Unavoidable Limitations


One of the more common criticisms levelled against Open Theism is that it “limits God.”  This is usually meant in term of God’s power and/or ability to control events.

However, as Terence Fretheim has pointed out in his book The Suffering of God, the “limiting of God,” as such is unavoidable when doing theology.  In Fretheim’s view, if one does not limit God’s knowledge and thus with it His unilateral control of creation, then one has to limit God’s ability to experience genuine sorrow, compassion, etc, b/c then they are metaphors that are significantly (if not completely) drained of all meaning.

I often find that using the terminology of limiting God serves more as a rhetorical device rather than a genuine concern.  My hope is that the more classically informed brethren will see that the nature of theology includes “limitation” as such, but that this is bad only when it limits areas that it shouldn’t.  Once we’re at that point, fruitful dialogue can begin again.

Gotta go to church now: any thoughts?


One response to “Unavoidable Limitations

  1. Pingback: Contemporary European Views of God (2): Paul Tillich and the Problem of Language « A Thinker’s Progress

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