Apologetics Thursday – michaelbattle on Open Theism

“Michael Battle” writes:

9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure… Isaiah 46:9-10

Open theism is the belief that God does not know the future because he has given man the freedom to choose. One web site gave the following definition: Though omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future.

This is not true, for the Bible is full of references of God declaring future events long before they happened and the outcome of the choices made by individuals long before those individuals were born.

Michael is building a strawman. He paints a picture of Open Theism as if Open Theism believes God has no idea of what the future will bring, even events under God’s complete control. But this is not an accurate representation of what Open Theists believe. Michael would do well to first understand what Classical Theism teaches: God’s cannot receive knowledge. God knows the world in an eternal act that does not cause events, but which the world happens to mirror:

Open Theism rejects this. God knows because God sees. God knows because God can accomplish. God knows because God understands the world. Coincidently, Michael’s prooftext is making the Open Theist point. In Isaiah, God knows because God “will do all [His] pleasure”. God’s knowledge is linked to His capability to accomplish.

Open Theists tend to be the only ones using common definitions of words and common sense:

“Omniscience” is God knowing all things that can be known, as opposed to a simple eternal act in no knowledge can flow to God.

Anyone can have “knowledge of the future” although no one “knows the future”, as opposed to “God does not know the future” meaning “God can’t even talk about the future with any certainty”.

And declaring the future doesn’t mean someone knows the future in entirety. Declaring what one will have for dinner is a fairly typical experience, which has come true for millions of people on a daily basis.

Michael has not done due diligence to understand the position which he attempts to refute.

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