Most Moved Mover and Searching for an Adequate God

Just as the divisive issue of biblical inerrancy dominated evangelical theological discussion in the 1970s, so the issue of God's "openness" has increasingly dominated it recently. At the center of a growing firestorm of controversy within evangelical theology stand Clark Pinnock and his critics, some of whom would like to cast him and those who agree with him out of the evangelical community. Pinnock, a Canadian Baptist theologian, has developed the controversial concept of "open theism." One influential, conservative evangelical theologian has publicly declared Pinnock not a Christian and refused to have fellowship with him; others have described the God of Pinnock and his open-theist evangelical friends, a God who does not control everything and who takes risks, as pathetic and hand-wringing.

Perhaps the most damaging charge leveled against them by the neofundamentalist evangelicals who reject innovative, constructive theological reflection is that they are closeted process theologians. The careers and reputations of evangelical theologians are at stake in this controversy, which threatens to divide evangelicalism.

At its 2001 meeting the Evangelical Theological Society, which re­quires belief in biblical inerrancy for membership, passed a resolution affirming God's absolute foreknowledge and, in effect, declaring open theism contrary to the clear teaching of scripture. Whether open theists and their supporters will be allowed to remain members of the society is in doubt.