OPEN THEISM & PROPHECY


Prophecy is one immediate objection to Open Theism. If God doesn’t / cannot / chooses not to know the future (depending on the variant), how can God give accurate prophecy?


Alan Rhoda’s responses are:


1) Some prophecies are special cases where God will do it regardless of what humans think or feel about it, ironically cites Isaiah 46 & 48 where God says He declares the future – they will happen because God Himself directly accomplishes it. [NB: I have also read at least one Open Theist who says God DOES use mind control in a few specific cases, to ensure certain events happen such as the crucifixion.]


2) Some are because God knows people so well, He knows what they will do and how they will respond (e.g. Jesus with Peter’s denial). Not as strong as Middle Knowledge, more like my analogy of Batman predicting Joker’s next move than Dr Strange’s checking 14,000,065 futures.


3) Some are because God intervenes to affect people’s decisions, not mind control but like how we can ‘make’ people angry or happy or afraid through mundane actions (e.g. showing up to threaten Balaam, sending a spirit of fear onto the Canaanites). Again, this is Batman territory.


4) Categorical predictions that are actually conditional, God announces things that He will change if the people repent (e.g. Nineveh in Jonah, Hezekiah’s).



I’m not an Open Theist (yet – I always try to keep myself OPEN to all data!), but it’s important to steelman arguments.

But also:

This kind of extremely bad outcome, even if possible, is nevertheless extreme unlikely


Forgive me but this doesn’t exactly give me confident assurance that God will fulfill solemnly sworn promises.


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