Have you ever wondered why some people respond to Jesus and the gospel narrative, while others are either disinterested or even actively hostile? There are some clever theories out there to explain this – ranging from “everyone has the free will to accept Jesus, or not” aka Armenianism, or “some are chosen to be saved, and some are not” aka Calvinism. (Please note that while I have linked to the wikipedia for each of these terms, I am not espousing the wikipedia as my theological guide for life, but it seems as good a place as any to begin reading about these terms if you are not familiar with them!). I have posted about this issue before, and if you have poked around my blog you will see that I am somewhat bothered by both of these positions. I have always wondered if maybe there was another view, a third position, floating out there in theology land. Today I had lunch with a few people as part of our Forge internship. In the midst of our discussions the issue of universalism (the view that ultimately everyone will be saved) came up, particularly in relationship to mission. Calvinism of course stands in stark opposition to this perspective. Today I learned the name of another position to explore on this whole matter – open theism. Here is a snippet from the Wikipedia concerning this perspective:
“Open theism asserts that the future exists partly in terms of possibilities rather than certainties. That is, there are aspects of the future that are indeterminate. This means that God’s knowledge of the future, being perfect, would also consist largely of possibilities and not certainties. God has knowledge of some future certainties such as those things that He ordains, and He knows all future possibilities such as the possible free will choices of His created beings.”
This idea is going to take some time for me to sift through, and will probably require slightly heavier reading than the wikipedia!
Enough for now…. but expect more on this to come.