Chris Hall believes that the bible teaches God exercises “meticulous providence” (God controls/causes every single thing—good and bad—that happens). Chris’s good friend John Sanders disagrees: he believes that the bible teaches God exercises “general providence” (God is in overall control but allows creatures to have free-will, thus the evil in the world is a result of creatures, not God). Chris’s conclusions lead him to “classic theism” and John takes his all the way to “open theism.”
In Does God Have A Future? the two friends decide to debate their positions through a series of e-mail exchanges. Being able to read their correspondence is extremely beneficial for folks on both sides of the conversations—we not only learn much about each school of thought, but we observe what should be a model for working out theological differences. These guys being pals, they remain, for the most part, steadfast in their ways of thinking while maintaining respect for one another, kindness, humility and even a good sense of humor.
When theologians disagree (especially about things like God’s providence and foreknowledge) you often end up with name-calling, anger, pride and a sort of sad intellectual arm wrestle, no one really hears anyone or anything. Turns out folks can disagree and carry on a productive conversation. Who knew?
will you be offended? both positions are given even and adequate representation, the book takes no sides. if you’re like me, you’ll think John “won” the debate while many others will feel Chris made a much better case.