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Get to the PointeA must read book forAnyone concerned about the changing views of God within evangelical Christianity.
— Paul Virtue
|1.||Neotheism and the Doctrine of God||7|
|7.||Relatability to the World||192|
|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|
Posted December 5, 2002
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.