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God's Strategy in Human History: Paperback – July 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579102735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579102739
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,363,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Seth Aaron Lowry on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Forster and Marston have delivered a stellar book that attempts to present an exegetical and Scriptural framework for the content presented in the book. Instead of beginning from a set of deductive theological assumptions and then attempting to support that system from Scripture, Forster and Marston examine Scripture and attempt to build their case directly from the text. The authors unabashedly admit that their views are very similar to those of Arminian and Weslyan traditions, but they state in the beginning of the book that they do not want to be labeled with these names, but want to construct a theology that is in line with the teachings of the first 300 years of Christianity. Anyone who reads their appendix will come to understand that the teachings presented in this book were the orthodox consensus of the early Church for the first 300 years, and that it was Augustine who introduced serious deviations into the mainstream orthodox Christianity of his time.
Forster and Marston begin by describing the battle that is being waged between God and the spiritual forces that oppose Him. They examine the book of Job and see how this relates to the overall struggle. Then the authors examine the 9th chapter of Romans to see if this book is dealing with election and individual destinies, or God's actions within human history. The authors do an excellent job of arguing for their opinion that this chapter is speaking about God's involvement in human history and it deals with God's choosing of one nation or individual over another nation or individual to accomplish His purpose. Other sections of interest in this book are the sections on foreknowledge and predestination and the chapters on faith and works.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Greg Boyd on December 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Many assume that when the Bible speaks of "electing" people and "hardening" other people, it means that God arbitrarily chooses who he will love and save, and who he will hate and damn. This book convincingly shows that the biblical authors had no such idea in mind in using these terms. With meticulous research these authors support an interpretation of the biblical narrative that affirms human free will, God's universal love, and God's desire for all people to be saved. I couldn't recommend a book more strongly!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 28, 1999
Format: Loose Leaf
This book is worth its cover price (£5) just for the Appendix alone, which covers subjects like 'Original sin' 'Infant Baptism' and the teachings of the 'Early Church Fathers'. Throughout the book Roger Forster and Paul Marston look at the implications of man's freewill and how God gets his will carried out on earth. The issue of God's foreknowledge, predestination and election are covered with a preciseness that the subject requires. Lately the 'Openness Debate' by Clark Pinnock and others has sparked new interest in this whole theological area, and any one who wants to examine all sides of this subject needs a copy of this book. Roger Forster's home church Ichthus Christian Fellowship in London England has copies of this book available, they can be emailed on media@ichthus.org.uk
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Spencer Gear on April 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of the finest books I have read that attempts to give a biblical diagnosis of the extremes of some of TULIP Calvinism. These authors exegete the Scriptures to show that some of Calvinism's assertions against free-will don't stack up with the Bible.

A sample from the word study on "Chosen and Elect" explains some of their perspective: "Although God, in his foreknowledge, doubtless knew which individuals would repent and so be joined by him to Christ's body, this is not at all the same thing as picking them out to make them repent. God's choice is not an individual one of who should repent; it is a corporate choice of the church in Christ. . . Those in the early church seem to have grasped much more readily than ourselves the concept of being chosen in Christ."

I have been troubled for years by the Calvinistic autocratic determinism that leads to a predestination that seems to drag people into the Kingdom of God. This is a scholarly and readable biblical understanding that refutes the Reformed view of election/predestination.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Enyoyd Sannock on October 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
I had a hunch that Open Theism and the "New Perspectives" on Paul were compatible. This book brings the two streams together in a compelling way. Admittedly, the author's were preaching to the choir as I was reading. But regardless of your stance on openness or New Perspectives, you will appreciate a thorough argument. If you like Open Theism, you'll like this book. Many open theist concepts are in primitive form, but they germinate here to give quite a bit of insight. If you track with N.T. Wright, you'll also like this book. But most fascinating in this book is the appendix where the authors use a plethora of early church evidence to show that those who didn't believe in free will were the heretics of the early church.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Myers - Writing at RedeemingGod on September 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't put too many books on my Burning Books list (on my website), but this is one of them. This list is not a list of books which should be burned, but which, when read, cause the mind to ignite with ideas, a new way of reading Scripture, or a new insight into a difficult theological problem.

When I first read this book, I was a hyper-Calvinist seeking to refute every argument thrown against the "logical system of theology passed down to us through John Calvin from Augustine and the Apostle Paul."

"God's Strategy in Human History" was one of the first books which created some cracks in Calvinism. It is one of the best books I have read.
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