Open Theism


might you help explain this post to me: … en-theism/

I’m having a hard time really grasping it.


Wow. You jumped into the deep end of the pool. I have to go fetch my floaties! :nerd:



I don’t know why one would want to argue that Arminianism entails open theism. I’m not sure that even makes much sense. Open theism (by that name) was born within the Arminian camp you might say. But I’d have to see the argument for why Arminians leads to open theism. Some open theists I know are former Calvnists. Some are former process theists. It’s a mixed bag.

I will say this. Open theism agrees with Calvinism against Arminianism on some important points while we also agree with Arminians against Calvinists on an important point. We agree with Calvinists (against Arminians) that (a) simple-foreknowledge (or timeless knowledge) affords God zero providential control or advantage and that (b) LFW and EDF are incompatible. So we have to choose between EDF and LFW. And against Calvinists we agree that we do possess LFW. So open theists take the logical step (affirming LFW and the incompatibility of LFW and EDF)–we affirm LFW and deny EDF. But I’m not sure why Arminianism should entail open theism any more than Calvinism should, though open theists have a bit more in common with Arminians.



Don’t Calvinists believe that Arm. leads to OT because they believe (as I’ve argued on the other thread) that one will logically be led to defend OT in order to protect LFW.

The obvious argument

  1. God knows what James will do
  2. James can either do what God will do (det) or God does not know (OT) and James is free to choose X or Y.

Calvinists embrace Determinism so that’s not what leads to OT. Perhaps it’s more on moral grounds as to why Calvinists would embrace OT. But if LFW (which is the heart of Arm theology) is to be logically understood then OT becomes a temptation.



Yes, I’ve had Calvinists tell me that the debate is really between them and open theists because open theism is the more consistent libertarian option. Calvinists can consistently hold to EDF since that follows from divine determinism. God can know what shall happen because God has decided what shall happen. Open theists can consistently bring LFW and divine foreknowledge together by qualifying the nature of God’s knowledge of the future.It’s a good point.

The debate between open theists and Arminians is different, since both deny determinism and affirm LFW but disagree over EDF.