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How Then Should We Choose?: Three Views on God's Will and Decision Making Paperback – January 6, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082542898X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825428982
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #586,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Editor Douglas S. Huffman is professor and chair of the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies at Northwestern College in Minnesota. He is the coeditor of God Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents God.

More About the Author

Douglas S. Huffman (1961- ) is a native Minnesotan and now recently turned Californian. He serves as professor and associate dean of biblical and theological studies at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University in La Mirada, CA. Before coming to Biola, Huffman taught in biblical and theological studies and served in several administrative roles at Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN. His specialties include the New Testament language of Greek, the story of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, the story of the early church as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, and Christian Thought, i.e. the application of Christian teaching to culture. He and his wife Deb enjoy travel, hiking, and film.

Customer Reviews

The editor gives a good summary and analysis in the 14-page conclusion.
Jim Briggs
When we have chosen what is moral and wise, we must trust the sovereign God to work all the details together for good."
S. Grotzke
A Christian can't help but benefiting immensely from reading this book.
David P. Craig

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Jim Briggs on March 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
The "excellent choice" to which I have referred, is to choose to read this book. The subtitle of the book "Three Views on God's Will and Decision Making" concisely states the essence of the book. The three views which are presented in this book are given the titles of the "specific will view", the "wisdom view" and the "relationship view"; the contributors are, respectively, Henry & Richard Blackaby (I will refer to them by the singular pronoun in this review), Garry Friesen and Gordon Smith. The format consists of each contributor who describes his view, and then each of the other two makes responses to it. In addition, each contributor applies his principles of decision-making to the same three issues of college & career choices, marriage, and choice of a church to attend. One of the contributors states, "... I hope to provide an example of dealing with a debatable issue with clarity and charity." I perceive that all three authors shared the same goal.

The editor, Douglas Huffman, writes a helpful introduction and conclusion. There is also a beneficial "categorized bibliography", in which the editor has listed almost 100 books, such that each one has a label given which indicates which view (or combination of views) is held by the author(s) of each book. Throughout the book, the footnotes are given at the bottom of each page, which also is an asset for those who wish to identify the sources of the quotes.

I do not believe that it should be my goal to tell those who have not (yet) read the book what are my conclusions about the validity of each these three points of view. However, there are several criteria which I perceive are both relevant and important in trying to discern the validity of each view.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Discerning Reader on June 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the book quite a bit. I thought Friesen summarized his own view with clarity (see my review on "Decison Making and the Will of God")and responded to the weaknesses in the other views well. His view found its base firmly on Scripture, while the others employed doubtful exegesis (maybe eisegesis!), or experience. I would say Blackaby's view followed the former course, while Smith's latter followed the latter.

I can remember my suprise when Blackaby referenced the verse number for God speaking to Elijah out of the storm as evidence that God speaks to believers in a "quiet and still voice." It seems he had to purposely quote from the K.J. to find a version that said it that way. I think he must have picked that version due to the fact that contemporary Evangelicals often use a similar term to refer to impressions they have upon their hearts that they think came from God. A casual reader would have thought that reinforces his or her view on impression due to the similar terminology. If one looks closely at the context however, it is clear God spoke audibly. So it seems to me Blackaby was playing fast and loose on that one verse.

It seems Smith tried to undermine Friesen's view in another way. He quoted from multiple Christians (especially Roman Catholics) from the past who seemed to have mystical experiences that they thought came from God. By doing so he sought to disprove Friesen's claim that the contemporary belief in specific guidence was "new." By quoting these Christians, he sought to establish Blackaby's view was not new. Friesen's view would then seem novel as well as unpopular (or at least not the most popular). Nevertheless, selective reference to the perspectives of others does not establish what the scriptures actually teach.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David P. Craig TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the most practical things we can learn as Christians is to know how God's revelation in the Scriptures, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and our walk with Christ help us to make decisions that are well-pleasing to God. This thought provoking multi-view book contains three distinct and sometimes overlapping views on how to know and do God's will. This book is "about Christians making decisions in the light of God's guidance, that is, in accordance with God's will...and encouraging Christians toward greater freedom in their decision-making responsibilities to the glory of God who is with us."

The strategy of this book is that each writer presents his view using biblical, historical, personal, and various practical articulations of it. At the end of each presentation the writer shows the practical ramifications of their view by articulating how they would advise people in seeking out God's will and make the best decisions possible with reference to three case studies:

Case 1: A Career/College Decision

Case 2: A Relationship Decision

Case 3: A Stewardship Decision

The three views presented are as follows:

View #1 - The Specific-Will View - This view is presented by Henry (earned a ThM and BD from Golden Gate Baptist Seminary & has received four honorary doctorates) and his son Richard Blackaby (PhD in church history from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary).

The essence of this view as articulated by the Blackaby's is this: "We have presented what some call the traditional view of God's will. Simply put, it holds that God does have a specific will for your life and He will guide you to find it.
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