Giving Open Theology A Fair Hearing

Derek Ouellette —  May 19, 2010

When a friend first told me about “Open Theology” I knew it was something I had to look into. For years I read the bible, particularly the Old Testament, and always came away with questions which remained unanswered. Open Theology offered a way to understand the nature of God which correlated well with many biblical passages. It’s not a perfect system (Calvinism and Arminianism are both far from being perfect systems also!), but for me it offered a way forward to what I perceive to be a more biblically nuanced articulation of the nature of God.

But people are afraid of what they don’t understand and they become (sometimes) vicious when they feel like their concept of God is under attack. I have experienced this first hand.

As a result Open Theology has been bemoaned as “heresy”, I have been called nothing less than a devil worshiper for considering the strengths of this system and God is often said to be “imperfect” if Open Theology is correct.

I’d like to underscore what I said a moment ago: People are afraid of what they don’t understand. I think Open Theism is misunderstood. I have read responses to Open Theism by John Piper, John Frame, Bruce Ware, Paul Helm and many others, and none of them seem to be able to accurately explain what Open Theology teaches, and if they don’t understand it, how can they accurately respond to it? This ignorance is only perpetuated when fans of these popular authors read their books.

I want to extend this warm invitation toward you to give Open Theology a fair hearing. Greg Boyd is one of the most vocal advocates of Open Theology and in the videos below he is a guest speaker in Clark Pinnock’s class (Pinnock is a Calvinists turned Open Theist).

Your comments below will intrigue me…

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • Josh

    Best presentation I’ve seen of Open Theism thus far. Boyd is clear and convincing here (with both Scripture and reason) on how the future is still somewhat open and unsettled.

  • Drew Chapados


    I lean heavily toward open theism–esp. from things like the Old Testament readings shown above. One other thing–Jesus said he didn’t know the end time (Only the Father knew)–if Jesus was God and he didn’t know something–what does that imply? I think–many people have a problem with God leaving something ‘open’–but, can’t God decide to do that Himself and maintain control?
    There are some difficulties–William Lane Craig offers a pretty good critique–but Boyd’s theory still seems pretty solid
    .-= Drew Chapados´s last blog ..What if We Were Meant For Something Else? =-.

  • Derek Ouellette

    Thanks Drew,

    William Lane Craig is a Molinist so I would find his critique of Boyd interesting. I think Open Theism has some problems (I’m not convinced by the way which Boyd explains Peter’s denial of Jesus for example), but I cannot get around anything in scripture as far as “covenant relationships”, “prayer”, and “contingency” goes without conceding that some things must be open.

    I shy away from the term “open theism”. But I can’t escape the concept.
    .-= Derek Ouellette´s last blog ..Progressively Deterministic Future =-.