Saturday, August 06, 2022

On Lane Tipton on classical theism and theistic mutualism

Some time back, Lane Tipton had done a program with Lutheran Jordan B. Cooper on the issue of "classical theism and theistic mutualism." Dr. Tipton is a Van Tilian and also a classical theist. With the reputation of some Vantillians as being slanted towards theistic mutualism, this discussion between Cooper and Tipton was a helpful one in this regard.

The main question here is, of course, what is "theistic mutualism." As stated by Tipton, "theistic mutualism" is the idea that God somehow changes in his being in reaction/ relation towards creation. Now, there may be someone who does hold to theistic mutualism as defined by Tipton here, but even Dr. Oliphant's book God with Us does not teach this definition of "theistic mutualism." (Having relational properties that are not essential does not imply change in being) Another unusual thing from Tipton is this idea that everywhere we read about Cornelius Van Til's criticism of pantheism, we need to read "theistic mutualism." While Van Til would most likely be against all forms of non classical theisms, I do not believe it is helpful to make anachronistic claims like these since "theistic mutualism" was not present during Van Til's time.

This discussion is certainly helpful in part for those interested in the doctrine of God. Yet, I truly wonder at its utility. There is no proof given that anyone holds to the type of theistic mutualism defined by Tipton, or that even if they are, their thoughts are properly and substantially addressed. All in all, this discussion is not all that helpful, and probably serves more to rally the troops than to have an honest discussion on the matter.

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