The article’s main purpose is to critique the hermeneutics of the supporters of classical theism in their ongoing debates with the open theism proponents. The author’s critique is mostly achieved in pointing the flaws of classic theism views of immutability and impassibility.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The main thesis is seemed to be consisting of one side of the formed debates. Although the author emphasized being neutral in these debates, he did not provide any pieces of evidence or arguments that refute the open theism. The author assumes that classic theism conclusions on open theism are based on philosophical arguments rather than on studied exegesis. The example given of classic theism scholars answering the students’ question about text interpretations is not a successful one regarding the topic and addresses personal conclusions based on one event. The arguments of Hayes is supported in thorough Hebrew exegesis of the texts is logical because he brings the discussion to the fundamentals, but he emphasizes one word, niham, and this makes his critique concentrate mostly on immutability. The author’s imposing neutrality and, at the same time, the mention of him being a Calvinist is expressed as a possibility of being unfair through the critique while doing the opposite. The final conclusion in stating that Yahween DO CLEARLY changes his mind based on the Old Testament is rather an imposed conclusion based on interpretations that can explain both ways, and although his exegesis is logical, they are limited and one-directional. The most interesting part about the article is how he advises the reader to consult experts in building the theology while constructing his conclusions basically on one word.
The whole critique seems rather as an explanation of why classic theism is illogical in his debates with open theism proponents. While personally, the impassibility and immutability of God are indisputable. Still, the interpretations of classic and open theism proponents state each others’ definitions in such a way that the worst possible outcome will ruin the concept of biblical teachings. In addition, building the arguments of the debates on the assumption on what might the other say in a particular interpretation of a particular verse and what the consequences of such action are useless. As an example, the interpretation of God’s emotions in the bible for classic theism and open theism are figurative and literal in accordance, is mostly on what emotions are more figurative (regret, change of mind), and what to consider almost literally (love, justice). The irony is in considering the logical conclusions based on assumptions on what should happen, e.g., God feels regret, then God made a mistake. The dialogue of God in the bible should be considered as a communicative device that uses the emotions that are known to man to point the possible outcome. When you made something wrong, it makes feel more regret in your actions if that made your father angry, the same is toward God who expresses feelings that are close and known to man to make him feel regret, but that does not mean he feels physical anger, therefore, feels regret, therefore, is changeable. 1 Samuel 15:29 “Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”
Pettegrew L. D. “Is There Knowledge In The Most High?”. (Psalm 73:11).
Hayes J. D. “Does Systematics Drive OT Exegesis? Or can God Still Change His Mind? Questions of Method”. 2002.
“Openness Theology – Does God Know Your Entire Future?” Web.