Thursday, December 14, 2006

Moving The Hand Of God

Moving The Hand Of God: An Evaluation Of The Practical Implications Of Open Theism On Prayer Life

Some years ago, a minor theological commotion was stirred up when a Malaysian songwriter penned a catchy tune, which proved to be popular among local churches. The lyrics of the chorus went something like this:

“Every time I pray, I move the hand of God,
My prayer does the things my hands cannot do”

Some church leaders felt that it may inappropriately portray God as a puppet on strings, whose hands are manipulated by our requests. Others believed that it conveys a personal God who genuinely responds to our petitions and prayer requests.

These discussions are reliving the age-old question of how the all-knowing, all-powerful and unchanging God could be affected by our human actions[1]. Also, if God infallibly knows what will happen in the future anyway, why do we bother doing anything at all? Like it or not, our conscious or unconscious mental portraits of God have far-reaching implications on the Christian life. It is another way of saying that theology has profound pay-offs in our praxis. Therefore, it is not surprising to note both the heightened concern and excitement that followed in wake of a new model of God called “open theism”. Among other things, it proposed a portrait of God as genuinely relational and responsive to our free choices in such a way that He does not have complete knowledge of future events. The present paper will discuss its practical implications on the spiritual discipline of prayer.

No comments: