Now the real problem with trying to identify the problems with the open dynamic theory of Biblical Inspiration is that it was a theory of mine born with the idea of solving problems in the theological area of Biblical inspiration that the other theories (including dynamic theory) possessed. I was trying to address these issues and offer better solutions. The other problem is because it is my baby it is probably going to be harder for me to see the flaws in it. Like everyone else I have to fight my preconceived perceptions to find the truth and I have to acknowledge that sometimes I do not always succeed. I work at it but I only have one man’s perspective. Even so it is only proper for me to lay out some weaknesses or what I see as new work that needs to be done to refine and strengthen the theory as I see it.
1) No matter how I looked at this theory offers no justification for closing the canon of Scripture. The Bible itself does not offer this idea and the only real place we get it is that there was a significant meeting of the church in the fifth century that closed it. If Open Dynamic theory considers that it is not just the actual process of writing the books of the Bible that is Dynamic but the process that preserves and ratifies it as well, then part of that process would be the various councils of the church that selected and closed the canon. The problem then is then simply asking the question – have we then closed the canon and saying that God cannot inspire a writer at this level again? If not, by what standard would we judge that now given that now it is very doubtful that we could ever get the whole church to engage in such a council again?
2) To interpret the Bible correctly with an open dynamic understanding would require a person to look at the Bible more chronologically with an eye to learning everything about the culture and history of the time it was inspired. This requires more than mere reading to correctly interpret it or apply it. Now, there are some things that are easily understood in the Bible but others that are not. Add to this the need to check not just what happened but what could have happened and you get a far more complex idea of how the Bible should be addressed as we interpret it. It kind destroys the idea that you can just read the Bible and understand it fully and actually requires a little study and understanding of culture and history to really understand it. This theory does not support the idea that anyone can just pick up the Bible and get it all right with one read through. I am not saying you need special authority just be educated to a certain degree. Some people of the more protestant persuasion might argue against this but on the other hand some the more Catholic oriented folks would resent that I am not asking for people to specially spiritually anointed either just knowledgeable of the Bible text as well as the history and culture of the period.
3) The illumination element opens up some interesting questions: If the Bible books are at a level of inspiration that is highest then what of those that are of a lesser level? What level of authority do they have if any? How would we recognize this or is this simple as individual as each believer? This too I messy and there are no good answers. The real problem is identification of not only said books that are of lesser inspiration but the real problem is degree of inspiration by God.
All of this really though stems from the introduction of open theism and the idea of possibility and alternate possibility to the text. It is this injection of open theistic ideas to inspiration that makes the possibilities of how God inspires, what he inspires and why far more open and dynamic and with those things come the associated constant asking of questions and firmly forming and opinion too strongly that you cannot change it. This view causes you to have a viewpoint concerning the Bible that truly does not make it an idol to be worshiped but simply a lamp to our feet, a sword for our defense and bread for our nourishment. It is not God himself but a guidebook to help us have our own open and dynamic walk with God like many others in its pages.
There are probably more problems but these are the ones that despite the drawing to a close on this study I still wrestle with and will probably wrestle with for the rest of my life. I can no longer look at the Bible as a static list of does and don’ts that never change because the Bible itself does change the rules from time to time as the relationship between God and his people changes. I have only one final word before I close this study.
Next: A Final Word