et al., 1994, InterVarsity Press ISBN 0-8308-1852-9, Paternoster Press (UK), ISBN 0-85364-635-X (followup to Rice book includes contribution from him)
  • The God Who Risks: A Theology of Providence, John Sanders, revised edition, 2007. InterVarsity Press, ISBN 978-0-8308-2837-1
  • The Nature of Love: A Theology, Thomas Jay Oord, 2010. Chalice Press, ISBN 978-0-8272-0828-5
  • God, Time, and Knowledge, William Hasker, 1998, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-8545-2
  • God of the Possible, Gregory A. Boyd, 2000 reprint, Baker Books, ISBN 0-8010-6290-X
  • Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God's Openness (The Didsbury Lectures), Clark Pinnock, 2001, Baker Academic, ISBN 0-8010-2290-8
  • Providence, Evil, and the Openness of God, William Hasker, 2004, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-32949-3
  • Creation Made Free: Open Theology Engaging Science, Thomas Jay Oord ed., 2009, Pickwick, ISBN 978-1-60608-488-5
Multiple views
  • The Sovereignty of God Debate, D. Steven Long and George Kalantizis editors, 2009 Cascade Books, ISBN 978-1-55635-217-1
  • Perspectives on the Doctrine of God: 4 Views, Bruce Ware editor, 2008, Broadman and Holman Academic, ISBN 978-0-8054-3060-8
  • Divine Foreknowledge: 4 Views, James Beilby and Paul Eddy (editors), et al., 2001, InterVarsity Press, ISBN 0-8308-2652-1
  • God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature, Gregory E. Ganssle and David M. Woodruff (editors), 2002, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-512965-2
  • God & Time: Four Views, Gregory E. Ganssle (editor), et al., 2001, InterVarsity Press, ISBN 0-8308-1551-1
  • Predestination & Free Will, David and Randall Basinger (editors), et al., 1985, Intervarsity Press, ISBN 0-87784-567-0
  • Searching for an Adequate God, John Cobb and Clark Pinnock (Editors), et al., 2000, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8028-4739-0

Further reading

External links