The hermeneutics of Open Theism, pt. 5 – Refutation of Open Theism by Observing Passages That Teach Absolute Sovereignty of God

Isaiah 41.21-29 (1) – In this part of Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah gives the message that God is tired of seeing His people turn to idols. God gives, in this specific portion of Scripture, a challenge that would once and for all prove who the real God is.

“Set forth your case” and “bring your proofs” is God calling out to the idols and those who follow to them, setting up the challenge that will take place. When everyone had gathered together, the test was given by God. “Tell us what is to happen… that we may know you are Gods.” God here states quite plainly that the test of true divinity is the ability to tell what the future holds, or to know the future. Of course the idols were mute beings, only crafted objects by human hands, they could not respond in any way to answer God’s challenge.

Romans 9-11 – Although these three chapters can be notoriously difficult to discern the precise meaning from, it is simple enough to determine the broader meaning, that being the continuing plan of God for His work with Israel. Paul makes it very clear that God has temporarily set aside Israel so that a Church made up primarily of Gentiles could be built.

In 11.25 Paul informs us that Israel has been hardened against the Gospel (thus showing libertarian freewill is unbiblical) until “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” In a way, this verse shows that God already knows precisely who will make up the “fullness” of the Gentile Church, meaning that God possesses an exact knowledge of the future.

Ephesians 1 – In Ephesians chapter one, Paul devotes a chapter to discussing the glory of God that comes from His great work in saving humanity. Verse 4 says that God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the earth.” The context makes it clear that the choosing being done is election for salvation. Logically, this entails that God knew before the creation that man would choose sin while in the Garden of Eden. Obviously this goes against what Sanders wrote about the “implausible” concerning Genesis 3. Why would God choose to elect people for salvation when He believed man would choose to live with Him in righteousness? The answer is that He didn’t. God knew exactly what would happen in the garden.

Conclusion:

The hermeneutics of Open Theism have been examined here. In order to arrive at their incorrect view of God, it is obvious that they need to distort the Scriptures. The problem starts with allowing man’s opinion of what God should be like to override what the Bible says He is like. This, combined with the presupposition of libertarian freewill, allows for philosophical and logical reasoning about who God is that is contrary to the Bible. Another error that is made is the implementation of an interpretive center, under which the rest of the Bible is subjugated, changing the meaning of passages that may show God to be unloving or wrathful. Perhaps the most serious flaw in the Open hermeneutic is the practice of discourse analysis. This technique of choosing only the passages that support one’s argument is academically shameful and dishonors the Word of God. In Isaiah 41 God tells the idols “an abomination is he who chooses you.” Open Theists have created their God using obscure passages of the Bible. They have turned God into the very thing he condemned the idols for. Truly the theological system known as “Open Theism” is an abomination.

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(1) Bruce Ware gives an excellent critique of Open Theism using this passage in his book God’s Lesser Glory.

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One thought on “The hermeneutics of Open Theism, pt. 5 – Refutation of Open Theism by Observing Passages That Teach Absolute Sovereignty of God

  1. “Academically shameful” is such an appropriate term! I’m grateful that my husband had chosen to interpret scripture using a literal hermeneutic. Otherwise we would be fighting a lot… Great series 🙂

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