Enlistment Journal Prooftext Roundup

Enrichment Journal lists their prooftexts against Open Theism:

A Biblical Perspective Concerning Openness Theology

Having looked at the evangelical theological traditions, it is important to return to the Scriptures where this issue must finally be decided. There is another group of texts that uphold the classic tradition and cast a somewhat different light on the earlier group accentuated by openness theologians. Observe the following:

•Psalm 139:4: “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”

•Psalm 139:15: “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”

•Psalm 147:5: “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”

•Proverbs 15:3: “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”

•Isaiah 41:23: “. . . tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods.” [God’s challenge to pagan gods to do what He can do.]

•Isaiah 46:10: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”

•Ezekiel 11:5: “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and he told me to say: ‘This is what the Lord says: That is what you are saying, O house of Israel, but I know what is going through your mind.’ ”

•Acts 15:18: “that have been known for ages.”

•Romans 8:29: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

•Hebrews 4:13: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

These texts so definitively teach that God knows what free creatures will think and do in the future as to leave little doubt about the full-orbed biblical understanding of divine omniscience. It will not do to sweep away God’s comprehensive foreknowledge with a few hard-to-interpret texts or a fog of objectionable Greek philosophical terms.

The first group of texts cited that seem to show God dumbfounded before His creatures is most easily understood in the sense of God’s accommodating himself to limited human understanding. These texts employ gripping anthropomorphisms in which God is presented as though He was a human person in face-to-face relationships. In so doing, they also dramatically demonstrate that God wonderfully and personally relates to human beings in real time and space. Whatever God’s knowledge of the future may be, and whatever the mysteries of predestination and providence may be, He is always present in loving relationships with His people, answering their prayers and working out His good purposes in their lives.

It is almost as though openness advocates have not noticed that modern evangelical theologians have long since abandoned the more austere language of early orthodoxy and place far more emphasis on the personhood of God and His ways of warmly relating to His people. They rarely employ some of the old Greek philosophical concepts, such as impassibility, that seem to rob God of personality and responsiveness.

2 comments

  1. “It is almost as though openness advocates have not noticed that modern evangelical theologians have long since abandoned the more austere language of early orthodoxy and place far more emphasis on the personhood of God and His ways of warmly relating to His people.” Then it would be good for the classical theist to point his fingers to himself first and ask himself: “Whence cometh this?”

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