The supporters of open theism have posited it as a paradigm that offers a real relationship between God and His people. Rather than an all-knowing and all-powerful sovereign God, we are presented with a God of give-and-take. Since this God does not know or control the future, the future is open to both Him and us. The Lord really does not know what will happen until it happens – He is experiencing life in the present along with His creation. As a matter of fact, He, like us, is enduring pain and heartache, frustration and disappointment, in a similar manner as ourselves.

The open God can drop the ball too. He can make mistakes, after all He is only human (oops!) divine. But we can be assured He is doing His best and would not lead us astray or into an ambush if He had more information. On the positive side, the open God loves to respond to our prayers and is often influenced by them to the extent of changing His own plans to accommodate ours – even though in His wisdom He knows that our plans may be foolish. And you can’t pin evil and tragedy on this God because He is as helpless in the face of catastrophe as we are. God may be weak but at least we can rest assured that He is a God of love. We may not be able to trust Him but at least He cares.

These are some of the issues being served on the table of open theism. It might be asked, however, what has motivated these theologians to trade the classical view of God for this insipid version. [Bruce] Ware’s opinion is worth pondering, “The culture in which we live, including much of the Christian subculture, has drunk deeply at the well of self-esteem. Where the Bible enjoins unfettered but deeply humble ‘God-esteem,’ we have been conditioned to think that we should have some of that esteem for ourselves.”

“So, when a theology comes along that says, ‘God often doesn’t make up his mind what to do until he hears first from you,’ or God and you together chart out your course for the future as both of you learn together what unfolds,’ or, ‘Sometimes God makes mistakes but we need to realize that he was doing his best,’ such a view plays well with many in our culture. We feel like we are almost peers with God.” Perhaps the Psalmist put his finger on the real problem of open theology when, in another context, he penned God’s accusation upon a wayward people by saying, You thought I was just like you (Psalm 50:21).

This is openism’s problem; their God is too human. (Online source)

Dr. Gary Gilley

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