|Return to Film tab|
In the past few years the rise of “open theism” within North American evangelicalism has raised several questions regarding the relationship of God and time, especially the future. According to proponents of open theism, God is “open” to the future and all of its possibility because he has taken the risk of creating truly free humans. Thus, in this view, no one, not even God, knows what the future holds. One of the key biblical examples cited is that God can change his mind as he did in Exodus 32.
(1) View Minority Report (Dreamworks, 2002); (2) Exodus 32; (3) It would be useful to read something in regard open theism like the web article on open theism.
Use your viewing of Minority Report (or the short story) as a vehicle which creates categories to consider the relationship of God and “change” in time via revelation and response, using Exodus 32 as the leading example. According to the main plot of the movie, can the prediction of an event create an effect in the “present” that alters the “future” thus avoiding the predicted event? In Exodus 32, does God’s pronouncement of judgment provokes the response/prayer of Moses which, as it turns out, alters or changes the “future,” at least temporarily (see Num 14)? In specific, in response to Moses’ prayer/response, did God “repent” from the judgment he had foretold? How or how not?
Use your reading of selections on open theism (like those suggested above, or other readings to interact with the following. The question, or set of questions, revolve around the relationship between the prophetic word and the very futures to which the prophecies refer. When God chose to predict future judgment to Moses (Exod 32) or Abraham (Gen 18), did the judgment-forecasts themselves, because of the human response to the forecasts, “change” future from what was forecasted? When God’s prophets offered his word for the future does the word itself open the future to change because of the response it may evoke in human hearers/readers? Does God “open” himself to change when he reveals his future expectations to human rebels? Can humans be truly free if God already knows the future and sometimes chooses to reveal it to the humans? In what sense are biblical prophecies “true”?
How do you, at least provisionally, resolve the tensions between divine sovereignty, human freedom, and the prophetic word? Evaluate these matters with respect to the classic Christian theology, like the perspectives found in the Nicene creed.
Return to Film tab