Dolezal on Bruce Ware being an Open Theist

Second, when Ware says that God “actually enters into relationship with his people,” he means that God is somehow moving along with them in a correlative sense in which He has voluntarily opened Himself up to being affected (i.e., acted upon) and thus changed by the creature. Even if God happens to be the one willing and controlling all of these relational changes, it is still an ontological openness in God to some further determination of (accidental) being for which Ware is arguing, though he may not be fully self-conscious of having embraced ontological mutability. Insisting that these changes in God do not affect God’s nature seems irrelevant. No change that has ever touched a creature has produced a real change in its nature either—in its matter or in its being as a particular creaturely suppositum, yes; but in its nature as such, no.38 Again, the driving conviction seems to be that anything less than correlative relationality would not count as meaningful interaction between God and His moral creatures. This is the heart of theistic mutualism, and it motivates a key part of Ware’s appeal to his open theist counterparts.

It is crucial to understand that Ware’s dispute here is an in-house disagreement with his fellow theistic mutualists. He shares common ground with process and open theists on the question of being and becoming in God. Like them, he endorses the idea of a God who is subject to alterations of being—thus, for Ware, God is becoming in some respect. But in conceding that God is moved by His creatures, Ware does not accept the open theist claim that intelligent creatures are sometimes the independent, autonomous, and original source of change in God. Freewill theism, which Ware rejects, offers a different explanation regarding the source of ontological change in God. This is where the quarrel lies for Ware. He is concerned with the author ultimately responsible for the changes in God, not whether or not God undergoes change.
Dolezal, James E.. All That Is in God: Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Classical Christian Theism . Reformation Heritage Books. Kindle Edition.

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