The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Open Theism: is it true, possible or biblical?

Really, Don, I said what I think. I’m not going to the mat on this because I do not see what is at stake other than another of the 99.99% of OT issues (@Holy-Fool-P-Zombie - I did the research, and it is actually more like 98.9275%! The research to be honest was done while I was watching “Cheerleader Summer Camp 14” on Nflix. lol) that just cause name-calling without solving a thing.
I have agreed with you in the past on your contention that God cannot know what has not yet happened. I stand with that.
I AM saying here, though, that to understand why it is not as simple as you seem to think, we have to go beyond interpretation of texts into a dis-interested philosophical discussion, which I provided a link to. I can’t summarize it here and if I could it would just bore people anyway.
As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have anything else to contribute.

I realize that the argument was used to prove that we do NOT have free will. And it is valid IF we assume that God knows in advance what we will choose.


Clearly Hermano you cannot answer my simple question to your very straightforward claim, and as such this demonstrates your claim is FALSE, i.e., that… “God changing His mind is an anthropomorphism” — WRONG!

ALL your arguments AND TEXTS given to MY question over your spurious claim have been directed to your contention over whether God is omniscient, or not. I’ve made no claim in this thread either way on that score, at all — I simply wanted your justification for your claim that… “God changing His mind is an anthropomorphism” — you have failed to do so and any amount of unnecessary padded out posts of waffle hasn’t changed that at all.

No need to respond further here to me Hermano on this issue as you won’t and can’t answer my very basic question to your very emphatic claim… which in itself speaks volumes.

I find this quite interesting. In some sense, I think this has to do with how we define God. From what I understand, the Jewish concept of God wasn’t what it is now. It wasn’t omni-everything. It was more like Zeus. It wasn’t that others Gods didn’t exist, it was just that Jehovah was only one that mattered. He was the King of the other Gods.

In this sense, then I think Open Theism is very, very possible. But if God is omni-everything, then I don’t think that is possible.

My personal opinion is that I don’t think God is omni-everything. I think he has limitations, but that he is far beyond any of us. So, with that, I think open theism is very rational.

WHAT!?! With all due respect to family trees, I can only go by trusting what you yourself HAVE indeed previously stated… which WAS my point to Hermano back HERE where I was surprised Hermano needed to reiterate to you a position you yourself have shown you already agree with. As per for example these posts where you pretty say in kind…

How then from your very own words can I NOT conclude that you assert most vociferously… the likes of Jeremiah misheard, misreported and thereby misrepresented God. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Is it a given that we have the actual words of the prophet Jeremiah? I’m not completely sure that the OT is the kind of book we can depend on for that kind of precision. Yeah I’ve read Enns and others that have given reason for that stance and I kind of lean that way now. But I’m not dogmatic about it.

I know what your point is—that I reject any part of the Old Testament that I find emotionally repugnant. That is untrue. I reject only the parts that depict God as someone other than the One whose essence is LOVE as the apostle John stated, and whose kindness is meant to lead people to repentance, and who is kind to unthankful and evil people, as Jesus stated. That is why I gave you the analogy of the “family history book.” I had imagined that you might see the analogy and understand my position better. Apparently you haven’t.

My ONLY point was to point out the FACT that you have and DO call into question aspects of certain biblical authors (where it suits), to use your nuance, words you find emotionally repugnant — and don’t you just hate that your own quotes above PROVE the case; your words NOT mine — that’s all.

So Paidion… as your own words show, you reject certain words of the likes of Moses and Jeremiah & co. when they don’t meet a certain criteria determined by you, so how and on what basis do you claim the likes of John heard correctly when you affirm as true certain words attributed to him, i.e., HOW do you know, or on what basis is your textual rule determined that assumes John heard correctly about God? IOW… how do you justify these arbitrary switching of positions?

I accept the teachings of Jesus and His apostles They are consistent with the character of God. I reject any concepts from the Old Testament which state that God has acted contrary to that which Jesus and the apostles indicated—such as God killing people, or commanding His people to kill people—even whole nations. Jesus said that God is “is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” (Luke 6:35). He didn’t say that God would kill them.

Jesus, who is the Son of God never killed people or instructed His apostles to kill people. In fact, He indicated that anger or hate toward people has the same heart origin as murder, and will have the same or similar consequences:

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
(Matthew 5:21,22 ESV)

So you can accept the likes of Jesus and Paul making accurate representation in saying…


Mt 15:4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’

Mk 7:10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’

That is… Moses spoke as Yahweh’s mouthpiece — oddly enough that’s what to OT says.

Rev 2:22-23 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

Rev 2:27a ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—

Rev 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

Rev 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.


2Thess 1:6-9 …since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,…

2Thess 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,…

Again, Paidion you said… “I accept the teachings of Jesus and His apostles They are consistent with the character of God.” — So you’re on board with the truth of these NT texts, a few among many, revealing the character of God? YES?

FWIW, Perceptions of the Bible’s nature vary. But I share Paidion’s perception (and probably go farther) that Bible authors can reflect their era’s human view point which can be different from God’s. I think that what Davo calls an “arbitrary” selection of positions would be called a “Christocentric” hermeneutic in some traditions. It admittedly finds a more fundamentalist view of the Bible’s nature as not the kind of book it is, and is open to arguing that there are more criterion in evaluating what we should believe or do than simply citing Biblical texts with an assumption that they all are equally binding for our minds and consciences.


Davo, you’ve provided no evidence or proof that Hermano’s claim is false. You merely asserted that. And Hermano already answered your question:

Evidently that is how he reaches his conclusion that “God changing His mind is an anthropomorphism ”.

1 Like

My impression is that some texts declare God is omniscient and planned everything, while others assert that God changes his mind and is surprised at what he learns. I.e. that this exemplifies my observation above that Biblical writers can reflect differing perceptions on many issues. It’s no wonder such apparent contradictions nurture widely different interpretations of what to do with such contrasts.

Since WHEN does changing one’s mind on an issue dictate you are thereby ignorance in that matter — in fact quite the opposite I should think? It simply means you’ve changed your stance for a given reason — since WHEN in God’s case having changed his mind does that therefore negate His omniscience? Go figure!

Is it a paradox? If we say God exists outside time, so future events are to God like past events to us (isn’t it this part of the idea of eternity?), we know about past events but we did not influence them, does this thought help?

Since I believe in some sort of determinism anyways I see no problem; or I don’t understand the problem.

Sven - Your thoughts are as valuable as the rest of us - I myself am comfortable with being ‘agnostic’ on this issue, as yet another OT question that appears to be theological enough to fight over but is in fact shown by logical argument to be unsolvable. It IS fun to talk about and at that level is harmless enough. And really, that’s just my opinion. Maybe only $,01 worth…

1 Like

Sure, I love watching Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone and though I know each episode my knowledge of what happens has no effect on the characters free will just as God’s knowledge or lack of knowledge is irrelevant.

Davo, I believe that God changing His mind would indeed negate his omniscience.

Omnisicience (Latin omni- all, scientia- knowledge) is defined as possession of unlimited knowledge.

(Similarly, I believe God is also omnipresent, and His being everywhere would include the future.)

Being omniscient includes the idea that no new information could ever come to you that would influence you to desire or need to change your mind.

Sven and DaveB, we read in Acts 17 that “the Athenians spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” But lest you think this particular thread on open theism is similarly vain, I want to assert that an acceptance of God’s omniscience is vital to accepting the certainty of divine prophecy.

Further, I believe that those who misidentify unfulfilled prophecy as,

  1. already fulfilled (preterists), or,
  2. able to be changed by human effort (open theists),

have embraced doctrinal filters that impede their interpretation of current events in relation to the big prophetic picture.

Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees, “You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” And he tells us, “What I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Psalm 119:144b
Give me understanding, and I shall live.