Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Open Theism vs. Dr. Norman Geisler

As many of my readers may know, I like to discuss philosophy of religion a lot (some of it happens at thatsdebatable.org), and one topic that isn't often mentioned is Open Theism.  Open Theism is the idea that God does not know the future (nor does it exist to be known by anyone), and is contrary to the classical theistic idea that God is timeless and immutable.  Proponents of this view include Orthodox Theologian Richard Swinburne (Oxford), Nicholas Wolterstorff (Yale), Greg Boyd (Bethel), and, humorously, Craig Boyd (formerly APU).

So one night, we had our feet up and our pipes out, and talk moved around to the idea of Open Theism.  One of my friends had been a student of Craig Boyd at APU, and mentioned that he was an Open Theist who often posted Open Humor on his facebook page, i.e. "Hmmm...what will I have for lunch today?  I don't know.  And neither does God!"

"You know," another of my friends commented, "Open Theism is kind of a big deal at the Evangelical Theological Society (a major evangelical scholarly society and journal).  I heard that Norman Geisler left the society because they didn't get rid of Clark Pinnock, that Open Theist guy."

Really?  He left ETS for not expelling a member?  Sure enough, after a brief internet search, it was revealed that Geisler, a former ETS president (!) left the society in 2003, and lists his reasons why in this letter.  I am not an open theist myself, but I (in my infinite maturity and wisdom) deemed this a little harsh...a little cantankerous.  I looked at my friends.  "Gentlemen," I said, "it sounds like we may need to pay the fastidious Dr. Geisler a little visit.  Do you think he'd be...open to the idea?"

"INTERNET!  FIND ME NORMAN GEISLER!!!"

(Click here to witness the dramatization.)

A few clicks later, it was revealed that he would be less than 30 miles away from us in a matter of weeks.  Well, there wasn't much time to waste.  Soon, plans all fell into place...and, well, the rest is history.  And just look at his smile!  He still has no idea.

Zachary Porcu left, Andrew Cuff right, and together with Dr. Geisler, we make an Open Theism sandwich.


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I would like to dedicate our feat to Dr. Craig Boyd, whose fantastic Bob Dylan impression served as an inspiration to us all.

To purchase an Open Theism T-Shirt or Hoodie...you can't.  There's only two and we've got them.

Zachary Porcu's blog, Truth is a Snare

6 comments:

alexxe said...

Did you make those shirts specifically to go see him???

theguide42 said...

Oh, you know we did.

Anonymous said...

You're the greatest. I'm putting this on my facebook to show all my friends with the caption "omg this is so cool."

Anonymous said...

No friggin way.

MackBeemer said...

???

Since when is a theological society supposed to impose "church discipline?"

There might well be better reeasons to wonder aboug Pinnock than his espousal of OT (= open theism).

But in a society whose purpose for existing is to encourage theological debate?

I'm sorry. I must be missing something.

Mack Harrell

Josh Harris said...

Just posted this once-in-a-lifetime brilliance on Greg Boyd's facebook page. Hope you guys don't mind . . .