Answered Questions – Open Theism Nearing Process Thought

From a Reddit Question and Answer with Greg Boyd:

Hey Greg! As a theology student, I’ve been very influenced by you in my own journey, and you helped me deal with many important theological issues during formative and important times of my life. So thanks! :)
So, here’s my question (which I hope will be answered tomorrow): You’ve written widely about the Warfare Worldview, and about the problems with the classical theological tradition and its “Blueprint worldview”, with its various explanations of evil and the sovereignty and omniscience of God. In books like “God of the Possible”, “God at War” and “Is God to Blame?”, you’ve pointed out the vulnerability and pitfalls of these theological traditions, in which we seem to have to justify even the worst cruelties in the world as “simply a part of God’s plan”.
With all that in mind, however, I’m wondering if you’ve anything to say about the problems and vulnerabilities of the theologies that elevates free will, spiritual warfare and human agency too much? Is there not a very real risk that people who are not as theologically nuanced as you will feel a kind of constant stress that prayer, spiritual warfare and “just a little bit more church work” could solve all the problems around them?
PS. And as a related question – despite your criticism, can you still see merit in the many, many spiritual giants who have simply assumed that God is guiding everything that happens to them?

Greg responds:

Thanks for sharing the kind words about my works. You raise a great point. People tend to ride the pendulum, reacting to one position by going to the opposite extreme. So yes, people can absolutely put too much stress on human free will that they minimize God’s providential rule. And this results in them thinking everything is up to THEM. And the direction some Open Theists are moving today, being overly influence by Process thought, is beginning to almost border on deism. This concerns me a lot.
As for your PS, I absolutely find merit in many spiritual giants who espoused the blueprint worldview. I have found great insights in Origen, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Barth (ESPECIALLY) Barth and many many others. Bro Lawrence is one of my all time favs (“Practicing the Presence”), yet his thought is as thoroughly blueprint as it gets!

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