Calvinism, Controversial Issues, Religious Movements

Debate with Reformed Calvinist’s on the topic of Absolute Sovereignty of God and Open Theism

Holy BibleI was in a audio chat room (pal talk) recently and the discussion in the room (reformed room) was on the absolute sovereignty of God and how God is in control and wills all things, but God is not responsible for mankind’s sin and fallen state.  With that being said I listened and simply asked some questions for further clarification of Reformed Theology and what reformers believe concerning the “absolute sovereignty of God” in connection with God’s will, God’s decrees, and God’s predestination.

The discussion was good for the most part, but there was much inconsistency with how they responded.  The major problem I had with this discussion was that there was very (I mean very little) Scripture shared in their responses.  I respect the things that were shared, but the issue was, what do the Scripture teach on this?

So here is the main point of this post for discussion.  Does free will prove a person is an open theist?  A person in the room got involved in the discussion and wanted to debate me, and he said boldly to me that there is only two views concerning theology in relation to how God works.  A person either believes in reformed theology & doctrines or that person is an open theist by definition.  So with that being said I wanted this to be proved by him.   That if a person is not a reformed believer and does not hold to their view on the absolute sovereignty of God, then by definition and conclusion that makes that person an open theist, thus holding to open theism.  

It was interesting to say the least because I was more assertive in the discussion when this person was claiming this, and I repeatedly asked for him to prove this assertion and claim from Scripture.  The person’s proof was from a question he said over and over which was which really was off topic.  The question was, “can a person come to believe in Christ”, which had to do with the issue of free will vs Calvinism view on salvation.  

In this so called debate discussion the person kept on insisting this was the proof to the assertion, so in turn I responded stating this does not prove anything and goes onto a new discussion.  I responded to the question on free will and provided John 7:37-39, John 14:16-17, and John 20:22.  I then demonstrated from Scripture that there were people whom were followers or believers (free will) before the work of the cross and resurrection, before the Spirit was given in reference to being born again or regenerated.  It was interesting to see their responses because they did not like this at all.  As with many whom do not like seeing the simplicity and consistency of Scripture they thus jumped onto other Scriptures and did not address what was shared.

This was an interesting experience for me, because the discussion and their answers were not consistent with the Scriptures or with what they stated.  I have no hatred towards Calvinist’s or those within Reformed Churches, and I in no way wish to belittle any whom are of this perspective.  I believe a common problem today is that there are many religious people, whether Christian or not Christian, that have their own definitions of what words mean that are not consistent with what the Scriptures teach.  My basic rule for Biblical and spiritual truth is reading what the Word says, and allow the context to be the guidelines for how words are defined, and from that be consistent with what God’s Word teaches.

If a person is not of the reformed view, does that make a person an open theist?

The belief that God is absolutely sovereign in all things in which God has decreed, willed, predetermined, ordained all things from the past, present and future has a really big question that needs to be answered from Scripture.  How is God not responsible for mankind’s sin and fallen state if reformed theology is accurate?

You are welcome to share your comments if you wish to here.  

Kelly Powers


One thought on “Debate with Reformed Calvinist’s on the topic of Absolute Sovereignty of God and Open Theism

  1. I am an Open Theist. Being one, I am aware that Open Theists are marginalized. Hence, it may be to some Calvinists advantage to marginalize people who aren’t Calvinists. They can then say….oh, they are Open Theists – and that, as we all know, is bad!

    Arminism doesn’t sit well with some Calvinists but they can’t bring themselves to call them heretics (like they do Open Theists). Hence, by giving the ‘Open Theists’ tag they achieve marginalization.

    Now having said all of that, I am very comfortable being an Open Theist. I think it complies with scripture more closely than other positions. However, I appreciate it is important to remain open in conversation to our brothers and sisters who have differing positions on foreknowledge, predestination etc.

    Posted by Tim | September 29, 2013, 10:51 PM

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