Sterling Disagreement

Christopher Hall and John Sanders continue their debate over open theism
2003This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

Evangelicals have bitterly debated open theism for nearly a decade. Here Christopher Hall, professor of biblical and theological studies at Eastern University, and John Sanders, professor of religion and theology at Huntington College, model how Christians who disagree about theology can learn from each other.

Hall and open-theism advocate Sanders tease out the issues through an exchange of 37 e-mails (the first nine appeared in CHRISTIANITY TODAY in May and June 2001). They debate a host of related issues, including prayer, the impassibility of God, and the problem of evil.

"Those who think they can merely cite a few biblical texts to settle this debate will learn that it is not so simple—for either side," write the authors. Each is quick to critique the other's arguments, and the conversation often heats up. Still, while striving for integrity in their theology, the authors' affection for each other shines through.

Christians on both sides of the openness debate, or those wanting to investigate it for the first time, will find this a balanced and stimulating resource.

Related Elsewhere

Does God Have a Future? is available from and other retailers.

In 2001, Christianity Todaypublished the first two parts of this debate between Hall and Sanders.

A ready-to-download Bible Study on this issue is available at

More on the openness debate:

Scholars Vote: God Knows Future | But supporters of open theism say they'll stay in the Evangelical Theological Society despite resolution. (Jan. 02, 2002)
Did Open Debate Help The Openness Debate? | It's been centuries since Luther nailed his theses to a church door, but the Internet ...
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