An answer to “open theism”

Does the Bible Affirm Open Theism?


The problem stated:

open theists infer that God is a temporal being (not “above time” as in much traditional theology), that he changes his mind, that his plans are influenced by creatures, that he sometimes regrets actions that he has performed (as Gen. 6:6), and that he does not have exhaustive knowledge of the future. On their view, God’s regretting and relenting come about because human free decisions are utterly undetermined and unpredictable. So God must adjust his plans to the free choices of human beings.

Summary defense:

In general, God “works out everything in conformity to the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:11; cf. Lam. 3:37-38, Rom. 2:28, 11:33-36). And God cannot fail at anything he seeks to do (Ps. 33:11, 115:3, 135:6, Prov. 21:30, Isa. 14:27, 43:13, 46:10, 55:11, Dan. 4:35, Rev. 3:7).

Since God controls everything, he knows everything, including the future. Knowing the future is a test of a true prophet (Deut. 18:22) and indeed of a true God (Isa. 41:21-23, 42:9, 43:9-12, 44:7, 48:3-7). Through his prophets, God often predicts the future centuries in advance (as Gen. 9:26-27). Contrary to the open theists, who think God cannot anticipate human free decisions, he often predicts human behavior in detail (1 Sam. 10:1-7, Jer. 37:6-11, Matt. 26:34). He predicts the behavior and character of human beings in the distant future (1 Kings 13:1-4, Isa. 44:28-45:13).

JP: Perhaps you are unaware of the aberrant doctrine of “open theism”. In this brief article John M. Frame addresses the issue and specifically the question of God “relenting”. While this is somewhat of a technical read, it is worthwhile.

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