NT Wright Avoids a Question on Open Theism

From Rachel Held Evens:

From Kurt: Hi Dr. Wright, First, allow me to admit that your writing and speaking has been the most influential thing in my theological, missional, and spiritual journey in the last 10 years. Before I was introduced to your work, I was convinced that Christianity was all about pie in the sky and leaving this world – not redeeming it. Discovering Romans 8 and a God who groans with creation for its ultimate redemption – [re]new[ed] creation – changes everything! For showing me this – along with various other things about the historical Jesus, the apostle Paul, and theology in general – I am truly grateful.

I do have a question for you: I am wondering if you would be willing to “show your cards” when it comes to open theism? Most of my friends who are open theists, Greg Boyd and others, are very influenced by your work. Certainly, nothing you have said seems to contradict such a God of possibilities. In fact, your reading of Abraham and Israel as God’s “plan B” actually helps give us a framework for thinking about such things. Even so, what would your thoughts be on open theism? I realize that you may not agree with this position of mine, but I would be intrigued to hear some your observations. Thanks for your continued ministry to the church!

Open theism is not something I have done a lot with and to be honest (and it’s late at night and I’m busy). I strongly suspect this is one of those classic American either/or questions that is forcing theology into a box. I never use the language of ‘Plan B’, certainly not about Abraham and Israel; in fact I often quote the Rabbi who envisaged God having Abraham in mind from the start. I don’t want to sign a blank check (or cheque as we spell it), especially when it’s written in dollars not pounds. Go figure!

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