God's Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism

Overview

Christians throughout history have been strengthened by their confidence that
God knows everything about the future. But consider this: What if it simply is not true? What if God can only rely on His best guess about tomorrow--just as you and I do? Would it not affect your trust in Him, your confidence in facing the future, your worship, and your motivation to leave everything in
His hands? And yet this is the consequence that has to be faced ...

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God's Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism

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Overview

Christians throughout history have been strengthened by their confidence that
God knows everything about the future. But consider this: What if it simply is not true? What if God can only rely on His best guess about tomorrow--just as you and I do? Would it not affect your trust in Him, your confidence in facing the future, your worship, and your motivation to leave everything in
His hands? And yet this is the consequence that has to be faced if you trust what a number of leading voices in evangelicalism are proposing under the doctrine of open theism.

In its redefinition of the nature of divine providence, open theism adjusts the entire picture of God's sovereignty and involvement in our lives. Bruce
Ware carefully summarizes and critiques this dangerous doctrine from a thoroughly biblical perspective, providing an excellent treatment of both the classical and openness views. He explores their implications and faithfully pinpoints the subtle ways that open theism undermines our trust in God and lessens His glory in our lives.

Open theism offers a God who, like us, does not know the future. Its sponsors see this humanizing of God as logical and devotional gain. Bruce Ware sees it as a way of misreading Scripture and impoverishing the life of faith, and he makes a compelling case for his view. I heartily commend this thorough and insightful book.

--J.I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College

Open theism, which denies that God can foreknow free human choices, dishonors
God, distorts Scripture, damages faith, and would, it left unchecked, destroy churches and lives. Its errors are not peripheral but central. Therefore, I
thank God for Bruce Ware's loving, informed, penetrating, devastating critique of this profoundly injurious teaching. I pray that God would use this book to sharpen the discernment of leaders and prepare the people of God to recognize toxic teaching when they taste it. O how precious is the truth of God's all-knowing,
all-wise, all-powerful care over our fragile lives. For your name's sake, O
Lord, and for the good of the suffering church who rest in your all-knowing providence, prosper the message of this beautiful book and shorten the ruinous life of open theism.

--John Piper, Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis

Evangelical theology faces a crisis of unprecedented magnitude. The denial and redefinition of God's perfections will lead evangelical theology into disintegration and doctrinal catastrophe. The very identity and reality of the God of the
Bible is at stake. The real question comes down to this--does God really know all things, past, present, and future? Or, is God often surprised like all the rest of us? The Bible reveals that God is all-knowing and all-powerful.
Bruce Ware sets out the issues carefully in God's Lesser Glory. This book is a much-needed antidote to contemporary confusion, and it is a powerful testimony to the truth of God set forth in Scripture. I can only hope that
Christians will read it and rejoice in the knowledge of the true and living
God.

--R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary

At once businesslike and practical, Bruce Ware's restatement of classical
Christianity in the face of contemporary challenges to it within evangelicalism is bold and bracing. Driven by the pastoral and practical importance of God's greatness, Ware's approach keeps his defense from bogging down in pedantic rhetoric. This book clearly demonstrates that the historic Christian view,
against centuries of antecedents to "open theism," has been favored for so long for one reason: It is so evidently biblical.

--Michael Horton, Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Westminster
Theological Seminary in California

Not even God knows whether you will decide to buy this book or read it, at least according to "open theism." But Bruce Ware shows that this position, which is seeping into evangelical churches, is contrary to Scripture,
intentionally contradictory, and destructive to our Christian lives. This is a clear, fair, well-reasoned, and Bible-centered critique of a doctrinal error so far-reaching that it ultimately portrays a different God than the God of the Bible.

--Wayne Grudem, Chairman, Department of Biblical and Systematic Theology,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

The movement known as open theism claims to be a more biblical and more practical alternative to the traditional view. Bruce Ware systematically refutes both of these claims, showing that the traditional view better handles the biblical evidence and the issues of Christian living while better preserving the glory of God. His examination of the biblical material is especially strong.

--Millard J. Erickson, Distinguished Professor of Theology, George W.
Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

While I (basically a traditional Arminian) do not agree with all of Ware's answers, I applaud his keen discernment of the questions and issues raised by openness theology. He clearly sets forth the key differences between this view and traditional views of God, both Arminian and Calvinist; and he perceptively identifies its major weaknesses. I benefited especially from Ware's treatment of the biblical teaching on God's foreknowledge.

--Jack W. Cottrell, Professor of Theology, Cincinnati Bible Seminary

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581342291
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Publication date: 11/7/2000
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 971,743
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2000

    Devastating refutation of open theism

    In recent years the movement known as open theism has claimed to be a more biblical and more practical alternative to the traditional view. In this book, Bruce Ware carefully and systematically refutes both those claims, showing that the traditional view better handles the biblical evidence and the issues of Christian living, while better preserving the glory of God. His examination of the biblical material is especially strong. MILLARD J. ERICKSON * * * * Open theism offers a God who, like us, does not know the future. Its sponsors see this humanizing of God as logical and devotional gain. Bruce Ware sees it as a way of misreading Scripture and impoverishing the life of faith, and he makes a compelling case for this view. I heartily commend this thorough and insightful book. J. I. PACKER * * * * Open theism, which denies that God can foreknow free human choices, dishonors God, distorts Scripture, damages faith, and would, if left unchecked, destroy churches and lives. Its errors are not peripheral but central. Therefore, I thank God for Bruce Ware¿s loving, informed, penetrating, devastating critique of this profoundly injurious teaching. I pray that God would use this book to sharpen the discernment of leaders and prepare the people of God to recognize toxic teaching when they taste it. O how precious is the truth of God¿s all-knowing, all-wise, all-powerful care over our fragile lives. For your name¿s sake, O Lord, and for the good of the suffering church who rest in your all-knowing providence, prosper the message of this beautiful book and shorten the ruinous life of open theism.' JOHN PIPER * * * * Evangelical theology faces a crisis of unprecedented magnitude. The denial and refutation of God¿s perfections will lead evangelical theology into disintegration and doctrinal catastrophe. The very identity and reality of the God of the Bible is at stake. The real question comes down to this¿does God really know all things, past, present, and future? Or, is God often surprised like the rest of us? The Bible reveals that God is all-knowing and all-powerful. Bruce Ware sets out the issues carefully in God¿s Lesser Glory. This book is a much needed antidote to contemporary confusion, and it is a powerful testimony to the truth of God set forth in the Scripture. I can only hope that Christians will read it and rejoice in the knowledge of the true and living God. R. ALBERT MOHLER, JR. * * * * Not even God knows whether you will decide to buy this book or read it, at least according to ¿open theism.¿ But Bruce Ware shows that this position, which is seeping into evangelical churches, is contrary to Scripture, internally contradictory, and destructive to our Christian lives. This is a clear, fair, well-reasoned, and Bible-centered critique of a doctrinal error so far-reaching that it ultimately portrays a different God than the God of the Bible. WAYNE GRUDEM * * * * Bruce Ware¿s book is not the last word on this crucially important subject. Rather, it is the first book-length serious response to open theism¿a movement that is beginning to inflict serious damage on confessing evangelicalism. Presenting itself as a legitimate variant within evangelicalism, ¿open¿ theism in reality so redefines the God of the Bible and of theology that we wind up with a quite different God. Ware¿s book demonstrates that this is so, and launches a courteous but firm attack against this incursion. D. A. CARSON * * * * God¿s Lesser Glory is a carefully reasoned and well-argued critique of open theism. Employing both philosophical rigor and outstanding biblical exegesis, Ware convincingly shows why the great minds in church history have with near unanimity affirmed that the God of classical theism is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus of Nazareth. Every pastor, philosopher of religion, and theologian should have this book in his or her library. FRANCIS J. BECKWITH * * * * At once businesslike and p

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