[Paleopsych] CHE: Fundamentalism and Free Will (Letters)

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Fundamentalism and Free Will (Letters)
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 5.1.7

    To the Editor:
    As a person who has been intimately involved for over a decade in the
    evangelical debate over the foreknowledge of God, I read [3]"Can God
    See the Future?" (The Chronicle, November 26) with great interest. I
    count as good friends both John E. Sanders and Bruce A. Ware, the two
    theologians featured in the article, on opposite sides. I grieve over
    this inquisition within the evangelical academy and hope that those
    who would expel open theists will achieve a broader vision of the
    evangelical tent.
    The article mistakenly refers to open theists and their supporters as
    "liberals" within evangelicalism. That is not the case. In fact, the
    open theists interpret the Bible more literally than do their critics.
    They derive their conclusions about God's foreknowledge from Scripture
    and not from modern movements such as process philosophy and theology.
    Furthermore, contrary to what the article implied, evangelicalism has
    always included believers in free will; Calvinism is not normative for
    evangelical theology. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist
    tradition (which strongly emphasizes free will), was just as
    evangelical as his contemporary Jonathan Edwards, a Calvinist who
    regarded God as the all-determining reality and who denied freedom of
    What this controversy reveals is that in spite of its own best
    intentions and efforts, evangelicalism has not fully emerged from its
    fundamentalist roots. The furor over open theism is a product of
    latent fundamentalist habits of the mind that continue to plague many
    evangelical organizations and institutions.
    Roger E. Olson
    Professor of Theology
    Baylor University
    Waco, Tex.

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