The model arises out of theological traditions that affirm human freewill but modifies them on two key points. First, open theism holds that God is temporal and everlasting rather than timeless (atemporal). Second, because the future exists as possibilities of what might happen God possesses what is called dynamic omniscience in which God has exhaustive knowledge of the past and present and understands “the future” as what might happen. Divine omniscience is dynamic in that God constantly acquires knowledge of which possible future actions creatures select to actualize. The so-called “future” does not exist as a reality and since God knows reality as it is, the future is not known. God is not caught off-guard-since God knows the possibilities and anticipates what we will do. Open theists reject other accounts of divine knowledge such as simple foreknowledge or middle knowledge.
The affirmation of divine temporality and dynamic omniscience are the most controversial elements in this proposal. However, the watershed issue in the debate is not whether God has exhaustive definite foreknowledge of future events but whether God is ever affected by and responds to what we do. This is the same watershed that divides theological determinism (such as Calvinism) from traditional freewill forms of Christianity such as Eastern Orthodoxy, Wesleyanism, and Arminianism.