Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

6-1-2013

Abstract

The problem of evil presents an intellectual hurdle for some to believe in a good and omnipotent God. The emergence of open theism could be seen as an attempt to make a stronger case for the free will defense. However, in denying divine foreknowledge as traditionally understood, open theism contradicts biblical revelation not only in its direct claims, but also when its logical implications for divine providence are worked out. The open theist Alan Rhoda has sought to explain through game theory how some degree of divine providence is possible under open theism. That explanation is astonishing since the open theist view of libertarian free will is intrinsically at odd with the rational actor model presupposed by game theory. In this essay, the free will defense of open theism and two other responses to the problem of evil are examined.Game theory and other mathematical theorems are employed in illustrating the theological claims. This essay seeks to show that the historic Christian doctrine of divine sovereignty can be reasonably explained given the presence of evil. The key is to recognize the biblical picture of the present age as a development ground and worthiness-demonstrating trial for a perfectible authentic humanity, chosen for a glorious leadership role in the new heavens and new earth, where everything will be knowable, optimal, and predictable.

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