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Open Theism

What is Open Theism? It is the most beautiful, consistent, and logical view of God in regards to his knowledge, his freedom, and how he interacts within his creation. 
OT upholds the free will of man and the freewill of God. God is free to override the freewill of man, although this is not how God typically operates. 

Open Theism solves the problem of God being the author of evil without resorting to the issues associated with foreknowledge and fate. It is a framework for which we can deal with human suffering. OT solves many of the deeper more thought provoking questions about who God is and his character.

Predestination - Open Theism is the enemy of Calvinist predestination because it affirms the free will of man. Predestination holds that the future is closed and already determined. This undermines the freedom of God, as God is not free to do anything different than what is already determined. It is imperative that God be free in order for him to truly be all powerful and sovereign. With predestination, evil and sin was determined and authored by God. This is an unacceptable position to hold for an all loving God. 

The true concept of biblical predestination is simply that God has a plan and because of the power God has to execute that plan, it will surely come to pass. It doesn’t mean fate or that it has already happened in time. It simply means God has a predetermined, or predestined plan for the world that he will execute and bring to pass. God does this dynamically in real time. God does not pick and choose beforehand some for eternal salvation and others for eternal suffering in a fiery hell.

Foreknowledge - Arminians however resort to a concept called foreknowledge that says that God knows the future. This avoids the fact that God is the author of evil, but it is not without issue. If God knew before his creation that many would suffer for eternity in hell, and he created the world anyways, then that doesn’t make for an all loving God. And God is not all powerful and sovereign if he is not able to change it. And if God knows something will happen and he is powerless to change it, then that is just another form of determinism. Arminian foreknowledge holds to a closed future just as Calvinist predestination does, only in a different way. 

So in predestination, God is not all loving because he is the author of evil. With foreknowledge, God is not all powerful or sovereign because he is not free or able to change that which is already determined outside of his control. The true concept of biblical foreknowledge is simply that God has a plan for the world, and he foreknew this plan before its execution took plan. He did not foreknow the plan itself. We as humans do the same thing. We make plans, and then we execute those plans. Before its execution, we foreknow what we will execute in the future. The only difference is the power of God to execute his plans to perfection is much greater than our power to execute our plans. A lot of times our execution falls apart, but this is not the case with God.

Is God Outside Of Time? - Both Arminian foreknowledge and Calvinist predestination both hold the theory that God is outside of time. The Bible never says this, but their position requires this to be true. They say that God is in eternal past and in the eternal future all at the same time. This is a bit of a mystery to some degree that we must simply accept. Open Theism however holds to what is call presentism. This means means that only the present exists. The past no longer exists, neither for us or for God. The future does not yet exist, neither for us or for God. This means that God dynamically acts within his creation today in real time. This makes for a God that is relational, rather than distant. And if the future doesn’t yet exist, than it is still open.

Time is not a object that is created. Rather it is a abstract concept and a measurement of sequence. Similar is the concept of “up.” “Up” is not something that is created. It is a concept that describes location in relation to another starting point. But when we make these abstract concepts into objects of creation, then we create ideas that don’t really make sense. Then we are left to appeal to mystery, which I’m not a fan of doing. 

Objections
Objection: Open Theism denies the omniscience of God, that God knows everything.
Answer: Open Theists deny that by saying that God knows everything that there is to know. So it is simply a matter of defining what is knowable and what isn’t. Remember that the future doesn’t yet exist. But God has a plan and possesses the power and sovereignty to execute his plan. 

Objection: Open Theism has no way of explaining Bible prophecy since the future is open.
Answer: No because prophecy is simply God telling us what his plan is in advance. God has the power to bring it to pass. Many people also underestimate how God can use present knowledge to predict future outcomes. 

Objection: Open Theists believe God can be surprised or can change his mind.
Answer: Yes this is not something we see a problem with as that can be shown from scripture. It actually makes God more relational. Go
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