Open Theism - Books and Authors

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Apr 4, 2012.

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Have you read a book specifically about Open Theism?

  1. I've read at least one BOOK specifically on Open Theism, but it was not authored by an Open Theist.

    41.7%
  2. I've not read a BOOK specifically on Open Theism by an Open Theist author.

    41.7%
  3. I've read at least one BOOK specifically on Open Theism, authored by an Open Theist.

    41.7%
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  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    Monday evening I started reading "The Openness of God" and finished reading it today. I am interested in how many of us have actually read a book on the subject of Open Theism by an Open Theist author.
    I recognize that there is only so much time in the day and we all have to be selective in prioritizing what we avail our attention to so there's no shame in not having done so.

    If you reply to the poll, I would appreciate your input as to what you read and your thoughts on how it treated the subject matter. I would recommend this book to those who want to understand what Open Theists believe from their own perspective.
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    I've read a lot of Open Thiest authors when the view was still being considered as a viable option for orthodox evangelicalism. One of the reasons was I was working on some research papers and needed background so I could better understand their point. Some of the texts I read included:

    The God Who Risks by Sanders
    God of the Possible by Boyd
    God at War by Boyd
    The Grace of God and the Will of Man by Pinnock
    The Openness of God by Pinnock
    The Openness of God by Rice

    As well I read the entire ETS conversation from the various articles in several journals, including the special journal where they sepcifically covered the topic, along with other articles from an assortment of peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.
     
  3. Jon-Marc

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    I have no idea what open theism means.
     
  4. humblethinker

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    Why do you say, as though it were obvious general knowledge, that it is no longer being considered a viable option for orthodox evangelicalism? Maybe I should first ask what exactly it is you intend to mean...
     
  5. InTheLight

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    I've read "God of the Possible" by Greg Boyd. He's got a mega-church up here in the Twins Cities and gets a lot of positive press.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    Dr Boyd is an interesting fella...a compelling thinker. I've always enjoyed interacting with him.

    If you want a great book that provokes your thoughts, read his Myth of a Christian Nation. It'll blow you away. It'll make you think too. I disagree with a lot of his points but do agree with a lot of them too. :)
     
  7. preachinjesus

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    Open Theism is dead as a door nail theologically in evangelicalism. It just got shredded theologically during the responses at ETS and other venues. Generally, nobody in evangelical theology (who is considered orthodox in evangelical theology) buys Open Theism. The only people who hold to with any amount of credibility are the original theologians who are, imho, just being obstinate or contrarian young believers who just want something to stand on.

    Open Theism is theological vaccuous and provides no coherent theology proper for reconciling biblical testimony and systemtic theological reflection. It does offer a mediating vision of God as opposed to, say, process theology but it isn't awfully helpful outside of that. I would be happy to go toe-to-toe with Openness proponents because their arguments are empty once you get beyond the sugar that coats them.

    As a result the view doesn't have much traction in serious evangelical theological circles. You'll actually probably get laughed out of town if you try to posit it with folks who know what they're talking about.
     
  8. humblethinker

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    ...said the Calvinist... (I withdraw my comment, sorry preachinjesus)
     
    #8 humblethinker, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
  9. preachinjesus

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    What? I'm actually not reformed at all good sir...

    wow, I'm really offended you would result to a "gotcha" statement rather than engage with my post.
     
  10. humblethinker

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    Your treatment of OT seemed rather "gotcha" rather than engaging the OT and so I responded as I did.

    I'm sorry for accusing you of something you are not. Please accept my apology. Actually, I came back to my post in an attempt to edit it and edit or remove the comment since I could not determin if my claim was correct (I was mistakenly thinking that you had identified yourself as a calvinist on the 'Calvinist, Non-Calvinist' poll.

    I have not been able, thus far, to find support to think that it is as dead as you claim it to be. Can you provide documentation indicating that such a consensus is the prevalent thought?
     
    #10 humblethinker, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
  11. preachinjesus

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    Well thanks for the apologies...now onto engaging our point...:)

    Well I'm not going to spend time digging up sources for our discussions at a deeply academic level. This is an informal forum not an academic discussion.

    I will say this: name for me any major publications and systematic theologies that have, since 2004, put forward the Open Theist position.

    As someone that has been involved in numerous seminars, conferences, and annual meetings of theological groups which have dealt with this issue it is pretty well defeated. Especially since Dr Pinnock went on to glory. Boyd and Sanders probably still hold to it but their positions have been completely dismissed by the larger evangelical theological community.

    In general I'd say the whole position is pretty done. It fails at a basic level to be able to adequately answer the significant questions set to it.

    We can talk about it all we want, and I enjoy the conversation, but the whole issue is dead. God has exhaustive knowledge of all events and given His atemporal relationship to world this explains how He can and does know, accomplishes His plan, and interacts consistently with His creation. (Foreknowledge does not mean determination.)

    Nobody is buying Open Theism at a credible academic perspective. It occupies the borders of orthodox theology and is hyper-Armianianism. It has no significant lasting impact and will be remembered in footnotes of dissertations in 100 years.

    That is my honest, and complete, assessment of Open Theism. If you want more info on it read some of Bruce Ware's stuff. I guess I can look up some other stuff but have a few other things on my plate before doing that.

    Again thanks, and let's keep it going...are you a fan of Open Theism? are you interested in it? Where are you on God's foreknowledge?
     
  12. humblethinker

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    I cannot find hardly any material that substantiate the broad sweeping claims that you seem to be making. I should be able to find much press about the demise and death of Open Theism but I'm just not finding it.

    From Wikipedia:
    Theologians of note currently espousing this view include: Clark Pinnock, John E. Sanders, Jürgen Moltmann, Richard Rice, Gregory Boyd, Thomas Jay Oord, C. Peter Wagner, Roger T. Forster, John Polkinghorne, Hendrikus Berkhof, Adrio Konig, Harry Boer, 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 number of philosophers of religion affirm it: William Hasker, David Basinger, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Dean Zimmerman, Richard Swinburne, Peter Van Inwagen, J. R. Lucas, Vincent Brümmer, Peter Geach, Richard Purtill, A. N. Prior, Dale Tuggy, and Keith Ward. Biblical scholars Terence E. Fretheim and John Goldingay (Fuller) affirm it. Others include writers Madelline L’Engle and Paul Borgman, mathematician D. J. Barholomew and biochemist Arthur Peacocke.[4]

    I have voiced my understanding of OT in this and other threads and would welcome your input, especially in my conversations with HeirOfSalvation. Though I will look into your claims that it is a has-been theology and is now dead and completely unsupported by any respected academic, I am not convinced that that is the case. It just seems to me that there should be evidence of your claims and so far I haven't located such.
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    Well its pretty dead in theological circles. I understand not everyone goes to the annual meeting of ETS or subscribes to Novum Testamentum but the discussion is long over. Openness proponents do not hold the field.

    My point of critique is that there hasn't been a serious openness theology developed by anyone and that of the recent significant systematic theologies, openness is not the position anyone takes with a sense of credulity.

    Well that's problem right there...Wikipedia isn't a really good source of info...

    Okay, well let's go over the list. I don't think Dr. Pinnock is advocating anything these days...since his passing. All the rest probably are...but what have they done? What have they published? What have the had peer reviewed? What contributions have they made?

    Openness isn't a big deal theologically, it was very well responded to and hasn't come back with better answers.

    Oh, I challenge a couple of these right here. For instance Nic Wolterstorff, Richard Swinburne, and Peter van Inwagen. I would caution such a label on any of them. I've been reading some Wolterstorff lately, getting some stuff together for a debate, and I'm not seeing him as Openness.

    For both lists I'l add this: there are a ton of people in both that you don't want to be associating with theologically.

    There aren't very many evangelicals either. Notice how I've parsed my argument here...Open Theism is on the boarders of evangelical theology and is, generally, not accepted as very evangelical orthodox theology. I have said anything about mainline theology. I don't think mainline theology has much to contribute to theology proper anyways, and especially on this issue.

    When it comes down to it essentially you've provided a list, a few minor exceptions, of a bunch of people that deny inspiration and a robust, evangelical view of bibliology. I really don't think (for all the respect I have for him) guys like Moltmann have much to add to the evangelical conversation given their theological predispositions.

    What major evangelical theologians are embracing Open Theism? That's a very good question and one that should shed light on why, and how, it has been dealt with from an evangelical point of view.

    Great, let's have a really good conversation about it. I don't think Open Theism is an accurate representation of God as presented in both the OT and NT. It fails to properly account for issues related to omniscience and the nature of divine knowledge. It fails to recognize and accentuate anthropomorphic language while also attempting to engage in a conversation about the nature and actions of God without fully admitting that language is difficult, at best, to describe such a being.

    I've got a ton of questions for anyone espousing Open Theism. So let's talk them over. Let's get them out on the table and present what is an orthodox conception of God.

    My initial points are (in summary):

    1. Open Theism is a "been there, done that" field of theology proper that has had no real development in evangelical theology and is not a good option theologically in that community.
    2. The list of openness proponents you mentioned (several of whom I challenge) has few, if truly any, evangelical theologians (I'll grant Dr Pinnock...but well, his contribution is limited) which, imho, shows the reality of its limited contributions.
    3. There has been no significant systematic theology, or recent theology proper text, that has come out espousing Open Theism as the best option for evangelical theology.
    4. Then I've asked some questions. (see above)

    So what do you think?

    I think the whole Openness thing is dead and gone and has no lasting bearing on evangelical theology. I've got good reasons for this will be happy to talk about why I believe this. :)
     
  14. humblethinker

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    We both know what wikipedia is, and it is adequate for posting in this board. I have found wikipedia to be reliable. Can you provide examples of your own experience where it has not been?

    Feel free to answer your questions. I would like to know. If the answer is 'nothing' then at least say that.

    I look forward to hearing the arguements that convinced you.

    Wolterstorff has co-authored the book, God & Time (Four Views) with Paul Helm, Alan Padgett, and William Lane Craig. I have not read the book yet but it sounds as though Wolterstorff was the wrong person to offer the Open Theist view... so, should I believe them or you?

    ok, I accept that you say this and accept that it very well may be accurate. I am coming late to this subject, but really, I don't think your approach is very convincing. What I'm mainly hearing is, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!". I look forward to hearing your arguements, truth claims and how you have come to such a settled opinion on the matter. Can you source all of this? If you are a scholarly source yourself, which you may be - how would I know?- then please PM me so I can know better how to weight your previous comments.

    This is a serious claim. Please list the majority that deny inspiration. You made the claim, you must know the facts, please source support for your claim.

    You tell me. You are the one who made the claim.

    Conversations are being had about it, I would welcome your participation.

    Ok, see the other threads and start participating! :)

    I am wondering why you would have any questions for an Open Theist. It seems they at best would be rhetorical in nature. You've made it clear that you feel that there is nothing new for you to learn from the Open Theists.
     
  15. humblethinker

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  16. Yeshua1

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    I have interacted with Open theists on a web sire of their own!

    Seems that their biggest problems with traditional views on God is that having Him sovereign would not ballowing free will for man, and that all history has been already fixed by God, so no real choices are allowed to be made by us!
     
  17. humblethinker

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    What website? I think i understand what you are saying but i doubt it's accuracy. Are you sure you're not projecting? Open theists believe that God is sovereign, so, maybe you could reword your comment so as not to create a paper tiger. Oh, and please don't post the same comment in two different threads, it's annoying.
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    the bible Forums, there is a group that holds to Open theism and has some interesting discussions!

    Those holding to it do see the tradition view of god fixing history, everything already set to happen, and man no longer having real free will as real stumbling points!
     
  19. humblethinker

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    Um... Yes, i think most people on this board, save calvinists, would agree with those thing being a 'stumbling point'... That is not at all unique to Open Theism. I'm not sure I'm following you here...
     
  20. humblethinker

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    In doing continued study on the subject since we last discussed it, I must disagree with your sentiment here. Evidence that I've seen is that it is on the rise.

    William Lane Craig agrees:

    "I was wrong in my anticipation that this would fade away... but I have to say quite honestly that the number of Christian philosophers who have endorsed Open Theism is soberingly large, quite a significant number of Christian philosophers for whom I have the most respect have endorsed Open Theism."
    -William Lane Craig, from his podcast entitled Postmodernism, Open Theism and Philosophy, 9/9/2012
     
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