Openness View of Reality

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
  2. Cypress

    Cypress
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have watched it over a year ago so it is not very fresh in my mind. Sometimes things I watched yesterday I dont recall too well either, lol.
    I understand and appreciate the view but to get much discussion you will need to be specific. PM me if you need too.
     
  3. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    I had a class on it years ago in college, it is called Open Theism. After considering several implications of God not knowing the future it creates many many troubling things within some of the essential doctrines in Christianity. If this thread keeps going I will break out my notes on it and make a few posts.
     
  4. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    It seems like a difficulty they have in persuading people has to do with their understanding of the nature of time. I came across this statement on the web,
    "Unfortunately, their understanding of time is limited. A little exposure to the nature of time in our universe would have precluded their foolishness." and I've read some similar comments in other posts here on BB.

    What is necessarily wrong with their understanding of time?
     
  5. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cypress, in your estimation, where did the theory fail?
     
  6. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks solosaint, can you describe one or two of the biggest issues it creates? When you say it creates many troubling things within the essential doctrines, how is it the case that those essentials are disturbed within the construct of Open Theism? I can see how some of the ideas would create problems within a Calvinistic and even Arminian construct but how do their ideas do harm to the 'essentials' from within the OT theory of reality? I would say that those concerned with intellectual integrity are looking for the model of reality that offers the best explanation of reality while still upholding scripture. How does the Openness view of reality necessarily contradict scripture?

    Being a non-calvinist, I do not believe that the theory is the best representation of reality or interpretation of scripture. However, the calvinist view upholds scripture as the final arbiter so that's good enough for me. Arminianism, treats scripture likewise. In what way does OT not uphold scripture as the other two?
     
  7. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,348
    Likes Received:
    14
  8. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,139
    Likes Received:
    320
    If you are talking about the Open Theism Theory then IMO their problem is that they identify eternity from the basis of the time continuum.

    IMO, Its the other way around - time must be considered in the light of eternity.

    Apparently God stepped out of eternity and entered the time stream.

    The end product being that almighty God became a human being.

    "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us".

    There were certain characteristics of deity which had to be modified for this to become a reality which cannot be fully comprehended in our present state.

    "Before Abraham was I AM".

    Here (John 8:58) eternity and time are shown to be connected by the incarnation.

    One "day" it (time) will end and perhaps then we will understand.

    Revelation 10
    5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
    6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:


    NKJV Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.


    Until then I suppose our futile debates trying to reconcile these things will continue (myself included).

    HankD
     
    #8 HankD, Mar 18, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  9. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    HankD, thanks for the input.... I found your quote of Re10:6 interesting regarding this issue but I think tge KJV seems to communicate something it didnt intend to... I dont think it's saying that time will no longer exist but just that there would be no more waiting regarding the subject the verse is addressing. Here's NIV translation "And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay!" (Revelation 10:6 NIV84)
     
  10. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    I wasn't necessarily referring to the OT but essential doctrines. I will break out my textbook and see if I can share a few items of concern a little later.
     
  11. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    Proponents of Open Theism say it is a challenge or even a denial to the sovereignty of God. Clark Pinnock was one of the first if not the first proponent of this teaching and he states that God doesn’t always control all that happens and that He is open to human input before deciding on matters. The proponents of this teaching say God can make mistakes, and is limited in His knowledge.

    Open Theism answers the age old question presented by Calvinists and Arminians of God being sovereign over all. The Arminian believes that God looks down the corridor of time and sees how man will respond to the gospel and therefore chooses or elects man. God’s sovereignty is still held in this view and the Open Theist doesn’t like this. He will say that God must be limited in His foreknowledge to allow for man’s free will. Some Open Theists even go as far as stating God cannot know any future event. Guy’s like Greg Boyd aren’t in that camp but he does hold to God being limited to some future events. He says the future is unknowable and this does damage to God’s Omniscience. Since their God cannot know all then He can make mistakes and therefore changes His mind depending on what He discovers man doing in time and space. This is why it’s called “open”.

    A lot of the difficulty Open Theists have is the concept of time. Time was created by God and therefore it isn’t beyond God or above Him. He controls it. The Open Theist almost makes God subject to time. Another problem Open Theists have is there reading of scripture, they have difficulties in reading passages that state God changed His mind or repented. They read such verses in a wooden literal sense, and this appears to make God unsure or to actually make mistakes.

    Boyd states that God is more loving and kind when He doesn’t know our future and is surprised by what happens to us. He says it’s easier to Sheppard people when God is surprised to our difficulties in life.

    Open Theists have difficulty in the death of Jesus on the cross, they state that God was unsure if Jesus would actually go through with it. This is to deny His divinity. They also state that if it wasn’t for the Jews and Roman soldiers carrying out the crucifixion that Jesus may not have been put to death. They say God wasn’t sure if it would actually happen. This is a possible denial of the atonement. John MacArthur says that Open Theists deny the Biblical doctrine of Atonement in that they make God to be all-loving and not the God of wrath and judgment as found in the bible. They say the crucifixion was just a public display of the awful consequences of sin and not a payment for our sins, this would make God into a monster (sounds like Brian McLaren).Basically the God of Open Theism is one made to be easier to understand and more like us. Open Theism has many dangerous possibilities if thought through fully.
     
  12. Cypress

    Cypress
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is all pretty accurate apart from the last paragraph

    "
    Open Theists have difficulty in the death of Jesus on the cross, they state that God was unsure if Jesus would actually go through with it. This is to deny His divinity. They also state that if it wasn’t for the Jews and Roman soldiers carrying out the crucifixion that Jesus may not have been put to death. They say God wasn’t sure if it would actually happen. This is a possible denial of the atonement. John MacArthur says that Open Theists deny the Biblical doctrine of Atonement in that they make God to be all-loving and not the God of wrath and judgment as found in the bible. They say the crucifixion was just a public display of the awful consequences of sin and not a payment for our sins, this would make God into a monster (sounds like Brian McLaren).Basically the God of Open Theism is one made to be easier to understand and more like us. Open Theism has many dangerous possibilities if thought through fully."
    _
    Some may hold those positions but none that I know of._________________
     
  13. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    Just because you don't know of any Open Theists that hold to that doctrine doesn't make my statement untrue does it? I was just paraphrasing John MacArthur anyway. I agree there are varying types of Open threists.
     
  14. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can you provide a quote? I don't think Greg Boyd has said these words. From what I've heard from Boyd, at least within his understanding of OT, God's soverignty is not violated. He claims that He is still soverign.

    Many Arminians believe that God does not control all that happens... It sounds like you are arguing from the perspective of an exhaustive determinism. Would you mind explaining how an arminian that believes in Libertarian Free Will would differ from an OT supporter regarding how much God 'controls'?

    Can you link to an OT proponent that states that God can make mistakes? (I'm not saying that there's not one, I'm just asking in a genuine manner for my own education.) Regarding God being limited in His knowledge, would you say that exhaustively knowing all that was knowable is limited?

    While there may be a number of Arminians that understand election as you have stated, I think that there are many Arminians that understand election differently and in a way that would be congruent with an OT view. Again, it seems that you are presuming a calvinist viewpoint when addressing this, which is fine if that is the case, I would just like to clarify that.

    I would say that all three veiws answer the age old question of God being sovereign over all. It doesn't seem like God's soverignty is in question but rather to what degree of sovereignty He has employed. That God is sovereign over all doesn't seem to be in question either but rather what God has chosen to be soverign over and when.

    I think he would say that we would not declare God as impotent for not being able to make 'square circles' and in the same way God's omniscience would not be faulted for having an inductive knowledge of some events in the future.

    This seems like you are demonstrating a misunderstanding of the OT view (or at least Boyd's view), and/or, you have a misunderstanding of the view and are voicing a conclusion which you find necessary but to which they would not agree. I don't see why it would necessarily follow that since there are things that God may not know with a deductive certainty, that He must then be able to make a 'mistake'. Boyd states that God knows all of the past, and the present and knows all possibilities of the future. If this is the case, then IMO it necessarily follows that He would not be able to be mistaken about anything.

    There are two ways of knowing something, one is deductively and the other is inductively. Deductive knowledge is scored a '1'. Inductive never reaches a '1' but is never '0'. It seems to me that the OT perspective proposes that there are things known to God where His knowledge is a '1' (this would include things that He has determined). While the OT would say that to allow for man's free will, God has a foreknowledge of some things that may not reach '1' for that specific thing but that we can be assured that there cannot be anything for which God's knowledge would score a '0'. This would mean that it is not the case that there are things that God does not know.

    Can God create a reality in which there are some things that He does not know for a certainty?

    Would you propose that God cannot change his mind, even when the Bible declares such? One might say that He is always speaking anthropomorphically but the OT view seems to do less 'damage' to the text (I was surprised to see how many passages would have to be chalked up to anthropomorphic interpretation when the text could have spoken much more clearly by simply stating what was actually meant.) How does it make sense that God would be sad or sorry, as the text states, when He had previously determined that that very action would occur? If that were the case then why wouldn't the text show the deterministic reality of the matter?

    Can you provide a quote where Boyd states that God is surprised in the sense that He didn't have knowledge of what may happen? I think it is the case that Boyd would say that there is never a time when God would be surprised in this sense but that, actually, God would have anticipated the event (every event for that matter).

    Maybe it does have many dangers... I'm just trying to recognize the paper tigers from the real tigers. Some of the above seems like paper tigers to me. I find myself sometimes creating paper tigers... sometimes it's just easier and quicker to get across the meaning I want to convey by using them... straw-men too ;-)

    Thanks for your response SolaSaint. At this point, and I think at most times, I'm trying to understand an issue more than proving or defending a point.
     
  15. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,139
    Likes Received:
    320
    Yes HT, I am aware of this difference. It is not a matter of interpretation but a difference in the text itself.

    It is interesting because the KJV English for this passage is based upon a TR type Greek text which differs both from the Byzantine Majority and the African based texts (Alexandrinus and Vaticanus).

    The Scrivener 1894 Greek Text (a collation of other texts) retains it in this manner that time itself will cease.

    Scrivener : chronos ouk estai eti
    Byzantine : chronos ouketi estai

    I don't remember where Scrivener got this, I checked the Stephanus and it's not his.

    Perhaps someone can check this out with a Critical Apparatus?

    Thanks
    HankD
     
  16. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ha! More than what I knew! Thanks for the info!
     
  17. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,139
    Likes Received:
    320
    Sure, the Book of Revelation has a lot of mysterious oddities like this.

    HankD
     
  18. Cypress

    Cypress
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the future, would you like me to consider all your statements as absolutely true? I certainly qualified my reservations by stating that I did not know of any that had those issues. I was in no way implying that you were deliberately making false statements.
     
  19. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    It was just that you stated that my statement was not accurate, that sounded to me like you were saying I was being false. If that wasn't your intention then I apologize.
     
  20. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    humblethinker,

    My post was from my textbook on the subject of Open Theism and not my thoughts. I told you in a earlier post that I was going to post this. Although I do agree with the majority of what I posted.

    The textbook used quotes from Pinnocks book, The Openess of God, and Boyd's book, God of the possible.

    I was not posting this in a rebutal to any of your posts, but just for yours and others benefit to see what this textbook had to say.
     
    #20 SolaSaint, Mar 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2012

Share This Page

Loading...