An Evaluation of the "Open View" of God: A Response to Gregory A. Boyd's "God of the Possible" - Part 2

Read Part 1.

e. God tests people to know their character.

Boyd states, “The fifth and strongest group of passages we’ve examined thus far that suggest the future is not exhaustively settled shows that God frequently tests his covenant partners to see if they will choose to follow him or not.”22

Response # 1: When evidence to the contrary from Scripture is presented against this point, Boyd’s response is less than satisfying. He explains:

Perhaps the most familiar example is when the Lord tells Peter he will deny him three times before morning (Matt. 26:33-35). Contrary to the assumption of many, we do not need to believe that the future is exhaustively settled to explain this prediction. We only need to believe that God the Father knew and revealed to Jesus one very predictable aspect of Peter’s character. Anyone who knew Peter’s character perfectly could have predicted that under certain highly pressured circumstances (that God could easily orchestrate), he would act just the way he did.23

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An Evaluation of the "Open View" of God: A Response to Gregory A. Boyd's "God of the Possible" - Part 1

This article by Dr. Myron Houghton first appeared at Sharper Iron in June of 2005.


The primary purpose of this paper is to present the major points of the open view of God as found in Dr. Gregory A. Boyd’s recent book, God of the Possible1 and to respond to those points with an exegesis of relevant biblical passages. While I am not impartial, I intend to be fair, both in the clarity with which the major points of the book are explained and in the manner in which I respond to its major ideas.

In order to introduce my response to Dr. Boyd’s book, both the traditional view and the open view of God will be briefly presented. This will be followed by a presentation of major ideas of the open view of God as found in Dr. Boyd’s book and my response to each of these ideas. Unless otherwise identified, all Scripture quotations will be from the New King James Version of the Bible.


The traditional view of divine omniscience, held by Christian theologians (whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant, whether Calvinistic, Lutheran, Baptist or Arminian) is summarized by Enns:

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Which Plato? Whose Platonism? Summarizing the Christian Platonism Symposium

"Given these various definitions, some of which explicitly contradict any semblance of a unified definition, Christian Platonism is nearly impossible to define since its commitments have shifted over time. Yet there appears to be a core conceptual agreement of transcendence." - London Lyceum

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Plato Is Not the Point: A Critical Defense of Craig Carter’s Proposal

"These five convictions Carter contends are derived from the biblical data and form the metaphysical convictions that accompany his twenty-five theses of what he means by trinitarian classical theism—which he uses interchangeably with Christian Platonism." - London Lyceum

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Why Every Pastor Should Be A Serious Theologian

"To love God fully, we must first hear from him clearly—not from culture or the latest religious trends or our feelings, but from him—precisely how it is that he wishes to be loved..... Similarly, we limit our knowledge of God, when we limit our pursuit of theology and sound doctrine, we likewise limit our ability to love him rightly." - Sauls

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