Using ideas developed in The Doctrine of God as a theological basis, Frame provides a biblical analysis and critique of the “open theist” movement, which is shaking the church today by challenging the Reformed doctrines of God’s sovereignty, foreknowledge, and providence. In this timely work, Frame clearly describes open theism and evaluates it biblically. He addresses such questions as “How do open theists read the Bible?” “Is love God’s most important attribute?” “Is God’s will the ultimate explanation of everything?” “Do we have genuine freedom?” “Is God ever weak or changeable?” “Does God know everything in advance?” Frame not only answers the objections of open theists, he also sharpens our understanding of the relationship between God’s eternal plan and the decisions and events of our lives.
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“Sanders himself admits that one crucial, distinctive element (the crucial element, in my view) of open theism, is ancient: libertarian free will.” (Page 27)
“Besides libertarianism, another central idea of open theism is also rather old: its denial of God’s exhaustive foreknowledge.” (Page 32)
“But from a Calvinistic perspective, secular determinism is a close cousin to libertarianism, for neither acknowledges that the world is under the control of a personal creator. In both systems, therefore, the world process ‘just happens.’ In both, the ruling element is chance.” (Page 30)
“Scripture contradicts the proposition that only uncaused decisions are morally responsible” (Page 127)
“Perhaps it is better, in some respects, for God to be closed. For example, if he really has left the future completely open, he has left open the possibility of Satan’s victory.” (Page 18)
Open theism is bad news. The appearance of this book is good news. Precisely because God is closed and not open to the nullification of his purposes (Job 42:2), he has opened a future for believers that is utterly secure no matter what we suffer. The key that would open the defeat of God is eternally closed within the praiseworthy vault of His precious sovereignty. John Frame delights to show when it is good to be closed and when it is good to be open. And the Bible is his criterion.
—John Piper, pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church
This book is something both to read and to give away . . . both needed and effective.
—D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Here one will see vividly so much that is wrong with open theism while encountering afresh the beauty and glory of the true and living God of the Bible.
—Bruce A. Ware, professor of Christian theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
A convincing . . . biblical case for a God whose sovereignty is something not to be avoided but cherished.
—William Edgar, professor of apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary
A devastating critique of the concept of human freedom as articulated in the “open theistic” view.
—Roger R. Nicole, professor of theology, emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando
John M. Frame (b. 1939) is an American philosopher and a Calvinist theologian especially noted for his work in epistemology, presuppositional apologetics, systematic theology, and ethics. He is one of the foremost interpreters and critics of the thought of Cornelius Van Til. Dr. Frame formerly taught at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, and Westminster Theological Seminary.