Open Theism: When You Know What’s for Dinner, But God Doesn’t

“If God is not sovereign, God is not God.”- R.C. Sproul

Likely, the average reader has never heard the term Open Theism. What comes to mind is probably something more like pantheism, where there is any number of deities to choose from and one can “openly” choose to worship and one or several if they wish to. However, “Open theism, also called free will theism and openness theology, is the belief that God does not exercise meticulous control of the universe but leaves it “open” for humans to make significant choices (free will) that impact their relationships with God and others. A corollary of this is that God has not predetermined the future. Open Theists further believe that this would imply that God does not know the future exhaustively. Proponents affirm that God is omniscient, but deny that this means that God knows everything that will happen.” (https://www.theopedia.com/open-theism)

One major proponent of this position is Pastor Bob Enyart of Denver Bible Church who states “The future is open because God is free and God is creative. The settled view of God denies God’s own freedom and the ability to create, do something new, etc. God was, is and always will be free. God was, is and always will be a creative God.” (Citation from the same article at theopedia.com) I find this view of God to be interesting to say the least. I intend to unpack a few surface observations, handling the logic before going a bit further and handling the theology.

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First, I see an attempt to present a high view of God that truly shrouds an even higher view of man. Let’s unpack the verbiage of Pastor Enyart’s quote. “The future is open because God is free and God is creative…” this is glowing praise to God. He is free and creative and he goes on to say “The settled view of God denies God’s own freedom and the ability to create, do something new, etc. God was, is and always will be free…” So let’s note that what he refers to as “the settled view” is nothing more than the doctrine of divine sovereignty. This view simply states that the potter has authority over the clay according to Romans 9 or simply stated, the creator has rights over His creation. It also states that because God has spoken, it must come to pass. As the Open Theist believes that God not only doesn’t exercise meticulous control of the universe but that He doesn’t even have knowledge of future events. What this quite literally means is that you can thwart the plans of God. This also means that everything that comes to pass happened due to millions upon millions of free will choices of men rather than the divine decree of almighty God.

Essentially, this lofty presentation of Openness Theology that attempts to present a high view of God does nothing more than place man in the driver’s seat of the universe and leave God wringing His hands trying to figure workarounds to make his decrees happen in the face of all our free will choices and not end up with egg on His face. For that matter, Open Theism makes prophecy impossible. If God cannot know the future, then on what authority does He declare what is to come? And if God could not declare what was to come, then all the foreshadowing of Messiah’s coming in the OT were nothing more than blind chance, and Jesus’ instructions of when to evacuate Jerusalem in Matthew 24 was dumb luck, and even the very authority of scripture is called into question when you hold this view because God cannot be trusted.

There are too many prophecies fulfilled delivered in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament for me to go over in this article but here is a link to a list of 351 of them.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled In Jesus Christ


Also, take the time to watch this debate between Dr. James White and Pastor Bob Enyart where they debate the question “Is the Future Settled or Open?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxOOcJxEEYU

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