An Examination of the Biblical Evidence for Open Theism

Yöney F.

HEYTHROP JOURNAL, vol.61, pp.253-266, 2020 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 61
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/heyj.13338
  • Title of Journal : HEYTHROP JOURNAL
  • Page Numbers: pp.253-266


Open Theist theologians argue that their view of divine foreknowledge and providence is the correct interpretation of the Bible, and suggest some biblical evidence to support this claim. Among these theologians, Gregory A. Boyd's case is the most systematic, and also the most comprehensive and rigorous. Taking into consideration (1) the main philosophical claims of Open Theism and its main rivals, namely Calvinism and Molinism, and (2) Open Theist theologians' interpretative principles for the Bible, the biblical evidence for Open Theism suggested by Boyd can be classified into three groups according to their strength. I will argue that the first group of themes has no evidential value for Open Theism, since these themes can be interpreted just as plausibly from a Calvinist or Molinist perspective. By contrast, the second group of themes has some evidential value and thus constitutes prima facie evidence for Open Theism, since these themes make most sense under an Open Theist interpretation. However, these themes also make some sense on a Molinist reading. The third group of themes, I argue, has most evidential value for Open Theism, since it seems hard to reconcile these themes either with Calvinism or Molinism.