Listen to God\’s Voice

Words of wisdom for today

BEWARE OF OPEN THEISM

from apprising ministries

By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Apr 4, 2009 in Current Issues, Theology

Even as one who holds to the Biblical Reformed doctrines of grace it is still surprising how fast and how far this apostasy within mainstream evangelicalism is spreading. And with it a myriad of aberrant and heretical offshoots, one of which that’s gaining increasing popularity within the nearly spiritually comatose spiritually evanjellyfish is Open Theism (OT). A particularly popular preacher of OT would be Greg Boyd who’s especially soothing to the itching ears in the postliberal cult of  Emergence Christianity as evidenced by e.g. Rob Bell having Boyd come speak at his Mars Hill Bible Church.

Apprising Ministries believes that truly those who are apostatizing have no shame because not only are they attacking of God’s absolute sovereignty in man’s salvation but now they are even more boldly attacking the omniscience of the LORD God Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth. In this excellent and thoroughly Biblical article solidly refuting Boyd’s heretical dream of open theism Bob DeWaay writes:

In recent years, some evangelicals have rekindled an old controversy by asserting that God does not have exhaustive foreknowledge. That is to say that He does not know everything that is going to happen. This is an old controversy. For example, Jonathan Edwards devoted many pages of his famous book, A Careful and Strict Inquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions of the Freedom of the Will, Which is Supposed to be Essential to Moral Agency, Virtue and Vice, Reward and Punishment, Praise and Blame (commonly known as Freedom of the Will for obvious reasons). Edwards wrote:

First, I am to prove, that God has an absolute and certain foreknowledge of the free actions of moral agents. One would think it should be wholly needless to enter on such an argument with any that profess themselves Christians: but so it is, God’s certain foreknowledge of the free acts of moral agents is denied by some that pretend to believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God; especially of late.

This was the situation in the eighteenth century. Edward’s work on this issue is profound and timeless. He supplies page after page of Scriptural proof that God foreknows the future choices of free moral agents. In this article I shall respond to a recent challenge issued in the book God of the Possible by Gregory A. Boyd. He writes: “What is particularly sad about the current state of this debate is that Scripture seems to be playing a small role in it. Most published criticisms raised against the open view have largely ignored the biblical grounds on which open theists base their position.”

If it is so that published criticisms do not interact with the specific Scriptures put forth to support the “open” position, then I shall make a contribution toward rectifying this. In this essay I will interact with several of Dr. Boyd’s key proof texts, though space does not permit dealing with all of them. I shall show that the passages cited, if taken in their Biblical context, do not prove Dr. Boyd’s assertion that God lacks knowledge of some of the future… (Online source)

Less specific to the musings of Greg Boyd, in his excellent four part look at the heresy of Open Theism, Dr. Gary Gilley begins:

Any war is composed of major battles and minor skirmishes. The skirmishes, while often little more than irritants in the big picture, nevertheless cannot be ignored. True casualties are often the result of such conflict and the military ignores them at its own peril. Still, the war is won or lost on the front lines where the primary clash is taking place. So it is on the Christian battlefield. Relatively minor challenges to truth are constant. Overemphasis on this doctrine, ignorance of another, inordinate attention on emotions here, encroachment of the world’s mindset there.

Such altercations are disregarded at the high price of casualties among believers and churches alike. While we agree with the Puritan Richard Baxter that “charity should be practiced in all things”, we must also recognize that minor attacks on our flank, left unchallenged and uncorrected, tend to evolve into full-blown invasions that threaten the very heart of the church. Such is the issue before us today.

Open theism (also known as free-will theism, open theology and openness of God) was, until recently, a little-known stirring on the fringes of the evangelical camp. In 1980, few noticed and fewer cared about perennial rebel Clark Pinnock and his friends, who claimed they had discovered the “true” biblical understanding of God. But more recently their views have both matured and emerged into the mainstream of Christian thought through the writings of among others, Pinnock, Gregory A. Boyd, professor of theology at Bethel College (Baptist General Conference) and Professor John Sanders.

More lethal is the fact that this new concept of God is sneaking in through the backdoor of the camp by means of popular writers such as Phil Yancey, and the influence of men like Gilbert Bilezikian, who, as the resident theologian of the Willow Creek Community Church , wields tremendous power over the minds of many modern church leaders. Others in line with Yancey and Bilezikian include devotional/mystical writer Richard Foster and theologian Donald Bloesch. Particular danger of this latter group is that they may seldom, if ever, admit to holding open theistic convictions but espouse those views in attractive formats (e.g. Yancey’s popular book, Disappointment with God)… (Online source)  

See also:

Part Two Part Three Part Four

Answering Greg Boyd’s Openness of God Texts

Open Theism Part One

The Foreknowledge of God

Monergism: Open Theism

What Is Open Theism?

Pastoral Implications of Open Theism

Advertisements

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Do you think there is to much Greek Philosophy in our churches and theology? Do we rely to much on Plato and Socrates instead of the name of Jesus Christ.

    thesoulofthecreator

    April 6, 2009 at 1:50 am

  2. Yes, I think that philosophy has replaced Bible doctrines. In fact anything that is humanism has now come into the vogue, not only in our churches, but for society as a whole. Dr. Schaeffer tackled this very problem several times in the books he wrote. This is probably because the church as a whole has rejected the faith of the reformers and has adopted the philosophy of the enlightenment. I really think that we are really in danger of judgment, because of what we have done to the scriptures.

    James Madison

    April 6, 2009 at 2:08 am


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: