Know your LDS boundaries, friends: open theism minus creatio ex nihilo

Am I practicing boundary maintainence?  Or is Blake Ostler?

“It may appear that open theism emerges as the only viable alternative for a theology that seek to maintain that: (1) we are free to choose whether to return God’s love with our own love; and (2) God is not directly culpable for evil events and choices.  Both of these features seem to me to be essential to any sound religious worldview.  Because open theists affirm that God has a general plan but not complete foreknowledge or sovereign control, they can apparently escape the implications of Calvinism and Thomism regarding divin causality and Molinism regarding middle knowledge.  It appears that open theism alone can affirm that God’s plan does not entail that persons are not free and that God is responsible for our evil acts” (emphasis mine, in Blake’s Vol. 2, pp. 409-410).

Clark Pinnock would maintain that Calvinists defy logic:  “It should be clear to the reader why the number of strict Calvinists is relatively small.  It involves one in agonizing difficulties of the first order.  It makes God some kind of terrorist who goes around handing out torture and disaster and even willing people to do things the Bible says that God hates.”

Blake Ostler would maintain that open theists defy logic if they believe in creatio ex nihilo.

Logic . . . it is a handy tool, isn’t it?


  1. I am upset when logic starts on wrong premises or when logic is carried beyond where the Bible says don’t go with your logic.

  2. Good post Todd. We are working through Romans 9 with our church family. It is also important to recognize the extreme limitations of our ability to comprehend the world we live in while understanding that God does not struggle with those same limitations. (Read Job)

    In some areas, the only reasonable choice is to accept what God says.

  3. Todd: The bible doesn’t teach creation out of nothing. The was derived from philosophical arguments that go beyond the bible. It is the very best example of a doctrine that you accept that goes beyond the bible. However, I agree with you — it ain’t logical either.

    Pinnock maintains not only that Calvinists defy logic, but that they also fundamentally misunderstand and misapply the biblical documents.

  4. Blake: this is not a fair statement. Quite the opposite is true.

    I have read several of your articles on creation ex-nihilo and your dependence on Greek philosophical arguments is astounding coming from someone who is very quick to level the charge against others. In one of your articles you are even quoting Aristotle as a source in favor of your view.

    The Apostle Paul…

    “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

    The only way you can get creation out of pre-existing matter into this passage (written by a Jewish Christian although I’m not sure if you believe Colossians was written by Paul) was is with the help of lots of presupposed Greek philosophical thinking.

    The amazing part of Paul’s statement is not that all things were created by Him but that all things were created for Him. That truth is worth meditating on.

    One question I would like to hear you answer is how you think the Greeks got it so right and were able to articulate it so well? That is a legitimate question.

  5. That’s funny Christopher, I would have said the same thing about concluding creation ex nihilo from that passage.

  6. Seth: Thanks for the comment. I think you are misunderstanding me. No where did I say that I find creation ex nihilo in this passage. Please take a look again at what I wrote.

  7. Are we not all biased in one way or another? Logic is not the problem. Our presuppositions are. Now let us assume we can go about our days in normal ways without absolute logic. When I see gas for $ 2.00 a gallon I logically assume that I will pay no more than what the price of gas is, absolutely! I use logic all the day long. However, it seems I can deviate and complain to the gas station that such gas is not worth the price and is therefore beyond logic. The problem here is I become unreasonable > I refuse to pay the said price and am at an impass. Many people continue to come and go in and out of the gas station paying the price while I sit and pout. If I want to go about my day and live my life I have to get with it. If I remain unreasonable I will never work it out.

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