This is not a critical examination of the book “Creation Made Free.” For a well written and thoughtful review, I recommend this one at Purging My Soul. What I am wanting to do is really to encourage us all to engage our theological conversations in a more direct manner. I don’t know if you’ve ever gone into a discussion (argument) with just hearsay evidence for your side, but I have and it isn’t pretty, ever! This is my attempt to say that there is a better way to get your information. In short, most times it’s just better to go straight to the source.
Amongst Christians there are a variety of topics that create a certain amount of friction. Some of those topics are played out in the news and other outlets. These topics include gay marriage, abortion, capital punishment, and even creation vs. evolution.
Then there are others that are pretty much only discussed in private. The doors are not closed and the shades are not drawn, but the public has little or no concern for the topics in this arena. These topics include universalism, predestination, and the topic of my post here: Open Theism.
You don’t need to look too far to find an opinion about Open Theology. You can do your own search on the Internet and find more than enough information both for and against the topic. The challenge is that our opinions are often formed on the opinions of others and that is as far as one goes in determining their position on the topic.
Along comes the book “Creation Made Free: Open Theology Engaging Science.” The editor is Dr. Thomas Oord. He is a professor at Northwest Nazarene University, author, friend, and former professor of mine. In “Creation Made Free” the authors discuss their thoughts on a variety of topics from Creation, Free will, Omniscience, and Spiritual Warfare, to name a few.
Even though I had to do some reading in one of my classes on Open Theology, most of my information was coming from the opinions of others. I quickly realized that I was actually part of a giant game of telephone with one person relaying what they heard and each subsequent person doing the same until it got to me.
When I was graciously given this book to read, I was impressed with what I found. Some people led me to believe that Open Theology limits or diminishes God. If God can’t know the future, God cannot be God. Others decried the threat to prophecy and even the trustworthiness of Scriptures and Jesus.
What I found in these pages was not a limited or diminished God at all. I was impressed, even amazed, at how complex Creation is and how competent and in ‘control’ God is through it all. Control is probably not the right word, perhaps ‘unfazed’ by life’s complexities. The God of the Bible is a masterful and competent God able to handle all of life’s challenges and still move the Story of Salvation forward to a grand conclusion.
If you have been hearing rumblings about Open Theology and would like a good primer to help make heads or tails of the discussion, I would highly recommend this book. The authors are sincere and thoughtful in their approaches.
Finally, you will not agree with everything they say or their conclusions. But, you will be better equipped to handle the other information that comes your way in some of the conversations you may encounter.
Do you go to direct sources regarding topics with which you disagree? Why or why not?