Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Greg Boyd Commits a Modal Fallacy?

Image result for napoleon dynamite

(This is a special birthday present for DJP!)

Greg Boyd, in "5 Ways the Bible Supports Open Theism," writes:

"Open Theism refers to the belief that God created a world in which possibilities are real. It contrasts with Classical Theism which holds that all the facts of world history are eternally settled, either by God willing them so (as in Calvinism) or simply in God’s knowledge (as in Arminianism). Open Theists believe God created humans and angels with free will and that these agents are empowered to have “say so” in what comes to pass. In Open Theism, therefore, what people decide to do genuinely affects God and affects what comes to pass. In particular, by God’s own sovereign design, things really hang on whether or not God’s people pray."

I love Greg Boyd, as a person, and as a great scholar. We've had Greg at Redeemer twice -what a privilege! Linda and I had Greg over for dinner. After eating, we watched "Napoleon Dynamite" together. What a trip!

All the love and massive props aside, I'm not clear about the above quote. 

God's eternally knowing all the facts of world history does not entail humans and angels having no "say so" in what comes to pass. 

I'm wondering if Greg commits a modal fallacy, of the kind I have written about here. The following is false, committing a fallacy in modal logic: If God knows that John will eat an orange tonight, then John cannot not eat an orange tonight. This ascribes logical necessity to the consequent, which cannot be. Such contingent statements cannot be logically necessary. Even if God eternally knows what John will do, it does not follow that John does not have a choice, and that John's choice does not affect God.

(The following is true: It is not possible that: God knows John will eat an orange tonight, and John not eat an orange. But from this it does not follow that John lacks free will.)