December 2, 2020

The Council

Proclaiming the truth to the world.

Wagner’s Open Theism

Brian Wagner is a common face in internet circles that I remain in. But he is often overlooked because Leighton is more popular, while he is more heretical. He has an odd position on Open Theism. He never responded to my article on Open Theism and I doubt he ever will. I asked him what his form of Open Theism was and he responded:

Well, there are many errant definitions of open theism out there, and many open theists that do not believe in inerrancy, like I believe in it. Inerrancy is not foundational to the definition of open theism, but the rejection of it by many of them has given it a bad rep.

That’s probably because most Open Theist are liberals. So, it more results in them creating a religion to suit their intuitions about what God ought to be instead of believing in a book. Or they realize that LFW agents can corrupt the Bible and therefore have no ability to affirm doctrines like inerrancy. How does Brain know the originals weren’t corrupted from the beginning by the authors?

The ETS accepts open theist members who hold to inerrancy, and many good theologians (like Erickson and Smith) see it as welcome to the biblical/theological discussion of God’s nature.

ETS can let anyone in that it desires. It is a different question of whether they should or not. But frankly, I don’t care if they do.

The encyclopedia of philosophy gives it this definition – “Open Theism is the thesis that, because God loves us and desires that we freely choose to reciprocate His love, He has made His knowledge of, and plans for, the future conditional upon our actions. Though omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future.”

Basically, this definition isn’t that precise because it doesn’t fully explain why LFW is incompatible with exhaustive Foreknowledge. Open Theists give different answers to that question.

If that is what you were thinking when you thought I was an “open theist”, then you are correct, if limited to that definition. I like term “dynamic omniscience” better. I would even add the words to the last sentence “…God does not know *the outcome of* what we will freely do in the future, *but He knows all the possibilities He and we will have to choose between in the future.”

Wagner settles for something called “sequential thinking” for God. He has stated that elsewhere but not here. Now, that doesn’t mean anything to me as it probably doesn’t for you. Does it mean God thinks only one thing at a time? What about prior to creation? Doesn’t Wagner think that God is timeless sans creation? So, does Wagner think God didn’t think apart from creation?

God knows everything possible but not the future. How can an Open Theist God know every possibility? What does it mean that something is “possible” on Wagner’s scheme?

Further Suggestions:

TheCouncil:

Wagering Wagner

Brian Wagner is a common face in internet circles that I remain in. But he is often overlooked because Leighton is more popular, while he is more heretical. He has an odd position on Open Theism. He never responded to my article on Open Theism and I doubt he ever will. I asked him what his form of Open Theism was and he responded:

Well, there are many errant definitions of open theism out there, and many open theists that do not believe in inerrancy, like I believe in it. Inerrancy is not foundational to the definition of open theism, but the rejection of it by many of them has given it a bad rep.

That’s probably because most Open Theist are liberals. So, it more results in them creating a religion to suit their intuitions about what God ought to be instead of believing in a book. Or they realize that LFW agents can corrupt the Bible and therefore have no ability to affirm doctrines like inerrancy. How does Brain know the originals weren’t corrupted from the beginning by the authors?

The ETS accepts open theist members who hold to inerrancy, and many good theologians (like Erickson and Smith) see it as welcome to the biblical/theological discussion of God’s nature.

ETS can let anyone in that it desires. It is a different question of whether they should or not. But frankly, I don’t care if they do.

The encyclopedia of philosophy gives it this definition – “Open Theism is the thesis that, because God loves us and desires that we freely choose to reciprocate His love, He has made His knowledge of, and plans for, the future conditional upon our actions. Though omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future.”

Basically, this definition isn’t that precise because it doesn’t fully explain why LFW is incompatible with exhaustive Foreknowledge. Open Theists give different answers to that question.

If that is what you were thinking when you thought I was an “open theist”, then you are correct, if limited to that definition. I like term “dynamic omniscience” better. I would even add the words to the last sentence “…God does not know *the outcome of* what we will freely do in the future, *but He knows all the possibilities He and we will have to choose between in the future.”

Wagner settles for something called “sequential thinking” for God. He has stated that elsewhere but not here. Now, that doesn’t mean anything to me as it probably doesn’t for you. Does it mean God thinks only one thing at a time? What about prior to creation? Doesn’t Wagner think that God is timeless sans creation? So, does Wagner think God didn’t think apart from creation?

God knows everything possible but not the future. How can an Open Theist God know every possibility? What does it mean that something is “possible” on Wagner’s scheme?

Further Suggestions:

TheCouncil:

Wagering Wagner