Open theism, free-will libertarianism, and evil

If you are looking to challenge your mind and heart a bit, I encourage you to pick up the book I referred to in the previous post, Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. I have been reading through Mark Talbot’s chapter, “‘All the Good that is Ours in Christ’: Seeing God’s Gracious Hand in the Hurts Others Do to Us.” Talbot, in dealing with the topic, delves into the problems with “Open Theism,” a view created to take God off the hook in those situations where God seems powerless to stop evil in the world. Open theists are free-will libertarians. Free-will libertarianism is the view that “true freedom involves more than just my doing whatever I choose to do” (surface freedom) but it “requires that a person not only is able to make specific choices but was also was able at the time she chose to choose differently than she actually did” (48). Free-will libertarians must hold such a view if God is to hold them responsible for their actions. They cannot reconcile God’s sovereignty with human responsibility. Talbot does a great job showing that these aspects are indeed compatible.

Open theism has reduced God to a less than omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God since he is unaware of the future. Open theists hold to the spurious idea that God has had to impose on himself limits that protect him from culpability. Talbot does a great job exposing the errors of open theism as well as the idea that somehow our wills are truly free. Next time someone says they have true free will, challenge them to never sin again.

Categories: God

2 replies

  1. “Open theists hold to the spurious idea that God has had to impose on himself limits that protect him from culpability.”

    Great statement about a tragic way of thinking. Imagine God being concerned about how he will fare when we drag him into the courtroom!


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