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God: een Onbewogen Monarch? Kritische evaluatie van de opentheïstische interpretatie van de klassieke leer van Gods noodzakelijkheid, onveranderlijkheid en onlijdelijkheid

By Elbert Kroon


In this doctoral thesis in Church History I respond to the reproach of the in the United States within the Evangelical world introduced Open Theism, that the classical theology presents a doctrine of God in which God does not maintain any or almost no relationship with the created reality. Accordingly to this reproach Classical Theism would be mainly influenced by the aristotelic thougt that perceives God as an Unmoved Mover, a First Cause from which everything necessarily follows. Thus the created reality could not escape from determinism. I oppose this proposition of Open Theism by studying the sources of classical theology and with this goal I researched works of Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Francis Turrettin.\ud My first step is to illustrate the position of Open Theists like John Sanders, Clark Pinnock and Gregory Boyd on one hand and the position of the three classical theologians named before on the other hand using their interpretations of the Scriptures that ascribe repentance to God. Subsequently I show how the repentance of God in Open Theism is associated to God's knowledge, mutability and passibility, and how in classical theology this repentance is connected to scientia, immutabilitas and impassibilitas.\ud I answer the problem defenition of my thesis by means of the ad intra-ad extra structure of the doctrine of God of the reformed orthodox theologian Francis Turretin. Subsequently I support this with a limited research of the notion of relationship in the scholastic tradition, mainly by Aquinas and Turretin. The conclusion of my research can be summarized as follows. \ud Turretin emphasizes that God in himself is simple, infinite and immutable. However, according to Turretin this does not imply that God necessarily lives a solitary life. On the contrary: God decided in all freedom to create a reality outside himself which He loves in freedom. God's absolute simplicity does not hinder a relationship, because He revealed himself to us in an accessible way, namely by characteristics that we recognize in creation. Also, his absolute infinity (immensity and eternity) does not prevent such a relationship, because He created limited time and space for us in which to develop the relationship. Neither does his absolute immutability prevent a relationship with the created reality. By his work of creation He relates himself to a changeable reality. The fact that God wills, and on this basis knows our created reality does not imply that our reality is of an inevitable and absolute necessity. Turretin's opinion is that God contingently, freely and spontaneously decided to create the world in such a way that the contingent structure of the created reality does not get destroyed. People can act freely and contingently, even though he or she shall not act in contradiction to God's eternal decree. \ud Although the ontological status of God and of creature are immensely different, the relationship between God and creature has an immediate character because God as being itself (ipsum esse) communicated being (esse) to creature in the contingent act of creating. This relationship is extremely dynamical because God created as a pure act (purus actus) and this relationship cannot be broken because the relationship exists as long as the creature has his esse. In short: God created all the conditions to maintain a relationship with his creature and in this relationship He realizes his virtues: justice, goodness, grace, love and mercy

Topics: Godgeleerdheid, open theism, doctrine of God, reformed theology, Francis Turrettin
Year: 2007
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