The Openness of God   -     By: Clark H. Pinnock, Richard Rice, John Sanders, William Hasker
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The Openness of God

InterVarsity Press / 1994 / Paperback

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Product Description

That Greek philosophy at least partially influenced Christianity is generally accepted, since it formed the foundation of the culture the first Christians lived in. Many of the early church fathers even appropriated Greek philosophy in their attempts to evangelize the pagan world they found themselves in. But was the Greek influence good or bad? The question is not new; Tertullian asked, in the second century AD, "What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What has the Academy to do with the Church?"

This book is an attempt to show that the Greek influence was, as Tertullian felt, dangerous. Why dangerous? Because, according to the authors, the Greek concepts of what God was like and how he interacted with humans were fatally flawed, and have resulted in a Christian theology which has pagan notions of perfection at its core. These concepts include immutability, impassibility, and omniscience (particularly in terms of foreknowledge of all future events).

The authors begin with the contention that God has granted humans a significant degree of freedom, and that He chooses to enter into a genuine relationship with them. They defend this position biblically, historically, theologically and philosophically, offering a well-balanced, comprehensive look at several familiar issues from a different, and they claim, more biblical viewpoint.

The unique interplay of the five authors in this book makes it a fascinating read. Richard Rice makes a compelling biblical case for open theism, while John Sanders takes a look at just how Greek our Christian theology is, and why contemporary theologians are generally unwilling to accept the validity of open theism. Clark Pinnock offers what can be termed a systematic theology of God's openness and William Hasker offers a cogent philosophical defense of open theism. David Basinger then offers some practical implications of open theism, and compares them to the implications of both traditional classical theism and process theology.

You may not agree with the authors of this volume, but the discussion itself about these major issues is vitally important. Learn why each of these five authors came to believe in open theism, and what it means in their lives.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 1994
Dimensions: 6 X 9 (inches)
ISBN: 0830818529
ISBN-13: 9780830818525
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Voted one of Christianity Today's 1995 Books of the Year! The Openness of God presents a careful and full-orbed argument that the God known through Christ desires "responsive relationship" with his creatures. While it rejects process theology, the book asserts that such classical doctrines as God's immutability, impassibility and foreknowledge demand reconsideration. The authors insist that our understanding of God will be more consistently biblical and more true to the actual devotional lives of Christians if we profess that "God, in grace, grants humans significant freedom" and enters into relationship with a genuine "give-and-take dynamic." The Openness of God is remarkable in its comprehensiveness, drawing from the disciplines of biblical, historical, systematic and philosophical theology. Evangelical and other orthodox Christian philosophers have promoted the "relational" or "personalist" perspective on God in recent decades. Now here is the first major attempt to bring the discussion into the evangelical theological arena.

Author Bio

Clark Pinnock was Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. Widely regarded as one of evangelicalism's most stimulating theologians, he produced several widely discussed books, including and (with four other scholars) He passed away in August, 2010. Richard Rice is professor of religion at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California. He is the author of several books, including and . John Sanders (Th.D., University of South Africa) is professor of religion at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He has edited and written several books, including Three of his previous book projects have received a Book Award. William Hasker (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh) is professor emeritus of philosophy at Huntington College in Huntington, Indiana. His books include (with Michael Peterson, David Basinger and Bruce Reichenbach); (with Clark Pinnock, Richard Rice, John Sanders and David Basinger); (edited with Michael Peterson, David Basinger and Bruce Reichenbach); (edited with David Basinger and Eef Dekker) and David Basinger is professor of philosophy and ethics at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York. He is the author of (SUNY) and joint author of the books (Oxford) and (Ashgate).

Editorial Reviews

"What nonbelievers reject is often not God, but the caricature of God that theologians have synthesized over the centuries. A faith based on that caricature is poorly suited to the hard facts of the real world. These authors masterfully retrace how that caricature was drawn, show where its distortions lie and offer a sound alternative to it."
"Almost five centuries ago, Christians thrilled at the recovery of the truth of salvation by grace that had benn hijacked from them for a millennium of church history. This book throbs today with the same excitement at the rediscovery of a God infinitely greater and freer than the cold abstractions of medievally minded reductionist theologians make him to be. The Openness of God signals a new openness of his people toward the God who has never ceased being open to them."
" The Openness of God presents a comprehensive case for a relational model of the biblical God. It is written collaboratively by a team of fine thinkers. Whether or not its arguments finally convince all, The Openness of God develops interpretations and explores insight that will enrich every careful reader."

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 5, 2003
    This is the groundbreaking book that brought Open Theism back in to vigorous discussion. The authors rightly address some of the issues behind the issues. Namely, how Aristotelian perfection ideals have influenced most of Western theology, especially very pervasive and influential authors such as Hodge. Hodge, Augustine, Grudem, Piper and others present a wide sampling of those whose theology wreaks of Greek thought.The authors of this book address some of these major underlying issues that are involved in any responsible discussion of God, time, knowledge, humanity etc. That is one of the major strengths of the book. Not to mention of course, the Open View itself. The Open View, as described in this book, is the most coherent, useful, realistic, and God honoring view available. This book does not spend much time refuting any other view. However, it does point out the inconsistencies found in Calvinism, Simple Foreknowledge, Classic Arminianism, and Molinism. You may not adopt the view after reading this book, but it should become clear to you that it is coherent, evangelical, and biblical. The main obstacle, in my opinion, is not the validity of this view, instead it is our willingness to cast aside ancient Western falsehoods and "open" our minds to how the rest of the world has always thought. Also recommended: God, Time, and Knowledge by William Hasker; The God Who Risks by John Sanders; God of the Possible & Satan and the Problem of Evil by Greg Body; and for a reply to many modern critics of the Open View, Most Moved Mover by Clark Pinnock.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    October 31, 2002
    Rev. Shelby Boese
    This was a wonderful book! I challenge Evangelicals to rediscover the fruit of the spirit and the Bible as the basis for discussing this view of God. Bill Hybels advice would be good for many who disagree with the OV and then move to demonize their fellow believers: "The one clear definition of what Love is, is to treat every person as thought they were more important than you. This means you should treat family members, friends, (open view evangelicals) employees, minorities, republicans and democrats as thought they are more important than you are." What is missing in those who demonize others who are presenting a sincere case for a bible-based model of God is the fruit of the Spirit and the love of God. The open view challenged me to re-read the Bible and church history without the "reformed-determinist" tradition filtering the older church and biblical traditions and text. Made me an open view person--because it is a BIBLICAL view of God. Good bye Aristotle!
  3. 2 Stars Out Of 5
    October 21, 2002
    Donald javery
    The authors have trespassed upon areas where they have no right to travel. God the Creator sees hears and knows every movement and every thought and what will transpire in each minute, of each hour of each day. This book if read by a majority would lose their way as far as knowing an all loving God who is guiding men through each day in the correct path. They have misrepresented God and His loving power available to all. HE knows everything.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 2, 2000
    Jennifer Billey
    This book is very thought provoking. It challenges the classical and traditional view of God and helps the reader to see God in a way that s/he may never have thought of before. The first two chapters are long and at some points difficult (because of the controversial nature). If your thoughts are not challenged by the evidences presented in this book maybe you should read it again.
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