My only comfort in life and in death: a pastoral response to open theism

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Brian R. Keepers

Abstract

I am a pastor of anxious souls. Every week I clamber up into the pulpit and stare out into the faces of real people who are dealing within hardship and loss and uncertainty. Even for those who try to conceal their anxiety beneath a pleasant countenance, all of us, in some way or another, must navigate through the morass of life changes that so often seem confusing and out of our control. It is both the privilege and the burden of the pastor to walk with people through anxious times and provide wise biblical counsel, pastoral care and leadership. And this means we must deal with God. Where is God when bad things happen? Does God play a role in our pain and loss? Does God know the future? Does God have a specific plan for our lives? How should we pray? And does prayer change God’s mind? These and a whole host of questions like it loom in the minds and hearts of people in our congregations (and outside) as they deal with change and struggle to make sense of their experiences.

Article Details

Keywords
Open theism; God -- Attributes; God -- Biblical teaching; God -- Foreknowledge; God -- Immutability; God -- Omniscience; God -- Providence; God -- Sovereignty; Free will and determinism; Evangelicalism -- Controversial literature; Church controversies; Theology, Doctrinal; Reformed Church -- Theology; Anxiety; Hope; Heidelberger Katechismus
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