Friday, October 05, 2012

Kissin' cousins

Roger Olson admits that Arminianism and open theism are kissin’ cousins:

I have often thought that the vehemence of the Calvinist response to open theism had something to do with fear that it might remove one of their main arguments against Arminianism (viz., that Arminianism cannot explain how God foreknows future free will decisions and actions). From where I sat (and still do) I was never able to figure out why else their reaction to it was so wild. What difference does it make, anyway? So long as God is omnipotent (which all open theists affirm), there’s nothing he cannot do, no situation he cannot respond to in the best way, no promise he cannot fulfill, etc. Then, when I read the books of the Calvinists against open theism, I noticed that MOST of their theological arguments against it would, if valid, undermine Arminianism as well. That’s one reason I rushed to the defense of open theism, because IF the Calvinists got their way (viz., expelling open theists from evangelicalism) based on their theological arguments (e.g., the open theist God could not have guaranteed the crucifixion of Jesus and cannot guarantee the return of Jesus) they would then turn those same arguments (which really depend on there being no free will as power of contrary choice) against evangelical Arminians. In other words, I saw myself and my fellow Arminians standing right behind the open theists being shot at by the evangelical Calvinist inquisitors.

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