open Theism

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by freeatlast, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    In another thread a topic came up about open theism. One person felt it to be a cult and those who hold the belief are all lost. Another seemed not to agree. What is your understanding about this? Are those who hold this view lost or does it not have anything to do with the eternal state of someone?
     
  2. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    It has everything to do with salvation. If God's very nature is altered, one will worship an idol.

    Open Theism smacks God's absolute knowledge of all things.

    That is idolatry. No idolatrous person will inherit eternal life.
     
  3. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    Daniel
    I understand your zeal here so I am just asking some questions. Does this mean that if a person who is lost lived in a culture where their god does not know everything through all history then it is not enough to explain that this person is lost in sin and needs a savior and if he calls on Jesus for salvation he will be saved, but one would first have to convince the person that the God of the bible knows every event in all history before he could get saved? Is that what you are saying?
     
  4. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    What I am saying is that a person must believe in the biblical view of God. That is crucial to be saved. Now, said person might not be presented with everything. In such a case, I would say that a person's response to the truth he is delivered would be telling as to whether or not he is worshipping an idol. I hope that makes sense.

    Here is an example:

    Someone says they believe in Christ alone for salvation.

    I say that is wonderful. Tell me about him.

    He says that Christ was born in America in 1874. He lived a very good life. He took up for the rights of the poor and fell off his horse and was killed. However he never sinned. Therefore, he alone is worthy of being the savior.

    Would you say that person is lost or saved?
     
  5. freeatlast

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    I would say that the person is lost, but the example you gave changes the total person of Jesus and rejects the actual person. In the case of not believing that God knows everything through out all time does not do that. It is not rejecting His ability, but rather saying that He may limit Himself in time which is one part of open theism. If we have to totally understand or believe every characteristic about God then no one can get saved by calling on the Lord fro simple faith until they have some sort of theological understanding of things that are not understandable.

    I know of people who claim that they believe in the trinity. I certainly do. However one may believe that the trinity is three distinct literal persons and another believe that the trinity is God seen in three persons. Let's say one is correct and the other not correct. That means the one that is incorrect makes is lost since they do not hold to the correct understanding of the make up of God and who He is so they worship an idol using your belief.

    They pray to Jesus, they accept Him to be God, they just hold a different understanding about how the trinity works. The same is with open theism. They pray to God the Father, they accept the trinity, they believe that Jesus came and paid for sin and that we are saved by faith through grace when we come to repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They have life changing experiences when coming to God and live like they have been bore again.claiming Jesus to be Lord. Yet you are saying that none of this is enough or proof of conversion if they do not believe that God knows all eternity so then they are worshipping an idol. Frankly I don't think so.
    That makes salvation based on a theological understanding of the total ability and character of God and I am not so sure the disciples had that. So unless we can come up with some clear scripture on this I say that they can be saved.
     
  6. Daniel David

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    freeatlast, I know what O.T. does. However, how many texts would it take to convince them (and you?) that God knows everything with certainty. It is those last two words that they refuse to accept.

    It is like their own little golden calf.
     
  7. freeatlast

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    I can not tell you about what it takes for another. For me it takes the clear revelation of God's word. But what is clear to one may not be clear to another. That does not mean necessarily that the person is rejecting revelation. It may mean that they are not yet able to receive it or that it has not yet been revealed to them. The Lord told the disciples at one point that they were not able to receive certain things. That does not mean that they were lost. He made it clear at the Passover/Lord's table that all were washed/saved, but one. Yet not all understood. Thomas did not know Him as God or believe He would rise, yet he was one that was washed/saved. So like I said unless we can come up with some scripture that shows a person has to believe or understand all that God can do I hold that an open theist can be saved just like anyone else, by grace through faith
     
  8. Charles Meadows

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    It might be good to mention what open theism is again! This is the notion that God does not necessarily know everything before it happens. Particularly that He does not know what decision a person will make before they make it. It's definitely bogus I think but I don't think I'd go as far as to say that anyone who believes it is lost. Remember that we don't need to be theologians to be saved - if we did then there would be an amazing number of people going to Hell.

    Let me tell you, human beings as a whole are not an impressive lot!! ;)
     
  9. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    .Charles,
    that is good to point out what this is. I will say that I had never heard of the term until within the last year and have debated the issue with several.
    Also let me say that your description is true as far as it goes, but there is more to it then what you mentioned. Also there is no real set in stone standard for this belief system. Some go further then others. You basically stated what they believe, but they do not believe that way to limit God. They accept that He does know certain things at certain times even in the future. The bible does show us that He does. Yet because it seems like he does not always know all things then He most likely limits His foreknowledge. One example that is given is when God says It repenteth Him that He ever created men. The idea is that if He absolutely knew how far men would go ahead of time and then created them any way and then says that He regretted creating them it makes no sense.
    So they hold that yes He knew that men would fall, and needed a Savior, and He knew how far men could go, but did not know they would go as far as they have since He limited his knowledge to keep thigs as pure as possible..
    An earthly example is that when we have children we all know that they will sin against us. And we all know how far that sin can go, but we do not know how far each one will take it. One might just not carry out our wishes like we would like. Another might talk back and swear at us while another might beat us and murder us. We know it could happen, we just do not know it will. In the case if God some times He may be able to know all, but limits Himself to certain things. Thus coming up with what is termed open theism.

    They can have some difficult arguments. They also point out that if God knows every event in all history and history cannot be changed outside what is set since He already knows what will happen then who set history in stone. Does God look down through History and see what would happen. If so then that means there was a time when He did not and that history is an entity in itself. Or did God decide what history would be like controlling it all Himself? I think we all can see the problem there. So some of what they believe is difficult to answer, but like you I do not believe that we can even hint that they are lost because of this belief.
     
  10. ScottEmerson

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    Go to www.gregboyd.org for more information about open theism. It is not as far out there as many people believe. Do I agree with it? No. But I at least have read the primary sources. So many people who are against it only know what they read through critiques of open theism. Read it for yourself, and decide.

    SEC
     
  11. ScottEmerson

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    Here is what open theists actually belive:

    "Open view theists believe that the future exists partly as actualities (future events which God sovereignly determines to bring about) and partly as possibilities (aspects of the future which God sovereignly allows his creatures to bring about)."

    from the aforementioned site
     
  12. LarryN

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    I've met Greg Boyd at a conference awhile back- he pastors this church in the Twin Cities area:

    http://www.whchurch.org

    It's a big church- Weekend (They have a Sat. evening service in addition to Sundays) attendance can hit 5,000. Predominately younger parents/families, but all ages from what I understand.

    In speaking to him, I didn't find him to be the wild-eyed radical some will portray him as.

    And no, I'm not an Open Theist.
     
  13. superdave

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    Kind of the Ebenezer Scrooge version of the Gospel

    Repent, or this is what Might happen to you?
    I am afraid that the sovereignty of God is a non-negotiable for myself.

    Not that this is all that far out there. I mean, I actually believe that God may take some Armenians to heaven, whether they like it or not! :D
     
  14. Scott J

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    I hope you meant arminians superdave?
     
  15. superdave

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    Yep, I have never been accused of being an accurate typist
     

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