You can read this short apologetical article first.
1. INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS OPEN THEISM?
“Those [pagans] who decide that man does not have free will, but say that he is governed by the UNAVOIDABLE NECESSITIES OF FATE, are guilty of impiety toward God Himself, making Him out to be the cause and author of human evils.”
– Methodius, The Banquet of The Ten Virgins, discourse 8, chapter 16 (emphasis mine)
“It is this “everything is the will of God” presupposition
that “open theists” cannot find in their study of the Scriptures.”
– Michael Saia, Does God Know The Future?, p 308 (emphasis mine)
“To say that the smallest details of Divine action down through the countless ages of eternity have always been in the Divine mind, is to say that God never experiences climaxes of decisions as a result of contemplation, or that God never originates anything new. This is fate applied to the Infinite.”
– Gordon Olson, The Truth Shall Make You Free, The Truth About The Nature and Character of God, p 24 (Illinois, Bible Research Fellowship Inc., 1980)
If God was absolutely sovereign, in the Calvinist re-definition of the word, then there was no sin because sin is rebellion against the law of God (1 John 3:4 and Joshua 1:18) and therefore against God Himself. The word “rebellion” (and the word “justice”) would lose its meaning since there would be no real rebellion, as all rebellion would be just as it pleased God. As Clark H. Pinnock said:
“It is surely not possible to believe that God secretly planned our rebelling against him. Certainly our rebellion is proof that our actions are not determined but significantly free.”
– Clark H. Pinnock, God Limits His Knowledge, p 149 (emphasis mine)
“Does God say that everything God wanted to happen has happened in the history of mankind? Obviously, it has not. Has anything happened that God explicitly declared should not happen? Obviously, it has. Any sin is a direct denial of the clearly stated purposes of God for man. And any arguments that evil is somehow part of the plan of God for us will have to be supported from the Scriptures, and not from some presupposed, extra-biblical idea about a “secret will of God.”
– Michael Saia, Does God Know The Future?, p 308 (emphasis mine)
“The idea that God makes all events happen, or that he has all events in his control, is clearly unbiblical. When people sin, they are creating events God never willed or desired. God will judge every event, and as the Governor of the universe, he will punish and reward those events according to his justice. But to define “sovereignty” such that it includes the idea that no event happens which God did not intend, is to ignore the plain teaching of the Scriptures that sin is never a part of the will of God.“
– Michael Saia, Does God Know The Future?, p 124 (emphasis mine)
“There can be no doubt that every individual, in the exercise of his own proper power of will, may shape his course in whatever direction he pleases.”
– The judges agreeing with Archelaeus, The Acts of the Disputation With Manes, 33 (emphasis mine)
Below is a video in which Jesse Morrell introduces Open Theism in a clear and thorough way. [I do not agree with him on soteriological views (views on salvation)]
Source: Jesse Morrell, bibletheology (youtube)
Open Theism can be best explained with the sublime R.O.S.E. acronym (by T. C. Moore). I totally support his acronym. Although I believe in God temporarly (and later on permanently) hardening hearts after initial free will. (Read my upcoming book on hardening for more information)
The ROSE Acronym (© 2007 T. C. Moore):
“R – Responsibility (Libertarian Freewill)
God has granted free agents significant freedom and responsibility to make moral choices for which they are culpable and upon which at least part of the future hangs. The choices of free agents effect others, the future, and God.
O – Openness
God knows all of reality as it is. In the scriptural ‘Motif of Future Openness,’ God speaks of and knows the possible, future choices of free agents as possibilities. God allows the future to remain open to the extent God chooses. Therefore, the future is partly open.
S – Sovereignty
God knows all of reality as it is. In the scriptural ‘Motif of Future Determinism,’ God speaks of and knows the certainties that God will carry out in God’s own power as certainties. God determines the future to the extent God chooses. Therefore, the future is partly composed of certainties.
E – Emotion
God is Love. God is affected by the choices of free agents. God responds to free agents. God changes God’s mind and plans in response to free agents. God is the most moved mover. It is God’s desire to extend the intense love that God has always shared in the Trinity to the creatures God created forever. Christ is the perfect revelation of who God is, even in his emotions.”
To those who love God’s sovereignty I would like to stress that, as mentioned before, Open Theism does not deny it. It claims that God, in His sovereignty, decided to leave the future open to free moral agents, to the extent He choses.
In the Open Theist view, God is sovereign in being less of a control freak than for example Calvinism claims Him to be.
In the words of Adam Clarke:
“(…) God has ordained some things as absolutely certain; these he knows as absolutely certain. He has ordained other things as contingent; these he knows as contingent. It would be absurd to say that he foreknows a thing as only contingent which he has made absolutely certain. And it would be as absurd to say that he foreknows a thing to be absolutely certain which in his own eternal counsel he has made contingent. By absolutely certain, I mean a thing which must be, in that order, time, place, and form in which Divine wisdom has ordained it to be; and that it can be no otherwise than this infinite counsel has ordained. By contingent, I mean such things as the infinite wisdom of God has thought proper to poise on the possibility of being or not being, leaving it to the will of intelligent beings to turn the scale. Or, contingencies are such possibilities, amid the succession of events, as the infinite wisdom of God has left to the will of intelligent beings to determine whether any such event shall take place or not. To deny this would involve the most palpable contradictions, and the most monstrous absurdities. If there be no such things as contingencies in the world, then every thing is fixed and determined by an unalterable decree and purpose of God; and not only all free agency is destroyed, but all agency of every kind, except that of the Creator himself; for on this ground God is the only operator, either in time or eternity: all created beings are only instruments, and do nothing but as impelled and acted upon by this almighty and sole Agent. Consequently, every act is his own; for if he have purposed them all as absolutely certain, having nothing contingent in them, then he has ordained them to be so; and if no contingency, then no free agency, and God alone is the sole actor. Hence the blasphemous, though, from the premises, fair conclusion, that God is the author of all the evil and sin that are in the world; and hence follows that absurdity, that, as God can do nothing that is wrong, Whatever Is, is Right. Sin is no more sin; a vicious human action is no crime, if God have decreed it, and by his foreknowledge and will impelled the creature to act it. On this ground there can be no punishment for delinquencies; for if every thing be done as God has predetermined, and his determinations must necessarily be all right, then neither the instrument nor the agent has done wrong. Thus all vice and virtue, praise and blame, merit and demerit, guilt and innocence, are at once confounded, and all distinctions of this kind confounded with them. Now, allowing the doctrine of the contingency of human actions, (and it must be allowed in order to shun the above absurdities and blasphemies), then we see every intelligent creature accountable for its own works, and for the use it makes of the power with which God has endued it; and, to grant all this consistently, we must also grant that God foresees nothing as absolutely and inevitably certain which he has made contingent; and, because he has designed it to be contingent, therefore he cannot know it as absolutely and inevitably certain. (…)”
– Adam Clarke, Commentary on The Bible, Commentary on Acts 2:47.
Or in the plainer words of Clark H. Pinnock:
“We believe that the Bible presents an open view of God as living and active, involved in history, relating to us and changing in relation to us. We see the universe as a context in which there are real choices, alternatives and surprises. God’s openness means that God is open to the changing realities of history, that God cares about us and lets what we do impact him. Our lives make a difference to God—they are truly significant. God is delighted when we trust him and saddened when we rebel against him.”
– Clark H. Pinnock, The Openness of God, p. 104.
2. ON FREE WILL AND GOD FOREKNOWING THE FUTURE
The reason why I personally became an Open Theist was:
Imagine that God created you as the soul that would eventually become Judas Iskariot, the betrayer. And suppose He created me as the apostle Thomas, who would eventually be a great evangelist in the Far-East.
And imagine that He was completely sure that those events were going to happen. And that you would burn in Hell and I would live in Heaven.
In the words of Lorenzo Dow McCabe (which I found later on):
‘The Holy Ghost sees now that I am certainly to be lost, if that fate awaits me and prescience be true. From all eternity he has distinctly seen my awful doom. He not only saw me entering the arena of life, but he saw himself entering it with me. He saw himself breathing holy influences upon me when the atmosphere first bathed me, when the light first saluted me, and when my mother pressed me for the first time to her throbbing breast, he saw himself watching tenderly my orphan footsteps, and then with enhanced interest and solicitude as I crossed the line of accountability, and encountered the fearful hazards of a homeless youth.
From all eternity he has seen himself laboring with me, illuminating me, wooing me, beseeching me not to grieve him, not to wrong my own soul, but to be holy and obedient. He has seen himself making these persistent efforts, to describe which even angelic eloquence would be incompetent, and yet from all eternity he has foreknown that he would in the end signally fail in all his endeavors to snatch my soul from endless perdition. He has always known that I would be finally an incorrigible outcast; and yet he has been laboring for my redemption with all the vehemence of infinite love. But what sensible man would remain at tile foot of Mont Blanc for half a century, making unceasing efforts to remove it from its base by the breath of his mouth? Equally unreasonable and indefensible is it for tile Holy Ghost to make incessant efforts, through decades of years, to rescue from eternal ruin one whose name has ever been enrolled on the immutable records of absolute prescience on the dark scroll of fate, and spoken of and calculated upon in all the counsels of eternity, as a vessel of wrath and an heir of death. All the awakenings, illuminatings, renewings, strivings and inspirings which the Holy Ghost has wrought in my sinful soul were wrought there on the clearly assumed fact of my actual avoidability of moral evil. He has made the think and feel that he himself really thinks and feels, that there is for me now an unquestioned avoidability of eternal death. What he has done for me he has done for all men, for “He is the light that enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world.” But is it possible that the Holy Ghost should come to me as though he came in good faith, dealing with me in all candor, entreating me not to quench his light, not to sin, but to embrace his offer of salvation, when at that very moment lie knows that he has already predicated ten thousand specific results and enterprises upon my foreknown choice of resisting him, unto eternal death, and when, too, he knows my choice of death is indispensable to safeguard his own infallible foreknowledge?’
– Lorenzo Dow McCabe, Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies a Necessity.
Not to play on the emotions but it would be as if I would see my child running on the street while a truck is coming towards him/her and I know he/she is going to die if he/she stays there… What would I do if I am a good parent? I would do all that is in my might to get there as quickly as possible and I would even sacrifice my life, if it is necessary to save him/her (think about what Jesus has done for us).
Again, in the words of Lorenzo Dow McCabe:
‘IF a benevolent Creator could foresee that certain beings would choose the right and preserve their integrity, he would be inclined to create them in order to exercise his benevolence, and to give such beings the opportunity of expanding, rising, and rejoicing, to all eternity. But that same feeling of innate benevolence would restrain his hand from creating those beings who he foresaw would disobey, fall, and be forever miserable. The attribute of infinite goodness would insist, indeed it could not but insist, that a being who the Creator foreknew would be disobedient should not be created. No consideration whatever could justify infinite goodness in creating a soul that God foreknew would be wretched and suffer forever. How easy for omnipotence to prevent the existence of those who, as his omniscience foresaw, would choose to be disobedient, and consequently would be miserable forever!
If any benevolent person knew that a certain being would be eternally unhappy, nay, wretched even for a thousand years, and had it within his power to prevent his existence, he would rush with fleetest foot to prevent his entrance into life. And would not our Creator be equally benevolent? If God’s benevolence would incline him to create the beings who he foresaw would be obedient and happy, that same disposition would morally compel him to prevent the existence of those who he foresaw would be disobedient and miserable. This is axiomatic, if the benevolence of his nature is infinite, as we conceive or apprehend it to be.
If God foresaw that any individual human being is to be eternally lost and unhappy, why did he persist in creating him? Why did he not in his infinite pity and mercy prevent his existence?’
– Lorenzo Dow McCabe, The Foreknowledge of God, and Cognate Themes in Theology and Philosophy, p. 430-431.
Philosophical problems with Calvinism: Future is settled, human beings have a “free will” to choose to do only evil (= Total Depravity). Leaving one in his sins and the other not, just out of God’s supposed arbitrary choice would make Him a “respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). God wanting that a big group should perish (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4-7).
Philosophical problems with Arminianism-like future view*: God bringing those souls into exsistence of whom He knew, they would not turn from their wicked ways. If God truly does not want anyone to be lost, then why does he create those of whom He knew they would be lost forever? As in the above example: (the souls of) Judas and Thomas would not have been really free to choose between good and evil. They would not have received an equal chance. Calvinism would have made most sense then.
* View in which God foresaw who would eventually repent and endure and who would not. (I held to that part of the view) And that He only gave the chance to repent to those who would believe.
I did not hold to that part of the view, since, I believe, philosophically, that God needs to have given everyone an equal chance to be able to be righteous (Romans 9:14). For isn’t that required to make a righteous judgment at judgment seat and have the people honestly say: “true and righteous are His judgments” (See Revelation 19:1-2)?
(Picture credits: Joseph Matthew)
I’ve come to the personal conclusion that if the future is fixed, Calvinism is most logic, since there would be really one group of people of whom God knows they will live forever in Heaven with Him (the elect) and another group that will burn in the lake of fire (the damned).
The following question has been mentioned before… but it is worth mentioning again: “If God truly does not want anyone to be lost, then why does he create those of whom He knew they would be lost forever?” As John Calvin wrote:
“With Augustine I say: the Lord has created those whom he unquestionably foreknew would go to destruction. This has happened because he has willed.”
– John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 5
He furthermore wrote:
“The decree is dreadful indeed, I confess. Yet no one can deny that God foreknew what end man was to have before he created him, and consequently foreknew because he so ordained by his decree.”
– John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 7
Also new-school Presbyterian Albert Barnes wrote, in a milder way than John Calvin:
“That many will be lost is believed. That God created them with an understanding of that fact; and understanding it, and knowing it, chose to create them rather than not to create them, cannot be denied, unless the foreknowledge of GOD be called in question.”
-Albert Barnes, A Defense of New England Theology [formerly entitled: The Way of Salvation], p. 22.
Another philosophical question is: “If God foreknows who would fall away, why would He let His Holy Spirit indwell them and then later leave? What’s the use of that?”
My purpose is to give solid reasoning as to why I believe Open Theism is preferred by a non-biased reading of the Bible, over Arminianism and Calvinism. You don’t need extraordinary exegetical skills to follow these logical thoughts. I prefer to use the Expanded Bible, since it gives many translation options… But I will also use other translations, such as the Easy To Read Version or the King James Version to make the text appear more clearly. Those people who are King James Version only can follow along with their Bible. I try to keep it as plain as possible, so that the most unlearned person can grasp this. This will create a lot of repetitions but I believe it’s well worth it. Let’s head over to the next section divided in acts (chapters).
Act #1: Adam & Eve and The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
‘The Lord God [L took and] put ·the man [or Adam] in the garden of Eden to ·care for [or till] it and ·work [take care of; look after] it. The Lord God commanded him, “You may eat the fruit from ·any tree [or all the trees] in the garden, but you must not eat the fruit from the tree ·which gives the [T of the] knowledge of good and evil [C eating from this tree would make Adam, not God, the determiner of right and wrong]. If you ever eat fruit from that tree, you will [L certainly] die!”
– Genesis 2:15-17 (EXB, removed references to other Scripture passages, emphasis added)
We can see them disobeying the command in Genesis 3:6 and subsequently from verse 8 to 19 we can read about God being truly disappointed (proof: God cursing the snake, the ground,…)
Conclusion: The Bible does NOT teach Adam and Eve were destined to eat from the tree of life! On the contrary! God COMMANDED him NOT TO EAT from that tree! The text seems to clearly indicate that there was another option! The future seemed to have been open at that moment!
Act #2: Cain and Abel
(Context: in the previous part, the offer of Abel was accepted but Cain’s was not. That is why Cain is furious. He is jealous and wants to kill his brother.)
‘The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why ·do you look so unhappy [L has your face/countenance fallen]? If you do things ·well [correctly; appropriately], ·I will [L will I not…?] accept you, but if you do not do them ·well [correctly; appropriately], sin is ·ready to attack you [L crouching at the door]. Sin ·wants [desires to control] you, but you must rule over it.”
Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out into the field.” While they were out in the field, Cain ·attacked [L rose up against] his brother Abel and killed him.
Later, the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
Cain answered, “I don’t know. ·Is it my job to take care of my brother [T Am I my brother’s keeper]?”
Then the Lord said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground’
– Genesis 4:6-10 (EXB, removed references to other Scripture passages, emphasis added)
Conclusion: The Bible does NOT teach Cain was destined to kill his brother! God WARNED him! The text seems to clearly indicate that there was another option! The future seemed to have been open at that moment!
Act #3: Parable of the Vinedresser by Isaiah
watch video by Jesse Morrell posted above.
Act #4: A prophecy of Jeremiah
“They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind”
– Jeremiah 19:5 (KJV, emphasis added)
Conclusion: The Bible teaches that the cruel act of people burning their children for the Moloch (idol god), did not come from a psycho-god who predestined people to sacrifice to another god (Calvinism). That would not make Him receive all the glory. And it seems that this verse indicates that God did not foreknew that they would do so (Arminianism/Calvinism). [See also “PHILOSOPHICAL” section for another objection against Arminianism, applicable here.] It did not enter into His mind! So He would surely not have put it into the minds of human beings! (Calvinism, read also my post “God Hardening Hearts (Calvinist Position)”)
Act #5: Another prophecy of Jeremiah
“The Lord spoke to me during the time King Josiah was ruling the nation of Judah. He said, “Jeremiah, you saw the bad things Israel did! You saw how she was unfaithful to me. She was unfaithful to me with every idol on every hill and under every green tree. I said to myself, ‘Israel will come back to me after she has finished doing these evil things.’ But she did not come back to me.”
– Jeremiah 3:6-7a (ERV, emphasis added)
Conclusion: It seems like these verses indicate that God did not foreknew that they would not return to Him (Arminianism/Calvinism). [See also “PHILOSOPHICAL” section for another objection against Arminianism, applicable here.]
Act #6: Warned Nineveh repented and God did not destroy the inhabitants
watch video by Jesse Morrell posted above.
GOSPEL OF MATTHEW:
Act #7: Jesus heals ten lepers whereof only one is truly healed, spiritually speaking (saved)
‘On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers,[f] who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well*.”‘
* Or has saved you
– Luke 17:11-19 (ESV annotation included)
GOSPEL OF MARK:
Act #8: Jesus heals a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years
‘For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”‘
– Mark 5:28 (ESV)
‘And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”‘
– Mark 5:34 (ESV)
Conclusion: It was the faith of the woman and the grace of God, that made her well.** God did not and will never reject anyone who comes to Him in the Open future.
(Act#9: Paul’s theology in Ephesians 2:8-10)
** Read also Ephesians 2:8-10: some claim that only the grace is a gift of God and not the faith. I do not know Greek so I cannot confirm this. But because the grace and the choice to believe (thanks to initial free will) are a gift of God, the faith is also indirectly a gift of God.
That we chose for this, with our initial – God given – free will, does not reduce this gift in any way. (See also the parable of Erasmus, under the topic Soli Deo Gloria)
THEREFORE: “Faith is opening the door, so grace can flow to us.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 shows us that we are saved BY grace THROUGH faith. It is the same with the filoloque question… The Holy Spirit is send BY the Father, as is written in John 15:26: “When the Helper comes Whom I will send to you from the Father— the Spirit of truth, Who proceeds from the Father— that One will testify about Me.” (DLNT)
It is like Nicholas Myrna replied to one of my posts in a forum of Orthodox Christians (I am undenominal): “for the obligatory abusive nature disanalogy: Father = Spring, Son = Riverbed, Spirit = Water.”
I apply this amazing idea on the Ephesians verse.
Grace = Spring, [our] Faith = Riverbed, Salvation = Water
So “BY grace THROUGH [our] faith we are saved. “Faith is opening the door, so grace can flow to us.” (although this is just my idea, as I don’t know Greek yet, I cannot affirm any of this, but however the case, this can not have a negative weight on my argument. This section might be used and explained in a more thorough way in my upcoming book)
GOSPEL OF LUKE:
Act#10: Jesus laments over the stubborn inhabitants of Jerusalem
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and [=but] you were not willing!”
– Luke 13:34 (ESV, “” mine)
Conclusion: This verse indicates that the will to save them was clearly and surely present in the Person of Jesus. Jesus was truly lamenting over the inhabitants of Jerusalem (something that works better with Open Theism, than with Classical Theism, were such a tought is seen as heretical, although it is biblical. Besides, this verse is also a problem for the doctrine of irresistable grace and the so-called Hidden Wil of the Father when it comes to Double Predestination.
CONCLUSION TO THIS POST: I hope this post made you stop following the old reformed school of thought (I believe they built their theology on shaky Bible passages and traditions of men) and made you think on being open for accepting Open Theism one day. 🙂
‘The primary reason Open Theists believe what they do is because they find that Scripture presents the future as partly open. While there are certainly passages that depict God predetermining and foreknowing some aspects of the future, there are at least as many passages depicting God as facing a future partly comprised of possibilities. A small sampling of these sorts of passages are the following:
- The Lord frequently changes his mind in the light of changing circumstances, or as a result of prayer (Exod. 32:14; Num. 14:12–20; Deut. 9:13–14, 18–20, 25; 1 Sam. 2:27–36; 2 Kings 20:1–7; 1 Chron. 21:15; Jer. 26:19; Ezek. 20:5–22; Amos 7:1–6; Jonah 1:2; 3:2, 4–10). At other times he explicitly states that he will change his mind if circumstances change (Jer. 18:7–11; 26:2–3; Ezek. 33:13–15). This willingness to change is portrayed as one of God’s attributes of greatness (Joel 2:13–14; Jonah 4:2). If the future were exhaustively and eternally settled, as classical theism teaches, it would be impossible for God to genuinely change his mind about matters.
- God sometimes expresses regret and disappointment over how things turned out—even occasionally over things that resulted from his own will. (Gen. 6:5–6; 1 Sam. 15:10, 35; Ezek. 22:29–31). If the future was exhaustively and eternally settled, it would be impossible for God to genuinely regret how some of his own decisions turned out.
- At other times God tells us that he is surprised at how things turned out because he expected a different outcome (Isa. 5:3–7; Jer. 3:67; 19–20). If the future were eternally and exhaustively settled, everything would come to pass exactly as God eternally knew or determined it to be.
- The Lord frequently tests his people to find out whether they’ll remain faithful to him (Gen. 22:12; Exod. 16:4; Deut. 8:2; 13:1–3; Judges 2:20–3:5; 2 Chron. 32:31). If the future were eternally and exhaustively settled, God could not genuinely say he tests people “to know” whether they’ll be faithful or not.
- The Lord sometimes asks non-rhetorical questions about the future (Num. 14:11; Hos. 8:5) and speaks to people in terms of what may or may not happen (Exod. 3:18–4:9; 13:17; Jer. 38:17–18, 20–21, 23; Ezek. 12:1–3). If the future were exhaustively and eternally settled, God could never genuinely speak about the future in terms of what “may” or “may not” happen.’
Source: Gregory Boyd, “5 Ways The Bible Supports Open Theism” (reknew).
Jesse Morrell wrote:
‘1. Jesus rebuked his disciples for evidently not believing that the future was flexible and not fixed, or that it could be altered. “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” Matt. 26:53. Here we see Jesus teaching open theism and essentially rebuking his disciples for not believing in open theism. Jesus was saying that he had a free will choice between alternative possibilities.
2. “And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.” Mark 13:18. Here Jesus taught the open theists view of prayer, that prayer can literally affect, determine, and change the future. If there were no alternative future possibilities that were as of yet undecided, prayer for the future would be useless and vain. If all future events were already an eternal fixity, praying for certain events in the future to happen or not happen or to happen a certain way would not matter one iota.
3. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matt. 24:22. Here Jesus taught not only that God has the sovereign ability to change the future (aka open theism) but that God has in fact, in this particular, changed the future. The Bible, in both Testaments, teaches God’s ability to lengthen or shorten a man’s days. Thus, the future is flexible and changeable, not eternally fixed and concrete.’
Source: Christopher Fisher, “Morrell on Jesus The Open Theist” (godisopen), taken from Jesse Morrell, “Was Jesus Christ An Open Theist?” (biblicaltruthresources).
PS You might wonder how God is able to predict things that will happen in the future, from an Open Theist perspective… The answer is…
“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.”
Source: Clark H. Pinnock, “Does Prayer Change Things? Yes, If You Are An Open Theist”, homileticsonline
“If the future does not yet exist as an object to beknown by God, then God tells the prophet what he (God) plans to do and then, when the proper time comes, God acts to bring about the events he planned in the past.”
– Michael Saia, Does God Know The Future?, p133
READ HIS BOOK FROM PAGE 133- FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OPEN THEISM AND PROPHESY!
I obtained permission from the author (Michael Saia) to release this book at no charge! Please check the store to download it for free!
John Sanders remarked:
Source: “Debate: Does God Know the Future? (White vs Sanders)” by Alpha & Omega Ministries (youtube).
(Read also ‘The “Hidden WIll” of The Father Concerning Predestination‘ for more information on this topic debated by John Sanders.)
PS 2 Some of these acts, written in the second part of this article, will be worked out deeply in my upcoming book.
This book will also explain why I do believe that God sometimes hardens the hearts of people, as a righteous judgment on the initial choice of the free will, and was sometimes pleased to fulfill certain prophecies by overriding the free will of those people, temporally, in righteous judgment.
Picture Archelaeus taken from Early Church Fathers (youtube)
Picture T.C. Moore taken from tcmoore.net
PS 3 You might wonder: “Then what does “chosen before the foundation of the world” mean? Doesn’t this deny Open Theism?
Check out “Before The Foundation of The World” for more information.
In case you have missed it, you can still read this short apologetical article.