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God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God Paperback – May 1, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A stunning book on the biblical truth of an open future and the revolutionary benefits of believing it. What a great way to begin the new millennium theologically with the open view of God. I only hope that his witness is heard before the self-styled guardians of the tradition marginalize him. -- Clark H. Pinnock, McMaster Divinity College
Greg Boyd presents a powerful argument for the open view of God as omnipotent, sovereign, and yet vulnerable. Boyd's God is alive and personal as well as infinite and perfectly wise. The portrait of God drawn here is unrecognizable compared to the caricatures of openness theism's God crudely crafted by many of its critics. It is much more majestic and beautiful as well as biblical. Inquiring Christian minds will love this book for its creativity and clarity. Closed minds will despise it for the same reasons. Those who have been merely "open to the openness of God" will find its arguments difficult to resist. Everyone who reads it will be challenged to reconsider traditional ideas of God in the light of a fresh reading of Scripture. Baker Book House is to be commended for living up to its Reformed commitments by publishing this book. To be "Reformed" is to be open to new light from God's Word: "reformed and always reforming." -- Roger E. Olson, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University
Gregory Boyd gives a strong and accessible argument for views that challenge some traditional theological positions. Many will disagree, but fair-minded readers will come to understand both that the "open God" position is motivated by a desire to be faithful to the Bible and that it is consistent with both classical Christian orthodoxy and evangelical distinctives. Boyd himself provides a fine example of how evangelical Christians may disagree in a loving and respectful manner. -- C. Stephen Evans, professor of philosophy and dean for research and scholarship, Calvin College
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Top Customer Reviews
Boyd's main thesis is that the Bible presents its readers with two motifs: the openness motif (that the future consists of possibilities rather than certainties) and the motif of future determinism (that some things are certain to happen). He begins by examining the determinism motif, and gives a representative survey of those Scriptures usually proffered by classical theists to suggest that God's knowledge of the future is exhaustive in every detail. He is generally about 50/50 on target with his observations, and one gets the feeling that one would be hard-pressed to eke out of the biblical information available that every single aspect of the future is foreknown (or even predetermined) by God in advance. Boyd is careful, on the whole, to look at the context of statements about God's knowledge of the future, and convincingly demonstrates in a number of instances that what is being affirmed is not God's exhaustive foreknowledge but God's certainty about the plans he has designed to carry out.
He is on shakier ground when it comes to examining the stories of Peter and Judas, and he needs to go further to explain how God could know with absolute certainty what action they would take, since everything Boyd has said so far in his thesis would seem to suggest that God could only be certain of the likelihood (albeit a very high probability) of things happening the way he predicted.Read more ›
I really enjoyed this book and certainly agreed with one of its contentions: we should not throw the label "heresy" lightly against this view; nor should we label it as an offspring of Process Thought. Boyd wants the merits of his view to be evaluated on the basis of Scriptures rather than from a preconceived philosophical bias. Reviewers either ought to be critical of his views by setting forth indepth crtitiques, or shut up! The issue at stake here is not the extent of God's knowledge, but the nature of reality: in other words, is the future completely and exhaustively determined by God, or is it partly open and partly determined? (Boyd's view) Boyd also rejects "Middle Knowledge" as inadequate because of this theory's support of God's exhaustive foreknowledge. Boyd appeals to the indeterminacy found in nature and expounded by science. In regard to predestination, God predestines the Church, the container of salvation, the corporate body, the means (faith in Christ), but not the individuals who will be saved.
Oh, by the way, since only 5 people out of 27 found this review helpful, let me ask my "critics" this: do you object to my liking Boyd's book or to my summary of it? I believe you are just being iedologically biased...LEAVE ME A COMMENT INSTEAD OF SNIPING AND RUNNING!!!!
Boyd makes a convincing argument for what is called "Open View Theism." While the name certainly sounds heretical, the concept is not. Boyd believes that part of the future is settled and part of the future is open (depending on the free decisions of humans); God designed it this way. He maintains that God knows every possible decision that a man can make. Because of God's infinite power and intelligence, God will accomplish his ultimate purpose. Boyd begins by making his case through analysis of several Biblical accounts in which God changes his mind in response to what man does or God makes conditional ("if you do this, I will do that") statements through his prophets. God appears to genuinely command people to do certain things (such as repent) and responds to the decisions they make. God appears to grieve over things. If he foreordained such things, his grief, commands, and conditional statements would not appear to be geniune. Boyd next goes on to make a sound philosophical defense of his view. Boyd then talks about the implications of this view including the urgency and importance of prayer. Finally, he answers objections and questions.
Read the book first, compare it with scripture (not the writings of John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, or anyone else), and make your own judgement.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I went through 75% of this book but something was amiss when it came to Boyd using mainly OT Scripture to defend his stance that God does not know the future. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joseph L. Louthan
I was surprised on how meticulous Boyd interpreted certain passages but I believe he used a little scripture gymnastics to employ much of his thoughts around challenging proof... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is perfect for those who love to read about theology or are just altogether struggling to find a purpose because of where faulty theology has led them. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brown Jenkin
Greg did a masterful job of laying out a biblical and sound view of possibilities. A Jesus looking God. Who knew?!Published 11 months ago by Raf Zayas
Great book about Open Theism. This book is a little more detailed than others. If you are not into deeper theology I would recommend Boyd's other book "Is God to Blame". Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dennis Gard
Clear and succinct. Presents a view that cohesively explains all the relevant texts. Logically answers critics and rebuttals, while avoiding polemic.Published 15 months ago by Geoff
This is a good easy-to-understand book discussing issues related to the Calvinist view of the sovereignty of God. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Libbie Kent
This book basically summarizes most of his work into one concise edition that is easily understood by lay readers. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Stan Stokes