Zeeb, Janelle Louise. “An Analysis of Clark Pinnock's Open Theism as a Potential Solution to Theodicy.” M.T.S., Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2015.
Clark Pinnock has been one of the most notable advocates of open theism; an idea which has been gaining ground over the last few decades. This thesis will examine Pinnock's understanding of open theism as pertains to the issue of theodicy, and will compare and contrast it with traditional views of theodicy. This is done in order to determine if open theism is able to provide a more coherent version of theodicy which is pastorally comforting to Christians who face suffering. As theodicy is a key issue when comparing different theological systems, the ability or inability of open theism to address theodicy in a way that is more compelling than traditional options is an important test to determine whether open theism should be allowed as an orthodox Christian option. Chapter 1 explains the importance of theodicy as a test for any theological system, examines Pinnock's personal theological background and journey, and gives a short summary of the controversy surrounding open theism. Chapter 2 discusses in detail how three views of God's sovereignty (divine determinism, simple foreknowledge views, and open theism) understand God's omnipotence, omniscience, human freedom, and theodicy, in order to compare these systems' advantages and problems for theodicy. Chapter 3 lays out four specific advantages of Pinnock's open theism as relates to theodicy: it affirms God's character is perfectly good, it takes spiritual warfare seriously, it preserves human moral responsibility, and it encourages Christians to work against evil. Chapter 4 examines common objections to open theism's implications for theodicy. The main issues are the claim that divine determinism is more comforting to Christians than open theism, that open theism reduces the ability to trust God's guidance, that in open theism God is still guilty of allowing evil to occur, that open theism reduces God's glory, and finally, that open theism's theodicy is not supported by Scripture. Each criticism is responded to by Pinnock, supported by other open theists, in order to show that open theism can address these issues in a consistent and convincing manner.
Thesis (M.T.S.)—Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2015
Table of Contents
Introduction – Definitions and Important Concepts – Implications of Open Theism for Theodicy – Criticism of Open Theism's Implications for Theodicy and Rebuttals by Open Theists – Conclusion
Tyndale University College & Seminary
Copyright, Janelle Louise Zeeb, managed by Tyndale University. All rights reserved.
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