It is Time to Change? Open Theism and the Divine Timelessness Debate

Marshall Wicks | August 25, 2009

The recent popularity of Open Theism in evangelical circles has raised questions regarding the traditional doctrine of divine eternality, timelessness, or atemporality. The questions necessitate a three-part investigation of the subject. Part one investigates the present status of temporality studies which define time as either tenseless or dynamic. Part two compares the temporal position with the atemporal. The classical position has been that God is timeless, but some recent evangelical scholars have come to view God as a temporal being, with some others theorizing that He is both temporal and atemporal. The temporal position criticizes atemporalism in three ways: (1) the Bible presents God as a temporal being; (2) the modern consensus is that God is temporal; (3) atemporality is a result of the influence of Greek philosophy on Christian doctrine; (4) the idea of a timeless God is incoherent. In each case, the criticisms prove to be invalid. Part three examines positions that attempt to maintain temporality and atemporality simultaneously, but the composite approach proves to be nothing but another way of stating the atemporal position. A successful defense of the atemporal position proves Open Theism to be an unorthodox version of theism that should be rejected.

Vol. 18, no. 1 (Spring 2007)

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Wicks, Marshall. "It is Time to Change? Open Theism and the Divine Timelessness Debate." The Master's Seminary Journal 18, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 43-68.