No Other God: A Response To Open Theism

John M. Frame, Presbyterian  & Reformed, 2001

A Review by Jack Kettler




“Dr. John M. Frame is an American philosopher and a Calvinist theologian especially noted for his work in epistemology and presuppositional apologetics, systematic theology, and ethics. He is one of the foremost interpreters and critics of the thought of Cornelius Van Til (whom he studied under while working on his B.D. at Westminster Theological Seminary). An outstanding theologian, John Frame distinguished himself during 31 years on the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary and was a founding faculty member of WTS California. He is best known for his prolific writings including ten volumes, a contributor to many books and reference volumes, as well as scholarly articles and magazines.


For his education, Frame received degrees from Princeton University (A.B.), Westminster Theological Seminary (B.D.), Yale University (A.M. and M.Phil., though he was working on a doctorate and admits his own failure to complete his dissertation), and Belhaven College (D.D.). He has served on the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary and was a founding faculty member of their California campus. He currently (as of 2005) teaches Apologetics and The History of Philosophy and Christian Thought at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL. He is appreciated, by many of his students, for his charitable spirit and fairness to opposing arguments (although, he fairly demolishes them nonetheless).” - Sources: Wikipedia, RTS website, and John Frame  


Books written, a short list:


The Doctrine of God (2002)

The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (A Theology of Lordship) (1987)

Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction (1994)

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief (2013)

The Doctrine of the Christian Life (A Theology of Lordship) (2008)

Worship in Spirit and Truth (1996)

Salvation Belongs to the Lord: An Introduction to Systematic Theology (2006)

The Doctrine of the Word of God (Theology of Lordship) (2010)

A History of Western Philosophy and Theology (2015)

No Other God: A Response to Open Theism (2001)

Contemporary Worship Music: A Biblical Defense (1997)

Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought (1995)

Apologetics: A Justification of Christian Belief (2015)

Medical Ethics: Principles, Persons, and Problems (Christian Perspectives) (1988)

Perspectives on the Word of God: An Introduction to Christian Ethics (1990)


No Other God: Publisher Comments:


“The theological movement known as open theism is shaking the church today, challenging the Reformed doctrines of God's sovereignty, foreknowledge, and providence. In this timely work, John M. Frame clearly describes open theism and evaluates it’s biblically. He addresses questions such as: How do open theists read the Bible? Is love God's most important attribute? Is God's will the ultimate explanation of everything? Do we have genuine freedom? Is God ever weak or changeable? Does God know everything in advance? Frame not only answers the objections of open theists but sharpens our understanding of the relationship between God's eternal plan and the decisions or events of our lives.”


What others are saying:


“A devastating critique of the concept of human freedom as articulated in the 'open theistic' view.” - Roger Nicole, visiting professor of Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando Campus


“Open theism is bad news. The appearance of this book is good news. Precisely because God is closed and not open to the nullification of his purposes (Job 42:2), he has opened a future for believers that is utterly secure no matter what we suffer. The key that would open the defeat of God is eternally closed within the praiseworthy vault of His precious sovereignty. John Frame delights to show when it is good to be closed and when it is good to be open. And the Bible is his criterion.” - John Piper, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis


“This book is something both to read and to give away... both needed and effective.” - D. A. Carson, Emeritus Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Editor, Pillar New Testament Commentary series


“We have known that John Frame was a superb theologian. In this book, we discover that he is a superb polemicist. In it he responds to one of the most alluring trends in modern evangelicalism. He does so thoroughly, fairly, and, most of all, by presenting a convincing alternative. He builds the biblical case for a God whose sovereignty is not a thing to be avoided, but to cherish.” -William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary


A Review:


“No Other God: A Response to Open Theism” by John M. Frame is a comprehensive and thought-provoking critique of the Open Theism movement. In this work, Frame presents a well-structured and well-reasoned argument against Open Theism, focusing on the key theological issues that separate it from the Reformed tradition.


In Chapter One, Frame identifies key components of Open Theism:


“The Main Contentions of Open Theism…


1.      Love is God’s most important quality.

2.      Love is not only care and commitment, but also being sensitive and responsive.

3.      Creatures exert an influence on God.

4.      God’s will is not the ultimate explanation of everything.

5.      History is the combined result of what God and his creatures decide to do.

6.      God does not know everything timelessly, but learns from events as they take place. So God is dependent on the world in some ways.”

Frame, John M.. No Other God: A Response to Open Theism (p. 23). P&R Publishing.


In Chapter Nine, Frame exposes another dangerous aspect of open theism, namely, Is God in Time?


“Another important plank in the open-theist platform is the temporality of God. Open theists reject the traditional view that God is supratemporal, “outside” or “above” time. They reject supratemporalism as a product of Greek philosophy rather than Scripture. Indeed, the Greek philosophers Parmenides, Plato, and Plotinus did understand “eternal” reality to be timeless—beyond or outside time—and their teaching may well have influenced Christian thought on the subject. But they did not consider eternity to be the dwelling place of an infinite, personal God.”

Frame, John M.. No Other God: A Response to Open Theism (p. 143). P&R Publishing.


Three significant points that Frame addresses in the book are:


1.      The Biblical Interpretation of Open Theism: Frame argues that Open Theism's interpretation of the Bible is flawed, as it tends to overlook the broader context of Scripture and the consistent theme of God's sovereignty and foreknowledge. He points out that Open Theists often take passages out of context and rely heavily on human reasoning rather than a thorough exegesis of the text. This leads to a distorted understanding of God's character and attributes, which ultimately undermines the authority of Scripture.


2.      The Importance of Love in God's Attributes: Frame emphasizes the significance of love in God's character and how it relates to his other attributes, such as his sovereignty, foreknowledge, and providence. He argues that Open Theism's emphasis on love as a primary attribute of God leads to a diminished view of God's other attributes. In contrast, Frame presents a balanced view of God's love in relation to his other attributes, demonstrating that they are all equally important and interconnected.


3.      The Relationship Between God's Eternal Plan and Human Decisions: One of the central issues in the debate between Open Theism and the Reformed tradition is the relationship between God's eternal plan and the decisions or events of our lives. Frame addresses this issue by arguing that God's eternal plan and our decisions are not mutually exclusive but rather work together in a mysterious and harmonious way. He contends that God's sovereignty and foreknowledge do not negate human freedom and responsibility but rather provide a framework for understanding how God's plan and our choices interact.


In conclusion:


“No Other God: A Response to Open Theism” by John M. Frame is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the theological differences between Open Theism and Reformed theology. Frame’s book is a treasure trove of Scriptures. Moreover, Frame's clear and logical presentation of the issues, along with his thorough analysis of Scripture, provides a strong case against Open Theism. While the book may not convince all readers to abandon Open Theism, it offers a thought-provoking critique that is sure to stimulate further discussion and reflection.


“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)


Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife, Marea, attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of 18 books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at Amazon.