Justin Taylor

C. S. Lewis once wrote, "Everyone who believes in God at all believes that He knows what you and I are going to do tomorrow."1 But this is precisely what open theists deny. That is why many would concur with Timothy George, who says, "Open theism teaches a subChristian view of God that is unworthy of a robust biblical faith. I have no sympathy for this view and think it would be a great mistake for evangelicals to welcome it within the bounds of tolerable theological diversity."2

It is crucial to understand that open theism is not just another intramural squabble among evangelicals. It is not a debate about second-order doctrines, minutiae, or peripheral matters. Rather, it is a debate about God and the central features of the Christian faith. The contributors to Beyond the Bounds stand with a growing chorus of contemporary scholars who have made clear what is at stake in this debate. D. A. Carson argues that open theism "so redefines the God of the Bible and of theology that we wind up with a quite different God." Wayne Grudem contends that open theism "ultimately portrays a different God than the God of the Bible." And R. Albert Mohler, believes that "The very identity and reality of the God of the Bible is at stake."3 Open theism is, at its roots, a question about the nature of

1 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Collier, 1952), 148.

2 Timothy George, personal correspondence (4 November 2002); used with permission. George was one of the two external, non-voting participants in Bethel College and Seminary's Committee for Theological Clarification and Assessment, which examined Boyd's teaching. For a brief history of the intersection between the Baptist General Conference and open theism, see John Piper with Justin Taylor (appendix by Millard Erickson), Resolution on the Foreknowledge of God: Reasons and Rationale (Minneapolis: Bethlehem Baptist Church, 2000); and Piper, "We Took a Good Stand and Made a Bad Mistake: Reflections on the Baptist General Conference Annual Meeting, St. Paul, June 25-28, 2000" (www.desiringgod.org/library/fresh_words/2000/070500.html).

3 Carson, Grudem, and Mohler, from their endorsements of Bruce A. Ware, God's Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism (Wheaton, 1ll.: Crossway, 2000), 1-2.

14 beyond the bounds

God.4 The essays in this book contend that open theism presents us with a different God—a God compatible, perhaps, with contemporary sentiments, but one who is not the God of the Bible.

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