Historical Considerations and Openness Theology -- By: Ron J. Bigalke, Jr.

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 11:2 (Fall 2005)
Article: Historical Considerations and Openness Theology
Author: Ron J. Bigalke, Jr.


Historical Considerations and Openness Theology1

Ron J. Bigalke Jr.

Ron J. Bigalke Jr. (M.Apol., M.T.S., Ph.D.) is an author, lecturer, and pastor. He is the founder and director of Eternal Ministries and discipleship pastor of Grace Community Church (Rincon, GA). Dr. Bigalke has taught classes for Moody Bible Institute, Tyndale Theological Seminary, and secondary schools, and has served as a Christian school administrator. He is a member of several Christian professional societies. His email address is bigalke @ gccec.org.

Introduction

Martin Luther declared, “If I profess, with the loudest voice and clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battle field besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”2

Among the many current biblical and theological battles, the most distressing are those which minimize the nature and glory of God. The present battle regarding God’s sovereignty requires the loyalty of the church, and no flight or flinching before the heretical views of openness theology concerning the omniscience of God and His sovereign ordination of all things can be tolerated.

Attacks on the foreknowledge of God happened throughout church history, but they had been infrequent.3 Unfortunately, this has changed in the past three decades. The battle regarding the foreknowledge of God has been intensifying since the publication of W. Norris Clarke’s God, Knowable and Unknowable (1973)4 and Roy Elseth’s Did God Know? (1977).5 Although Calvinists and Arminians define foreknowledge differently, both groups affirm the foreknowledge of God regarding the decisions of mankind.6

Dialogue and discussion within the Evangelical Theological Society on the issue of Open Theism has continued for several years. The following simple resolution affirming traditional belief in God’s foreknowledge was passed at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Colorado Springs: “We believe the Bible clearly teaches that God has complete, accurate, and infallible knowledge of all events past, pres...

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