I have recently read an article written by a pastor in Texas. He is a Baptist seminary student and Baptist college graduate. I do not normally spend my energy in polemic arguments for I find that they are often pointless and circular, but I read that this pastor was teaching a congregation the concept of Open theism and I felt for the sake of the flock to deal with this issue. Open theism is heresy and any person who espouses this doctrine which belittles God is at simplest a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He begins the discussion in his article belittling Calvinists for their narrow views and then moves his congregation to believe that the only loving God would be one who chose not to know our choice. He uses no scripture to make his point, and relies only on false philosophy to back it up. His final point is that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you preach the gospel. The Gospel leaves no room for this heresy. Let me go over a few presuppositions of my own that guide this argument. First of all “What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?”(Tertullion) I believe that often people will place philosophy over scripture and their philosophy will become their scripture. I have often said “the best interpretation of scripture is often the plainest interpretation.” Scripture speaks by the Spirit for itself; it does not need our help. Secondly I read the scripture with two main goals. I first read the scripture christologically, and I also read it holistically. When one begins to proof text an argument they can wield false doctrine by a misused sword. This said I can move to my argument. The reason that open theism cannot coexist with the gospel is that it is against the gospel. It is a false gospel. To explain this I will summarize a majority of the book of Romans. The book of Romans is the explanation of God’s work in the Salvation of man and Man’s response to the work of God. Romans is an explanation of the Gospel. The thesis of the book is Ch 1vs 16- “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Paul then begins the explanation of the gospel beginning with man. Ch1vs18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” He spends the rest of chapter one discussing how man on his own is worthless, disobedient and an enemy of God. He is totally depraved. It is only in understanding the condition of man that one can understand the greatness of God. I am not saying as Paul would respond to in chapter three that we should continue to sin so that grace may increase, but God’s mercy in understood when we see our depravity. Chapter two then defines that the man under law is no different than the pagan. They are both condemned because God has revealed his law on every man’s heart. Man is completely depraved. Chapter three which is cited in the article read shows the sharp contrast between a fallen man who cannot seek God and a holy God who redeems him by the blood of his Son. It is summed up in verses 10-12 “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” It concludes with the necessity of faith for all men which is illustrated by the example of Abraham. As the previous chapters deal with the depravity of man, chapter five begins the good news of the gospel. The gospel is good news when you can understand that you cannot save yourself. It is not merit of man’s action but of God’s work. It talks about how man is justified by faith in God’s work not his own works. The reformation of the church hung on the idea that it is God’s work that saves not our own. Paul then jumps to explain the human condition based on Old Testament theology. It says that man is fallen because the first man- Adam fell first. Creation is restored to proper order through Christ who is the new Adam. Chapter 6 deals with our depravity again. It says that we are not in sin freely, but instead slaves to it. One cannot free themselves from slavery by their actions but instead they need a justifier. Christ by his death on the cross and resurrection from the grave freed man from the slavery of sin and brought him into the slavery of righteousness. Man has never been free. He is either enslaved to sin, or enslaved to righteousness. Either way he has a master greater than himself. Chapter 7 continues this line of thought in that it says that the law brings death but Christ brings life. An interesting passage in it is where Paul talks about the utter futility of the human condition Ch7vs21-24 “21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Man on his own cannot seek righteousness; he needs the calling of a savior. Chapter 8 explains how the process of the conversion of the soul occurs. This begins the meat of my argument on how Open Theism is in opposition to the gospel. Ch8vs28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Excuse me for citing the clarity of scripture, but can any person argue against God’s hand in calling people to salvation? Man is saved through God’s calling. Some might argue though warped philosophy that God’s predestination of man is unjust and makes him unloving Ch9vs14 “14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part?” But scripture is clear that it is not man’s job to question the rightness of God in his work with man. Ch9vs14 “By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” Or Ch9vs19 “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?” Or what about Job the righteous man when he question the righteousness of God’s actions Job 40:2 “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” Scripture speaks plainly- 1. Man is incapable of choice when it comes to salvation. His heart is depraved and he chooses to serve the creature rather than the creator. 2. God in his perfect love saved those whom he called, foreknew, predestined, justified and glorified. 3. Man does not argue with justice of God’s choice. The question of open theism lies in the very question of who salvation depends on, God’s perfect work or man’s futile choice. When one holds a high view of man, then there is little room for God. He becomes an idolater worshiping himself, his choice, and his freedom. When one holds to a high view of God, he sees himself as he is, insignificant, fallen, and depraved. Salvation truly is a gift of mercy from a God who is knowing and powerful enough to give it.