Pinnock, Openness Theology, and Amrinianism

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by RandR, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. RandR

    RandR
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0
    Forgive me if this topic has been brought up previously...

    I've been told by some that Pinnock's slide to openness theology stemmed from his movement from 5-point Calivinism in the 60s to an almost unwavering Arminianism in the 70s and 80s. He held (holds) so strongly to human "free will" in salvation, that intellectual honesty finally demanded that he move to the "open" view of God's sovereignty in everything else. (That's the Cliff Notes' version.)

    Today I ran across this interview:
    web page

    In his own words:

    HOMILETICS: So in openness theology the future is an “open” question as far as the knowledge of God is concerned.

    PINNOCK: This is the point that is most controversial. That’s why I speak of it as a variant of Wesleyan-Arminian theism, because it posits a different view of the future. We think it strengthens that way of thinking, but some critics think that it’s too risky, too dangerous.

    So our view is not that God knows everything that can be known and is therefore omniscient without qualification, but that some aspects of the future are settled and other aspects are not settled. The world is such that certain things are still being settled by the agents in the world, by us and by God, so God knows things as possible as well as certain.

    Traditionally, God knows everything that will ever happen certainly, so it must happen exactly that way. Whereas we’re saying that God appears in the Bible to know some things for certain because he planned them or because they’re going to happen definitely, but aspects of the future may surprise him.

    and...

    HOMILETICS: So are you arguing that God can’t know the future in a certain sense because that kind of knowledge contains a self-contradiction, in the same way that the proposition that God can’t create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift contains a self-contradiction?

    PINNOCK: We’re saying that omniscience doesn’t mean that the future is exhaustively foreknown because God’s made a world the future of which would be decided by himself and human agents. So it’s really the reality of the human agents as to whether they make any difference for the future. If they do, then it means that certain things are not yet settled, because they haven’t made their choices, or done their thing.

    and...

    HOMILETICS: Critics would say that the God that you envision is certainly not the God of classical theology and that he is in fact a diminished God. If you have a God who is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and so on — this seems to be less of a God than that traditional view.

    PINNOCK: That depends on your view of God’s perfections. If it is a divine perfection to control everything, then our God is diminished. But we think, “What’s so great about a God who controls everything? Isn’t a God who loves us and enters into relationships with us a wonderful ideal of God?” So it’s partly how you see things. If God’s glory is to determine everything, then we diminish God. But the Bible doesn’t have such a God and we don’t worship such a God.


    While I don't personally agree with many, if any, of his conclusions or perspectives, I find his honesty refreshing. He saw where "free will" theology eventually leads and he went there.
     
  2. whatever

    whatever
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is most sad to me is the acceptance of the idea that God is what one wants Him to be. Truth about God does not depend on how I see things.
     
  3. rc

    rc
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pinnock really didn't "embrace" Calvinism either, that's an opinion. It is a VERY HONEST, Most logical, end to the philosophy of Arminianism. As an Agnostic is an "Atheist" without guts to finish out the logical conclusions of his belief, so an Arminian an Open Theist without guts to finish out the logical conclusions of his belief.
     
  4. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is most sad to me is the acceptance of the idea that God is what one wants Him to be. Truth about God does not depend on how I see things. </font>[/QUOTE]Amen.
     
  5. Pipedude

    Pipedude
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does this claim against the Arminians entail the belief that the Open Theists are the first logical thinkers to arise in the history of Arminianism, or the first brave ones?

    If it does entail such a belief, it is claiming some pretty amazing things. But amazing claims aren't rare around here, are they?
     
  6. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    I have one of Pinnock's early books, The Scripture Principle. His slide into the heresy of open theism is sad.
     
  7. rc

    rc
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    0
    The debates that the intellectuals have been following for over the last 50 years, Calvinists have cornered the Arminians in the field of the "knowledge" of God re: Rom 8.29. The Arminians disregard the Biblical exegesis of this VERB and use it as a "noun". Though the Calvinist are correct on this issue, they have followed the Arminians in the debate on their (Arminians that is, Wes needs help understanding pronouns) rabbit trail and have still cornered them using knowledge as a NOUN. God still "knew" who would choose Him and STILL made the ones He knew would not choose Him. In this dilemma, they over time instead of repenting of this error, found a way to escape. That escape is "Open Theism" allowing God not "knowing" the specifics of the future. ALL of this though is irrelevant because of the improper understanding of the "foreknowledge" is a VERB and not a noun.
     
  8. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of the recurring criticisms of Calvinism is that it makes God the author of sin. Unless one embraces Open Theism, which is heresy, there is no way to escape this false charge. Even the Arminian who holds to specific divine foreknowledge of all future events, has to be able to defend himself against the charge that God is the author of sin. At the point God purposed to create the world, he "pressed the button" so-to-speak that brought sin into the world. So the question to the Arminian is, "How is God not the author of sin, when he knew it would occur at the moment he decided to create the world?"

    Of course, the logical result to escape this charge is Open Theism. And many are moving that way, if they are not there already. However, as one who believes in the sovereignty of God, I know that God will even use the heresy of Open Theism to further His purposes. Who knows - maybe it will "force the hand" of many Arminians to realize the truth of the Doctrines of Grace and God's sovereignty? I certainly hope so.
     
  9. rc

    rc
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amen bro. well said.
     
  10. Pipedude

    Pipedude
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes Received:
    0
    It depends on how you define the term "author of sin." Does Calvinism say that God ordained that man sin?
     
  11. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Both the Calvinist and the non-Open Theist Arminian believe that God ordains all that comes to pass. God knew the destiny of man and his sin when he "pressed the button", so-to-speak. He brought it to pass by creating the world. Neither camp can escape the supposed charge; only the heretical Open Theist can.
     
  12. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    ...then that would make God the author of all sin! THAT is heretical!!
     
  13. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Webdog,

    Are you an Open Theist? Or do you believe that God has perfect knowledge of all things past, present and future?
     
  14. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe God does have perfect KNOWLEDGE of all things, past, present and future. I do not believe God is the author of all sin, and He does NOT predestine every human alive to commit sin, that is heresy!
     
  15. whatever

    whatever
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    0
    The point is that the Calvinist argument that God is not the author of sin is just as strong as the Arminian argument that God is not the author of sin. Openness advocates see this and that is why they deny that God knew all that would come to pass when He "pressed the button" in the beginning.
     
  16. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Webdog,

    I do not believe that God is the author of sin, either, which means He never tempts anyone nor causes them to sin.
     
  17. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    When you peel all of the layers of calvinism off, and dig deep into predestination, according to this theology, every man and every action of every human past, present and future was predestined since the "beginning". Every sin ever committed then has to have been "planned" by God. This is garbage. God FOREKNEW every action of man, past, present and future, and every sin man would commit. This does NOT mean God predestined it! It only means God has perfect knowledge!
     
  18. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Webdog,

    If I were an Open Theist, I would see no difference between what you say and what a Calvinist says. When God created the world, he most certainly ordained all that would come to pass. The fact that he knew man would sin, means that when he created the world, there was no other alternative universe where man could not sin (no forks in the road, so-to-speak).
     
  19. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no real difference on that point... and the point at which the difficulty is shared only requires you to pull one more "layer" off of arminianism to reach the same objection.
     
  20. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Guys, guys, guys.......
    This is going to be endless until you study the simplicity of God, and God's eternality and infiniteness. Study Aquinas, he made it clear.
     

Share This Page

Loading...