Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Millesecond of Foreknowledge?

John DePoe has (what I think) is a lucent post on a possible dilemma for Open theists. If your first name starts with the letter "Derek," you should be sure to check this out.


Blogger derek said...

Hey Chris, this is "derek." I finally got a chance to read this post, and would like to respond.

1.) This blogger, like so many others, misunderstands the position. The future is not completely indeterminate. God in his wisdom predetermines what He sees fit (the classical part of scripture), and leaves undetermined what he chooses in his wisdom to leave "open" (hence the name).

I am not sure if i have seen one person (literally; this is not an exaggeration) explain OT who isn't a proponent of it catch this. The problem with this is that Boyd and Pinnock are VERY CLEAR on this point. In Boyd's book "God of the Possible" he devotes an ENTIRE CHAPTER to point out that God does determine the future to some extent. Boyd's point, which i find compelling, is that let's not assume one part of Scripture gets to "filter out" other sections of Scripture that show God taking risks, being surprised, and other open ideas prematurely.

This total lack of understanding of this apsect makes me fearful that people are actually doing what Boyd cautions against; denouncing them without giving it an honest look (eg reading the literature, reexamining scripture). This type of stuff makes me nervous of "communal interpretation," or "tradition."

2.) This criticism seems to arise from the "law of the excluded middle" fallacy. Classical thinkers, who are used to thinking about sovereingty in such a strong sense seem to assume that God either has to know (and have control over) everything, or have no knowledge and control nothing. I don't see how this follows logically (and in my estimation, theologically).

3.) Interestingly, the author talks much of "intuition." You have heard my rants on the potential danger of the use of this in theological discourse, so let me mention one other thing. He doesn't address Scripture at all here. His "intuition" comes completely out of His own mind, at least i don't know how i can conclude otherwise.

Now please don't misunderstad me, i do think philosophy is very important when developing a theological model, but i am growing weary of people dismissing it solely on philosophical grounds. When this happens, Scripture is being relegated to the backseat. Aside from the foremost thinkers in Clavinistic thought (and your recent post), no one has criticized open theism from a Biblical perspective. This, i think, is telling. People aren't "comfortable" with the philosophical implications of OT, but as my good friend Aaron Slemp has said, our comfort level doesn't determine what Scripture teaches. Actually, our original chat was mostly from a philosophical perspective. Maybe we should shift the focus towards Scripture (an area where i think i am more capable of being persuasive).

4.) Finally, check the post again; the author has since said that he realizes that this argument is weak. I would have to agree, for some of the same reasons.

Blessings Chris,


ps I hope the "eloquence" of this reply is worthy of its length.

10:33 AM  

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