QUESTION: What is your opinion of “Openness Theology”?


ANSWER: I will address this topic in much greater detail later.


I have not done much research on so-called openness theology. However, the Bible regularly depicts God as interacting with humans and responding to what they do. These responses make it appear as though God has not predestined everything which takes place, but actually reacts to what humans do and makes active decisions. For example, God is depicted as both being resolute and changing His mind, depending upon the situation. (See Does God Change His Mind?) Further, God is shown to have regret (Gen 6 [over the creation of humanity]; 1 Sam [over the appointment of Saul as king]).


God can be pursuaded. Moses does this (Exod 32), and the prophet Joel indicates this is also possible (Joel 2).


In addition, the Bible shows that God is involved in most of the psychological states and processes as humans who are also depicted in the Bible (My dissertation, The God of the Prophets, shows this to be the case in prophetic literature), but God does not fear.


Finally, the way the Bible presents prayer is not that we are participating in what God is already doing, but that our prayer can get God to act in a situation in which He might not otherwise act.


William P. Griffin, Ph.D.