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Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2000
|Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)|
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"An important contribution to the ongoing discussion on how to reconcile divine sovereignty and human freedom."
"Tiessen provides sympathetic and insightful accounts of the wide variety of theories of providence currently on offer. . . . Tiessen's own theory will appeal to Calvinists and will challenge others to rethink their own views."
"A most useful study. . . . [Tiessen] manages to expound a complex issue in simple and readable language but without over-simplifying. An excellent, valuable resource for both the thinking layperson and the student."
"A hot topic in theology today concerns God's relationship with the world . . . Tiessen has significantly helped all students of theology to arrive at their own understanding and at the implications for their prayer practices."
Located in: Kleefeld, Manitoba, Canada
Submitted: April 26, 2000
Tell us a little about yourself. I am Professor of Systematic Theology at Providence Theological Seminary, in Manitoba, Canada.
What was your motivation behind this project? During many years of teaching theology I have noticed that the way my students pray often does not agree with the theological position that they hold. They often ask God to do things that he could not do, given their theological understanding. So, I thought it would be helpful to lay out models of the doctrine of providence and to demonstrate how petitionary prayer works in each model. I encountered and have expounded 10 of these models. I then present my own understanding of Scripture on this matter.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope that people will be helped to form a coherent understanding of the way God works in the world and that they will pray consistently with that understanding and effectively. Their practice of prayer might be changed by a more intentional study of their doctrine of providence. On the other hand, they might find that their practice is what they really believe about God and will then need to reformulate their theological understanding.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? My own model is labelled "middle knowledge Calvinist" and I have been most influenced by John Calvin and those who have followed his general understanding of Scripture. Middle Knowledge (God's knowledge of what would happen in all possible situations) has generally been used by non-Calvinist theologians but I argue that it does not really work for them and that it is at least implicitly assumed in the Calvinist understanding of God's plan and work in the world.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: This is not a particularly easy book because the issues involved are complex and often philosophical - the nature of human freedom, God's relationship to time etc. However, I believe that careful study of the matter will reward those who seriously want to understand the way God works in the world and pray effectively.