Open Theism as a Distinctive Worldview: Evidence and Consequences
- Michael Calvert
- May 05, 2020
The purpose of this brief investigation of the theological movement popularly referred to as open theism is two-fold. First, there will be an attempt to lay a sufficient foundation for the claim that open theism (OT) may be classified as a separate and distinct worldview from classical Christian theism (CCT) and is not, therefore, simply a sub-set of Christian orthodoxy as many would assume. Secondly, this paper will seek to establish the point that while OT rests upon highly suspect hermeneutical, theological, and philosophical assumptions, it fails as a worldview on the practical grounds of livability. That is, OT presents intolerable and insurmountable difficulties for those attempting to live practically under its precepts and presuppositions.
While it is not the purpose of this paper to address the question of whether or not advocates of OT may be properly called “Christians,” one may confidently affirm that no believer in Christ possesses perfect theology at every point on the doctrinal spectrum. Theology proper does not save anyone. Only the grace of God embraced through faith in Christ’s active and passive obedience is sufficient to reconcile fallen men and women to their Creator. To the degree that a person looks to the crucified, risen, and exalted Christ in faith, he or she is saved and is a part of the family of God regardless of their degree of theological precision. However, this fact should not mask the magnitude and seriousness of the issues raised by proponents of OT. As will be argued here, OT presents not only a serious challenge to traditional Christian theism that must not go unanswered, but represents an antithetical worldview that should not be confused with the worldview of the orthodox Christian. The stakes are high indeed.