The Implications of God’s Infinity for “Open” Theism -- By: Steve Lewis

Journal: Conservative Theological Journal
Volume: CTJ 07:20 (Mar 2003)
Article: The Implications of God’s Infinity for “Open” Theism
Author: Steve Lewis


The Implications of God’s Infinity for “Open” Theism

Steve Lewis

M.A., M. Min. candidate, Tyndale Theological Seminary
Faith Baptist Church, Parker, Colorado

Introduction

Proponents of the “Open” view of God claim to believe in God’s infiniteness; therefore the implications of the infinity of God will be explored to determine whether they are consistent with the tenets of open theism. A proper definition of God’s infiniteness will be outlined, including the relationship of an infinite God to space and time. Open theism’s arguments for the temporality of God will be examined in light of God’s infinity, and evidence will be presented for the timelessness of God. Finally, this article will explore the implications that God’s infiniteness has regarding the debate about God’s foreknowledge.

Clark Pinnock, an advocate of open theism, acknowledges that no doctrine is more important than the doctrine of God. He states, “The concept of God is the most important topic in theology—and the most mysterious. Dealing with it makes one aware of the limitations of our finite understanding.”1 Pinnock is correct in this assertion, and it is important to understand that any concept of God can be viewed as an interdependent package of characteristics. One of the primary features of such a grouping of attributes is that it must be coherent and internally consistent. Ronald Nash explains this idea in the following words:

A concept of God may be thought of as a cluster or package of properties attributed to the divine being. The phrase package of attributes suggests that the properties attributed to God are tied together in some way. I can go still further, and speak of the set of divine attributes as a logical package, which is simply a way of saying that they must fit together logically; the entire cluster of divine attributes must be logically consistent...With respect to any proposed concept of God, then, it is proper to ask if the various elements of the concept fit together.2

Nash goes on to say that some divine attributes will logically entail certain other attributes, and that “logical entailments between different attributes have the effect of producing different packages of attributes and thus different concepts of God.”3 Pinnock recognizes this when he states, “On the basis of divine revelation we strive for a biblically and conceptually sound understanding of God and of the package of divine properties that contribute to a coh...

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