Open Theism Highlighted as an Exciting and Controversial Theology

Open Theism is features on a list of 4 New Theological Ideas You Need To Know About. From the article:


Open Theism is a new contender in the long-running theological question of how human free will and God’s foreknowledge work together. Traditionally there have been two camps:

Calvinist theology says that God ordains all things according to his will, including those who will be saved. This view ultimately limits the scope of human free will, as God’s sovereign will has already determined every event and decision.

Arminian theology, on the other hand, holds that God desires for everyone to be saved, but that humans may freely resist his call to repentance. Humans have free will, but God still has divine foreknowledge of what will happen in the future.

Open Theism goes a significant step beyond Arminianism. It submits that human free will cannot be truly free if God always knows what the future holds. In love, God has bestowed free will on his creation. But in order to allow us true freedom to choose, God has purposely limited himself to not knowing everything about the future.

In most versions of Open Theism, natural causes will inevitably dictate much of the way the future plays out and God may supernaturally know some aspects of the future (which allows for prophecy in scripture). But the way humans exercise their free will could lead to different possible futures, and therefore the future is open, not closed.

The view feeds into a wider theology that creation is subject to a cosmic spiritual battle between Satan and his angels who rebelled against God, and those who are joined with Jesus in bringing God’s kingdom on earth. Although God will eventually win the war and the new creation will one day be established, the outcome of our daily ‘spiritual battles’ are not a foregone conclusion and depend on our part in the process.

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