The Battle for God: Responding to the Challenge of Neotheism


An authoritative response to neotheism or openness theology—the widely debated recent theological phenomenon that questions the orthodox view of God's omniscience and omnipotence.
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An authoritative response to neotheism or openness theology—the widely debated recent theological phenomenon that questions the orthodox view of God's omniscience and omnipotence.
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Editorial Reviews

Get to the Pointe
A must read book forAnyone concerned about the changing views of God within evangelical Christianity.
— Paul Virtue
Get to the Pointe - Paul Virtue
A must read book forAnyone concerned about the changing views of God within evangelical Christianity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825427350
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications
  • Publication date: 11/30/2001
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Norman L. Geisler (Ph.D., Loyola University) is cofounder and president of Southern Evangelical Seminary. Geisler is a widely known apologist who has authored or coauthored more than fifty books, including the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics.

H. Wayne House (ThD, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; JD, Regent University School of Law) is Distinguished Research Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Faith Seminary in Tacoma, Washington, and Professor of Law, Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, California. Dr. House serves on the board of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He is author or editor of more than seventy journal and magazine publications, and a contributor to several books, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. He is also the author of more than twenty books, including The Christian and American Law and Israel: The Land and the People. He has been married to Leta Frances McConnell for forty years, has two grown children, and five grandchildren. He enjoys playing with his grandchildren, reading, and traveling to ancient lands.

Max Herrrera is a graduate student working with Normal L. Geisler at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 5
1. Neotheism and the Doctrine of God 7
2. Omniscience 20
3. Eternality 66
4. Immutability 100
5. Simplicity 142
6. Impassibility 170
7. Relatability to the World 192
8. Sovereignty 219
9. Theological Dangers of Neotheism 256
10. Practical Dangers of Neotheism 276
11. Is Neotheism Orthodox? 289
Appendix 1 What the Confessions Teach 304
Appendix 2 Is Neothesim in Consonance with Theological Tradition? 306
Appendix 3 A Response to Clark Pinnock's Most Moved Mover 312
Sources 323
Index 330
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2002

    Not the Answer Needed

    The Battle for God is polemical and entrenched. The arguments are little more than a rehashing of traditional orthodoxy and includes very minimal engagement with the Openness view. The title itself reveals the authors' intentions. They consider evangelical orthodoxy to be under attack by openness theology and they set themselves out to be the ones to defend it. Openness theologians are denied the privilege of defining their own viewpoint. They are called throughout the book by the term "neotheist"since anything with the prefix "neo" in evangelicalism is immediately suspect. Something that is "open" suggests amiablity and flexibility, and these are not characteristics by which Geisler and House want Openness to be known. There are some glaring cases of non sequitur, and on more than one occasion the antagonist is so clearly misrepresented that it is hard to perceive this as anything but a deliberate misrepresentation. Strawman arguments abound, and the slippery slope is so well used that the slide to the bottom is polished and quick. As a summary of an entrenched postion and for the rearticulation of some of the traditional arguments for classical theism, the book is not entirely without value. If one can get past the rhetoric, there are many helpful references to ancient, medaeval and reformational theologians. The book's primary failure, however, is its inability to recognize that current articulations of compatibalist freedom are not yet convincing for many people, even if they are compelling. The antagonists (Clark Pinnock, John Sanders and Gregory Boyd in particular) are raising questions that are hardly new in their challenge to the traditional compatibalist constructions, and an answer is needed that does not simply revert to quotations from Calvin, Luther, Augustine and the most recent evangelical spokesperson. It is also disappointing how it is suggested that those who would accept any of the premises of Openness are somehow hopeless theologians and that none of their reflections could possibly have any real value. This is especially disheartening in a tradition that considers itself to be always reforming. Even if classical theology is not going to be changed, Openness theology provides a helpful catalyst for serious discussion on uncritically accepted dogma. A necessary enterprise that each new generation needs to work through for its own spiritual maturity. It is never simply enough to inherit a tradition without reflecting on it. Openness is an interesting, enlightening and challenging theology that cannot be written off simply by equating it with Process theology, to which it shares only superficial affiliation. There is a serious need for competent scholars to engage the ideas set forth by Openness theologians in a spirit of humility and grace, willing to accept any legitimate correctives that it might offer, while offering reasoned and insightful responses to its errors. This book is not, however, the much needed answer.

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