As I take up my digital pen on this issue again. I head down the path of explaining what I think as far as how the Bible was inspired. In my last post in this series I proposed the name form my theory as “Open Dynamic Theory”. In this post I want to explain what I mean by “Open”, the next will discuss “Dynamic” and finally I want people to understand what is meant by ‘Theory”. In part I simply want to take each part and look at it more closely. I will then probably conclude this study with a final word.
Biblical Inspiration and Open Theism have met before I am sure but I think about the implications of the two ideas meeting as game changing compared to what people consider normal. Open Theism considers the nature of God in true give and take relationships with people and so the Bible being both a work of human being and a work of God needs to be considered in that relationship context. Open theism also deals with God’s actions in time and his relationship with time a little differently so that is going to play a part on how God inspired the Bible.
1) The Bible is very much something that changes in its message and implications as time passes. God from time to time changes the rules or modifies them. What this means for the person who interprets the Bible is they have to be very conscious of these changes and when the those changes take place. The message changes because of the passage of time and the decisions people and God make. Knowing the time context for interpreting according to Open Dynamic Theory is going to be much more emphasized.
2) ‘Open’ also implies that the history of the Bible could read differently. It is not just important to know what the Bible says happened, but also what could have happened. “What were the other possibilities?” becomes a key interpretive question. The Bible is not the product of fate sealing every single word. This means that the other possibilities the course of the Bible could have taken need to be considered if we are going to full assess the weight of each decisive moment in Biblical history. “Had Hezekiah not prayed to have his life extended what would have happened?” and similar questions are very legitimate for those that hold Open Dynamic Theory. Another legitimate thing to consider is God may know the possibilities of the future at a certain Biblical moment, what he does not know is what choice will actually be made. Example: Paul wrote 1st Corinthians for instance not knowing how the Corinthian church would react, what we need to also consider is that God knew all the possibilities but he did not know either which choice they would make. If they had not changed for the better, 2nd Corinthians might have read very differently.
3. ‘Open’ also implies and absence of fate in which books of the Bible were chosen. The whole process of how each book got into the Bible is as much a part of the process as the actual writing of those books themselves. The choices of the people of God bear some weight in what is inspired and what they are going to accept as ‘God Word.’ God is working with people in the inspiration and canonization process not despite them. There is a give and take even in the process of what books were placed in the Bible from a God-Man relationship perspective. It was not God just forcing the issue but working cooperatively at times.
There is much more to be explored here, but this is the basics I see at the present time. One thing is for sure there is more to this process of inspiration that just God dictating terms.
Next: Open Dynamic Theory – What is Meant by ‘Dynamic’?