Do Open theists see God As Eternal?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Yeshua1, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    would God be eternal to them?

    An dwould they see the future as being unknown to even God?

    if so, how do we know the end will be as we think it will be, per the bible?

    How can we be sure that God "wins out in the end" if Open theist?
     
  2. AresMan

    AresMan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,636
    Likes Received:
    0
    They would say "Yes," but they would have difficulty explaining how God can be both eternal and subject to the time He created (in His core being) given the physical ramifications of relativity physics and the relationship of space and time (spacetime). If God is subject to time, then God would also have to be subject to space. He would have to have physical boundaries like He would have temporal boundaries.

    They would say that God knows all things that are "knowable," and that the future contingent choices of free creatures are, by definition, not knowable until they happen. Therefore, they say that God knows all future things that pertain to what He specifically predetermined to happen, but He has not predetermined all things (of which include the choices of free creatures). He can make really good educated guesses at what they would do given His exhaustive knowledge of all things past and present, but He cannot, by definition, have 100% certainty about what any free choice would be; otherwise, the choice would not be free.

    They would say that God, in His sovereignty will bring about the end that He desires, but He has not predetermined or foreknown all contingent events between the beginning and end. For instance, He does not know with 100% certainty how a free creature will act during an earthquake, but He has the power to decree and cause an earthquake.

    They would say that God can be sure to "win out in the end" because the nature of the end is according to God's decree that is independent of the choices of free creatures. For example, God does not depend on man's choices to blow up the world.
     
  3. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1
    Actually, This may be the most concise, accurate and well articulated explanation of the OT view I have seen on this board.....YUP, ARES pretty well explained their position......To an OT.....

    Asking God to know this with 100% certainty.....having chosen to give his creatures free will, is akin to asking him to create square circles or married bachelors.

    Also, and OT will explain that..

    He DOES reserve the right, and does use it.....to simply CAUSE (by decree) the ultimate end he chooses....and the contingent events leading up to the end he desires...are only those contingent events he has permitted/allowed which will not frustrate his ultimate purpose....Unless I am mistaken....an OT will tell you that God decrees/interferes (so to speak) if and when he so chooses so as not to allow any free creatures to frustrate the eternal purpose he has......I agree with them on this.

    Excellent post ARESMAN!!!:thumbsup::thumbs::applause:
     
  4. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Yes, but He cannot guarantee His future.
     
  5. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1
    According to OT...he Can and he does no???
     
  6. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Not according to Open Theism. In their theology God has no ability to do so and is, ultimately contigent upon the actions of His creation to justify His existence and validate His plan.

    Open Theism is not a biblically complete understanding of theology proper (the theology of God.) It denies essential components of a proper understanding and conception of God and, in the end, leaves God's existence in flux along with His sovereignty. The Open Theist can suggest that God is still sovereign in their system, but that is false lip service. In the Open Theist ontology of God He cannot (or supposedly self-limits Himself) guarantee His plan or His character.

    The OT, and NT for that matter, does not teach nor does it eventuate an Open Theist theology proper.
     
  7. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hmmm....It sounds to me as though you are not differentiating between what you believe to be the logical consequences of their point of view and what their professed beliefs are...however they explain them.... I am merely responding to their professed beliefs, I think you are suggesting something about the logical consequences of what they believe.
     
  8. AresMan

    AresMan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,636
    Likes Received:
    0
    The logical consequences of open theism is the Process Theology from which it ultimately came.

    Mathmetician Alfred North Whitehead developed his view of physics and metaphysics called Process Philosophy. He argued that reality is not "static" substances, but rather eternally dynamic "processes" that quickly come into existence and go out of existence to construct what we seem to believe is static, material substance. According to his philosophy, "matter" would have to be eternal, as there would be no genuine "first cause" according to the Creation model. The only "constant" is ever progressing change and development.

    Charles Hartshorne took the metaphysical ideas of Process Philosophy and developed Process Theology. He denied miracles, the virgin birth of Christ, and much of what would be considered Christian orthodoxy. He argued that God is the "most moved mover" and really has no ultimate creative power. The only power that exists is ineffectual "persuasion" of one process toward another. God and the universe are essentially co-eternal and interdependent. God cannot know what free creatures will do; otherwise, they would not be free. In fact, "free will" is the essence of everything, even "atoms" (in so far as a "process" describes them).

    Whereas Open Theism accepts elements of Christian orthodoxy such as the Creation, the deity of Christ, the Virigin Birth, the Resurrection, and others, they have borrowed the ideas about God's knowledge of contingent actions from Process Theology. In fact, Charles Hartshorne was Greg Boyd's philosophy mentor. Boyd's doctoral thesis adopted the "positive" elements of process thought while rejecting its unorthodox requirements.

    Open Theism, then, is between a rock and a hard place in trying to explain how God can be eternal, yet subject to spacetime, how He can be the ultimate Creator, yet "change" in the sense of growing His knowledge (increasing perfection).
     
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    How is this view of God different then from pantheism, that God as Creator is also part of His own creation?
    That there NEVER was a point where God was totally seperate and distinct from his creation, so wouldn't the Open theist God and His creation be actually be one and same?

    And if God did NOT creat space/time etc, but that those force co exist with him...

    How can he be viewed as really God, as somehow interdependent upon them?
     
  10. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1
    I am actually dissapointed.....truly disappointed by this blatant genetic fallacy...OT's despise process theology and seek to distance themselves from it....I am not an OT......but here is what you did..... you took a....
    and a....Charles Hartshorne (June 5, 1897 – October 9, 2000) was a prominent American philosopher

    And copied/pasted the theology of OT's much like I did my response to this....that is genetic fallacy at its most pathetic....you are better than this.
    That is something that should be admired...not disparraged
     
  11. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    even IF it creates a God that is NOT the One describe in the revelation from himself contained in the Bible?
     
  12. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1
    Allow me to put it this way.....the differences you have with them are not strictly Theological.... but largely Philosophical....and no amount of hurling Scriptures at them will make a difference to them, because they will affirm the truth of every Scripture you pose to them. And you will simply talk in circles around them until you actually listen to what they have to say, instead of merely disparraging them and writing them off into the heretic column.

    I disagree with them myself.....but it is upon largely Philosophical grounds. Strangely, it is because I think they make the same modal mistake that Calvinists do about the nature of foreknowledge. They simply react to it differently....The only signifigant directly "Theological" difference I have with them, is that I believe there is an individual predestination or election to Salvation. Which your Arms do not believe. That difference is Theological. Philosophically, a Calvinist is closer in some ways to an OT than an Arminian is.

    The problem with living in the 21st Century Western World is this.....we walk around and philosophize all day long.....but none of us know how to do it. (myself included).
     
  13. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Well if one's belief is weighed, tried, and divided and found that it contains (reductio absurdum) a lackluster end product the belief itself should be reconsidered.

    The Openness professed beliefs often are shaded towards their sentimentalities and, when thoroughly considered, have a lack of foundation and reasonable answers.

    They say the God of the Old Testament appears to be contigent, but they forget too much OT theology contained in the rich passages they overlook.

    If your logical consequence leaves God utterly devoid of character and confidence then your belief, the root of it, is simply wrong. :)
     
    #13 preachinjesus, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2012
  14. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    :thumbsup:
    The bias in 'reporting' about Open Theism in this thread is like that of the mainstream media's reporting on politics and culture. So predictable.
    HoS, nice job... I'd disagree or rephrase a few of your statements about the Openness view, but on the whole A balanced and objective description. :thumbsup: (except that I don't share your opinion of Aresman's explanations)
     
  15. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1
    Certainly...fair enough.

    How is it that Calvinists, for instance automatically escape this accusation?....Arminians deal with this as a bald assertion.....apparently OT's do too.....this is merely asserted....what belief system is there that escapes this accusation??...How would an Open Theist defend themselves against an assertion like this? Should they just say nuh..uh...no fair? This is how Calvinists claim the high ground prior to even beginning debate. While we're at it...since they apparently own the "doctrines of grace" I think Arminians should start insisting everyone else call their Theology the "Doctrine of Mono-Theism" and Open Theists should start calling their point of view the "Doctrine of Sovereignty".

    Sure, again, fair enough. It's the "IF" that detractors will have to demonstrate though.
     
  16. AresMan

    AresMan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,636
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am in no way saying that Open Theism is Process Theology, but demonstrating where the philosophical ideas of it came from: namely, that
    (1) libertarian free will is essential to any being that can be considered "personal"
    (2) libertarian free will cannot be true if any person (e.g. God) knows with 100% certainty what any other being (e.g. man) would do
    (3) God's "highest attribute" is "love" (not an effectual love, but an ineffectual love that tries to persuade)
    (4) God's eternal essence changes (i.e. evolving perfection) as He legitimately takes in new information from His creation, and He and His creatures participate in a "genuine give-and-take" relationship.

    The truth is that today's prominent teachers of Open Theism were influenced by the philosophy of process thought. The fact that they reject the unorthodox elements of process teaching is good, but that was not the point I was trying to get across.

    Open Theists hammer hard that the "open view" is founded solely on Scripture, whereas the so-called "closed view" or "settled view" is based on Greek philosophy. The truth is that Greek philosophy was by no means monolithic. This is why the stoics, Epicureans, gnostics, and others debated daily in the streets. Just because there is similarity between "Augustinianism" and Platonic arguments about the nature of deity does not mean that it must be wrong and "pagan." Correlation does not prove causation; otherwise, we would have to reject the laws of logic and mathematics.
    In fact, open theists make the same arguments that Aristotle (a Greek philosopher) did concerning his Sea Battle scenario. Aristotle asked if a sea battle will happen tomorrow. He argued that we cannot know if a sea battle would happen tomorrow, then statements about the future cannot have "truth values" until the events actually happen. He argued that "the gods" cannot know the future with 100% certainty no matter how powerful they are. Open theists make the same arguments that Greek philosopher Aristotle did about the "truth values" of statements about the future and about the nature about the knowledge of "god." Should we conclude that open theism is paganism? I will not make the same claims of "pagan philosophy" to open theism as open theists make against "closed theism" because I realize that "Greek philosophy" essentially covered all known views about the nature of God's knowledge and of the future.

    Greg Boyd entrenched himself in Open Theism by trying to argue a philosophy of God to his agnostic father. It was philosophy that motivated Boyd, and he tried to evangelize his father through a philosophy that would seem to be acceptable or appealing to an agnostic.

    John Sanders embraced Open Theism because of his philosophical attempts to understand the nature and purpose of prayer and how it can "affect" God if God knows what we will pray. He also embraced it emotionally because his older brother died in a motorcycle accident and he questioned why God would "kill" his brother. His bachelor's degree is in philosophy and was a professor of philosophy.

    I would not "admire" open theists for trying to hold to philosophical elements of something with which I disagree. I respect them for holding on to orthodox elements of Christianity. That doesn't have to mean that I have to like their "open view" ideas or accept that process thought is correct in this area. Nevertheless, my point with the post above was to trace the influence of process thought on Open Theism and demonstrate that Open Theism is highly motivated by philosophy, not just Scripture.

    Everyone has a philosophical reasoning for their hermeneutic of Scripture. I would appreciate it if open theists would tone down their charges of "paganism" on most of Christianity up until their recent rise and realize that there is correlation from Greek philosophy to both views.
     
  17. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    1
    True dat :wavey::applause::thumbs:.....great post overall, great post. You have decidedly done your homework on this one.
     
  18. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aresman, not being a philosopher, I would be interested in understanding your point #2. Why is libertarian free will "cancelled out" if "someone" (God) knows what choices would be made?
     
  19. Cypress

    Cypress
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quantum, Ares is quite capable of answering this for himself but for now here is my take.
    God's knowledge is perfect. Whatever God knows is true. If God knows our future actions before we do them, they can be no other way than that. They are fixed before we do them. The only way around this is some view that has God being omni-temporal or atemporal.............or something else perhaps.
     
  20. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0

    Thank you, will think some more on this. :)
     

Share This Page

Loading...