- Randall House Publications
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The Quest For Truth based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
?In a more comprehensive follow up to his "Systematics" of the 1970's, Leroy Forlines presents the tenets of "reformed" Arminianism in language easily understood by the uninitiated. He goes beyond the typical, "dry" theological presentation, arguing persuasively for his position on the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith. is argument, however, does not cower in cclesiastical irrelevance. Instead, it confronts the postmodern mood of the culture ringing the systematic truth of scripture into sharp conflict with the narcissism our current age. He deals with the various familiar doctrines standing for the plenary verbal inspiration of scripture and the traditional doctrine of the trinity. His view of the nature of man acknowledges total depravity, but he diverges from some calvinists, saying that the image of God remains in man to the extent that he is able to choose Christ of his own volition (aided of course by the drawing of the Holy Spirit.) While some may misunderstand this as a semi-pelagian view, he blunts that criticism with his explanation of what the image of God really means and with his insistence that man, apart from the wooing of the Holy Spirit, cannot choose Christ. Forlines reserves much of his book (about 25%) for a detailed defense of the classic Arminian view of Conditional Election. This section is "must reading" for those who may be disciples of Calvin, having never read a full arminian explanation of the subject. His reasoning is tight; his scriptural support, impeccable; and his arguments hard to refute. Instead of an arbitrary and arrogant dismissal (a response so often employed many calvinists), his work on this subject deserves a reasoned, detailed response from those who disagree. I would offer only two criticisms: First, while this book is certainly accessible to the uninitiated student, it lacks some weight because it doesn't appeal to as many primary sources as one might expect. (For instance, his second chapter, "The Acquisition of Upper Story Knowledge," while an obvious reference to the noumenal/phenomenal ideas of Kant, cites not Kant but Francis Shaeffer.) This will hurt the text as a college reference, but it will probably help the text in its appeal to the general population. The second criticism is really more of a request. I would like to see Forlines expand this edition, including several chapters on eschatology, the nature and function of the church, and a more complete development of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. That being said, I believe that this work is a welcome addition to the field and a cogent presentation of classical arminianism. Perhaps a presentation like this will aid the understanding of those believers who have heard only caricatures of Arminianism, but never really understood what it means. Who knows, they may even find themselves agreeing!
Perhaps no study is needed in churches today more than this cogent study by F. Leroy Forlines. The work is comprehensive, balanced, and in touch with contemporary thought. The approach of the work is especailly refreshing. The author effectively interacts with the postmodern mindset so prevalent today. In addition, the author pursues in systematic fashion a biblical alternative to the fatalistic bent of current works of theology. This book pursues the biblical course of 'influence and response' and provides irrefutable logic concerning the true meaning and effectiveness of such weighty matters as atonement, predestination, election, and perseverence. For those seeking a more biblical alternative to Calvinistic theologies, this is a must-have work. All in all the book is engaging and extremely worthy of thoughtful study.
Leroy Forlines revision of his earlier work, Systematics, proves to be his Magnum Opus. Not only does Forlines develop the evolution of postmodernism and the increasing challenges this paradigm presents for the contemporary Church, but he accomplishes this by writing in the first person. This method demonstrates his desire to prove his sincerity in promoting a theology that is designed for the 'whole personality,' that is, to people who think, feel, and act. Forlines brings theology to the 'grass-roots' level, yet maintains the highest of academic integrity, albeit an unorthodox approach. This book is a must for the layman, pastor, or college student interested in learning about the culture in which the Western world currently lives and the influences that brought us here. In addition, Forlines carefully develops the Classical Arminian view of God's relationship with man: 'influence-and response' as opposed to the Calvinistic view: 'cause-and-effect.'