Back to Reppert:
“I think you are making a mistake. You assume that if I accept Hasker's argument for incompatibilism of free will and determinism, that I must accept his arguments against the compatibility of foreknowledge and freedom.”
How is that a mistake?
“I'm pretty sympathetic to open theism myself. It's hardly a reductio in my book.”
So it’s not a mistake after all. Reppert is tacitly admitting a tension between God’s knowledge of the future and man’s libertarian freedom. And he’s relieving the tension by denying God’s knowledge of the future.
“Calvinism attributes to God actions which in any parallel human context would be considered wrong by anyone.”
Assuming, for the sake of argument, that this is true, why wouldn’t it apply with equal force to open theism? In open theism, God puts his creatures at risk. He doesn’t know the outcome. So he’s putting them in harm’s way—“ which in any parallel human context would be considered wrong by anyone.”
““But the ‘illustration’ could have been accomplished in any number of less harmful ways.”
But open theism subscribes to a high-risk version of providence. Isn’t that more harmful that a low-risk version of providence?
“Calvinism has the consequence that, for those whose loved ones are lost, God intended forever to frustrate the prayers of those who earnestly desire the salvation of their nearest and dearest.”
And open theism has the consequence that, for those whose loved ones are lost, God cannot answer our prayers to save them since God can’t save anyone against his will.
“The Calvinists at Triablogue had some debate with me over waterboarding a few months back. But since they knew I wasn't a Calvinist, they avoided using their best argument. They could say ‘Look, we know these terror suspects are Muslims, which means they're probably vessels of wrath headed for the fire anyway. If we can get some information out of them, why not give them a little foretaste of the future?’"
As a Calvinist, I don’t feel the need to win at any cost, by any means necessary. That’s because I can leave the outcome to God.
If, however, I were an open theist, then life would be far more insecure. Far riskier. In that event, I’d be utterly ruthless in dealing with the enemy. Since, as I open theist, I couldn’t count on God to save my bacon, I’d be left to my own devices. Survival of the fittest. Every man for himself. Do unto others before they do unto you. An open theist would be Jack Bauer on steroids.
“I won’t call God a liar. I will call God a provider of incomplete information.”
Why would an open theist hesitate to call God a liar? A God who doesn’t know the future can’t keep his promises. If he can’t keep them, then he’s a liar to make them in the first place.
Reppert also quotes some choice statements by John Wesley, such as:
“You represent him as mocking his helpless creatures, by offering what he never intends to give.”
Several problems, but I’ll confine myself to two:
i) Wesley was an Evangelical Arminian. As such, he believed in divine foreknowledge. Indeed, Arminian election is conditional election, contingent on foreseen faith.
But since, according to Arminian theology, everyone doesn’t exercise saving faith, then Wesley must represent God as offering what he never intends to give in the case of unbelievers. So Wesley’s God is weeping crocodile tears.
ii) In open theism, God doesn’t know the future. He doesn’t know what free agents will do.
Yet a promise is future-oriented. God’s promise to preserve believers is a case in point (Rom 8).
So open theism has to cast God in the role of issuing a string of broken promises. God is offering what he never intends to give, since the result is beyond his control.
Hence, according to Wesley’s reasoning, the God of Arminian theology, as well as open theism, is “a mere hypocrite, dissembler, and gross deceiver, full of deceit and void of common sincerity.”
So Reppert’s “God”—whichever god, gods, godling, godlet, goddess, demigod, or wood nymph that may be, since Reppert seems to have a pantheon of major and minor deities to suit every apologetic contingency—weeps crocodile tears over the fate of the lost.
Indeed, since Reppert is a fan of neotheistic hermeneutics, there’s no reason for him not to go all the way with the Mormons in their polytheistic reading of Scripture.