MacInnis on Bias Against Open Theism

Arminian Amanda MacInnis of Cheese Wearing Theology writes about her disillusionment with professors:

As I watched and listened and read, I learned a valuable lesson: Just because the person is an academic, with a PhD and has written a book, does not mean that they are objective, nor are they always fair to their opponent’s argument or even Scripture. I learned very quickly that presuppositions and “I must be right” are very often at the heart of theological arguments…

Take, for example, the following scenario I observed at conference:

One scholar stood up and presented an argument that I have since heard time and time again. God does not repent/relent/regret/change his mind. Scripture says so. See, “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.” (1 Sam 15:29). There, you have it. Proof.

A well-respected OT scholar stood up in response and called the presenter out on his “proof.”

In 1 Sam 15 there are three statements:
God says, “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (1 Sam 15:11)
Samuel the prophet says, “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.” (1 Sam 15:29)
The narrator says, “And the LORD was grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel.” (1 Sam 15:35).

The OT scholar then called the presenter out on Hermeneutics 101: Who is to be trusted most, God? The narrator? A character in the narrative? (Answer: God and the narrator are always right. Characters can and do lie).

And then he pointed out, that Samuel’s “God does not change his mind/lie” is in reference to Saul’s pleading. God has changed his mind about Saul being king, but he won’t change it back.

The presenter hemmed and hawed and blustered. The entire room knew that the OT scholar was right. In a later context the presenter would accuse the OT scholar of being an Open Theist sympathizer! (Gasp! The Horror!)

And there I sat, an innocent theology student, shocked and stunned. How could the presenter not know this? How could the presenter talk about the integrity of Scripture and yet blatantly proof-text? This is a person with a Ph.D.! This is a professor!

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