Christian Apologetics - Lesson 28

Open Theism

Open theists believe that God does not have a perfect knowledge of the future.

Ronald Nash
Christian Apologetics
Lesson 28
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Open Theism

Open Theism


I. Why do open theists deny God's perfect knowledge of the future?


II. "There is too much Greek philosophy in classical Christianity."


III. The Open Theist Hermeneutic


IV. Can God change his mind?


V. God's Perfect Knowledge of the Future


VI. Logical Consequences of Open Theism

A. God has no idea if you will be married.

B. God has no idea who you will marry.

C. God cannot know if you will have a happy marriage.

D. God has no idea if you will have children.

E. God can have no plan for your life.

F. God has no idea if your children will be believers.

G. God has no idea who will be in his church.

H. God had no idea that his son would die on a cross.

I. God had no idea that even one person would believe in him.

J. The fact that God even has a church is a matter of luck.

K. God doesn't know who will be born and what will be invented.


VII. How can this kind of God control the world?

All Lessons
  • Introduction to Apologetics.

  • Apologetics involves finding evidence and presenting arguments to defend the Christian faith.

  • Two prominent worldviews are Christian theism and naturalism.

  • The law of non-contradiction states that A cannot be B and non-B at the same time and in the same sense.

  • Explanations and responses to different worldviews.

  • If God is good and all powerful, then why does evil exist?

  • Discussion about how the existence of evil is consistent with God's character.

  • Your noetic structure, presuppositions and view of epistemology are important elements in the formation of your worldview.

  • Discussion of deductive presuppositionalism vs. inductive presuppositionalism.

  • Objections to inductive presuppositionalism.

  • Arguments for and against evidentialism.

  • Arguments for and against foundationalism.

  • Discussion of natural theology.

  • There are valid, sound and cogent arguments for the existence of God, but no coercive proofs.

  • Discussion of different arguments for God's existence.

  • One version of the cosmological argument for God's existence emphasizes God as first in time, another emphasizes God as first in importance.

  • A possible world is a way the real world could have been. Modal logic, propositions, state of affairs and eternal entities are some of the considerations when discussing a possible world.

  • Something is logically possible if its description does not include a logical contradiction. The existence of the laws of knowledge refute the system of naturalism.

  • Middle knowledge is a form of knowledge attributed to God by Molina.

  • Miracles are a dividing line and central to Christianity.

  • David Hume's rational arguments against miracles and responses to those arguments.

  • Two miracles central to Christianity are the incarnation and resurrection.

  • The question of whether or not Jesus is the only savior touches on pluralism, inclusivism and exclusivism.

  • Pluralism is the view that all religions have salvific value.

  • Inclusivism is the view that even though the work of Christ is the only means of salvation, it does not follow that explicit knowledge of Christ is necessary in order for a person to be saved.

  • Salvation is totally the work of God and all children who die in infancy are elect of God.

  • Discussion from a biblical perspective of God's character and attributes.

  • Open theists believe that God does not have a perfect knowledge of the future.

  • Divine omnipotence and divine omniscience are two attributes of God.

  • When contemplating life after death, remember, Jesus has been there and come back. Will you commit your life to him or reject him?

These lectures were given at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida during the fall of 2001.