God in an Open Universe

OPEN THEISM is a style of theology whose fundamental commitment is to the relational character of God.  God according to open theism need not have been related to the world of creatures, for there need not have been such a world at all.  In fact, however, God has graciously chosen to grant existence to a universe containing an amazingly rich profusion of phenomena, including (at least in our corner of it) creatures blessed with life, consciousness, and even with rationality and the desire and capacity to experience God and relate to him.  And having created such a universe, God is not indifferent or remote form it, but cares deeply about it and involves himself in the lives of his creatures, with the loving aim of bringing them into the knowledge of and fellowship with himself.  In contrast with the “Unmoved Mover” of Aristotle, This God has been characterized as the “Most Moved Mover.”

     According to open theism, God’s desire to be in relation with his creatures attests to the fact that the creatures have something of their own to add to this relationship —- that they are not mere puppets or automata, carrying out a divine plan which in every detail has been scripted for them in advance.  On the contrary, they have been endowed by God with a power of self-determination, enabling them to choose in part their own destinies, at best following the wise guidance of their loving creator, but with the power to choose, tragically, to reject that guidance and set out on paths of their own, however destructive those paths may turn out to be in the end.  God however, has not left his fallen creatures to their own impoverished resources, but has reached out to them in redemptive love, through the historical encounter recounted in the Bible and culminating in the life, sacrificial death, and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ.   The story of redemption in Christ is the central theme of the New Testament and of the entire Christian faith.

William Hasker

Thomas Jay Oord

and Dean Zimmerman

Taken from the book

God in an Open Universe

Science, Metaphysics, and Open Theism


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