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Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity [NOOK Book]


"Everyone who believes in God at all believes that He knows what
you and I are going to do tomorrow."

—C. S. Lewis

This understanding of God's foreknowledge has united the church
for twenty centuries....

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Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity

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"Everyone who believes in God at all believes that He knows what
you and I are going to do tomorrow."

—C. S. Lewis

This understanding of God's foreknowledge has united the church
for twenty centuries. But advocates of "open theism" are presenting
a different vision of God and a different view of the future.

The rise of open theism within evangelicalism has raised a host
of questions. Was classical theism decisively tainted by Greek
philosophy? How should we understand passages that tell us that God
repents? Are essentials of biblical Christianity—like the
inerrancy of Scripture, the trustworthiness of God, and the Gospel
of Christ—at stake in this debate? Where, when, and why
should we draw new boundaries—and is open theism beyond them?
Beyond the Bounds brings together a respected team of scholars to
examine the latest literature, address these questions, and give
guidance to the church in this time of controversy.

Contributors include:

  • John Piper

  • Wayne Grudem

  • Michael S. Horton

  • Bruce A. Ware

  • Mark R. Talbot

  • A. B. Caneday

  • Stephen J. Wellum

  • Justin Taylor

  • Paul Kjoss Helseth

  • Chad Brand

  • William C. Davis

  • Russell Fuller

"We have prepared this book to address the issue of boundaries
and, we pray, bring some remedy to the present and impending pain
of embracing open theism as a legitimate Christian vision of God. .
. . As a pastor, who longs to be biblical and God-centered and
Christ-exalting and eternally helpful to my people, I see open
theism as theologically ruinous, dishonoring to God, belittling to
Christ, and pastorally hurtful. My prayer is that Christian leaders
will come to see it this way, and thus love the church by counting
open theism beyond the bounds of orthodox Christian teaching."

—From the Foreword by John Piper

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"The downsized deity of open theism is a poor substitute for the real God of historic Christianity-as taught by Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theologians through the centuries. This book offers an important analysis and critique of this sub-Christian view of God. Well researched and fairly presented."
Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

"Here is a weighty tract for the times, in which a dozen Reformed scholars survey the "open theism" of Pinnock, Sanders, Boyd, and colleagues, and find it a confused, confusing, and unedifying hypothesis that ought to be declared off limits. Some pages are heavy sledding, but the arguing is clear and strong, and the book is essential reading for all who are caught up in this discussion."
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433516252
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Publication date: 1/30/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?

Justin Taylor (PhD candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center, and he blogs at Between Two Worlds—hosted by the Gospel Coalition.

Paul Kjoss Helseth is Associate Professor of Christian Thought at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota and the author of numerous scholarly articles.

Wayne Grudem (PhD, University of Cambridge; DD, Westminster Seminary) is research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary, having previously taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Grudem earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, as well as an MDiv from Westminster Seminary. He is the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a cofounder and past president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and has published over 20 books, including Systematic Theology, Evangelical Feminism, Politics—According to the Bible, and Business for the Glory of God.

Mark Talbot (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is associate professor of philosophy at Wheaton College. He specializes in philosophical psychology and philosophical theology and has written numerous articles and reviews.

Bruce A. Ware (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and has authored God's Lesser Glory, God's Greater Glory, and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Michael Horton (PhD, University of Coventry and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford) is the J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary in California. In addition to being the author of many popular and academic books, he is also the editor in chief of Modern Reformation magazine, a host of the White Horse Inn radio broadcast, and a minister in the United Reformed Churches.

STEPHEN J. WELLUM (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and editor of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology.

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Table of Contents

Contributors 7
Foreword 9
Introduction 13
Acknowledgments 19
Part 1 Historical Influences
1 The Rabbis and the Claims of Openness Advocates 23
2 Genetic Defects or Accidental Similarities? Orthodoxy and Open Theism and Their Connections to Western Philosophical Traditions 43
Part 2 Philosophical Presuppositions and Cultural Context
3 True Freedom: The Liberty That Scripture Portrays as Worth Having 77
4 Why Open Theism Is Flourishing Now 111
Part 3 Anthropomorphisms, Revelation, and Interpretation
5 Veiled Glory: God's Self-Revelation in Human Likeness--A Biblical Theology of God's Anthropomorphic Self-Disclosure 149
6 Hellenistic or Hebrew? Open Theism and Reformed Theological Method 201
Part 4 What Is at Stake in the Openness Debate?
7 The Inerrancy of Scripture 237
8 The Trustworthiness of God and the Foundation of Hope 275
9 The Gospel of Christ 309
Part 5 Drawing Boundaries and Conclusions
10 When, Why, and for What Should We Draw New Boundaries? 339
11 Grounds for Dismay: The Error and Injury of Open Theism 371
A Bibliography on Open Theism 385
Scripture Index 401
Person Index 407
Subject Index 413
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