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Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God's Openness (Didsbury Lectures) Paperback – October 1, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
This engaging defense of openness theology begins with an analysis of the current debate, followed by an explanation of the misconceptions about openness theology, and a delineation of areas of agreement between classical and openness theologians.
Most Moved Mover is for all evangelicals, regardless of their viewpoint, as it lays out the groundwork for future discussions of the open view of God.
"The church and her mission cannot be more dynamic than her doctrine of God. Here is a theology for church renewal, a compelling call for an amicable conversation among evangelicals about the truly transcendent God who is said to choose significant involvement in the life of creation. Clark Pinnock offers the conversation a fresh divine-involvement focus, rejecting the concern of some that this path is theologically dangerous. To the contrary, it may be the best way to honor biblical revelation and highlight God's relational nature and creative love. These pages represent Pinnock's matured thought on relational theism. Let the conversation proceed!"
-Barry L. Callen, Anderson University
Clark H. Pinnock (Ph.D., University of Manchester) is professor of Christian interpretation at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, where he has taught since 1977. One of the most creative evangelical theologians of our day, he has authored, edited, or coauthored fifteen books, including More than One Way and Flame of Love.
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Top Customer Reviews
I read it in the context of a class that was meant to be critical, from a Calvinistic perspective, of Arminianism in its Reformed, Wesleyan, and Open Theist forms. I myself had, until recently, been a typical "angry young man" that you so often find in Reformed schools. But at that time I had begun to re-evaluate my theology. In any case, my preconceived ideas about Clark Pinnock could have been put simply: he was a heretic. Even before he had become an Open Theist, I was under the impression that he was a heretic, not only because he had a weak view of Scripture, but because he had embraced Arminian theology after having been an avowed Calvinist. In all honesty, I read his book rather reluctantly. I had no idea what Open Theism was, and, in all honesty, I had never really examined the arguments for Arminianism from an Arminian perspective. I was only expecting to find "fuel for the fire", you might say, with which to burn an effigy of Pinnock in a critical essay.
But then something unexpected happened. As other reviewers have noted, Most Moved Mover is about God's love and about his relationality. As a Calvinist, I believed in God's love for the elect in the abstract, but was not entirely convinced of his love for any individual I met, even for myself, because I thought it was impossible to know who was truly elect. God loved some people, and hated most, having created them to be tortured for eternity to the praise of his glory. And I understood God's relationality to the world in terms of decrees and legally binding covenants - in other words, my understanding of God was that he was mighty and sovereign, and somewhat distant.
Pinnock's arguments blew that conception out of the water.Read more ›
Openness theology envisions God as a self-sufficient, though relational, Trinitarian being who voluntarily created the world out of nothing. God graciously relates to the world as one self-limited out of respect for the genuine freedom of creatures. This relational, pantemporal God does not exhaustively foreknow future actual events. Above all, the open view of God emphasizes love as God's chief attribute and as the primary priority for theological construction. "The living God is . . . the God of the Bible," writes Pinnock, "the one who is genuinely related to the world, whose nature is the power of love and whose relationship with the world is that of a most moved, not unmoved, Mover" (3).
The book's introductory chapter may be the most interesting part of the book to those already familiar with the general themes of openness theology. In it, Pinnock cites numerous objections to the Open view penned mostly by Evangelical theologians of a Calvinist bent. For instance, "I have to say, with regret," says Don Carson of The Openness of God, "that this book is the most consistently inadequate treatment of scripture and historical theology dealing with the doctrine of God that I've ever seen from the hands of serious Evangelical writers." Robert Morey criticizes the open view by calling the deity it envisions "the finite God of evangelical processianism.Read more ›
Anyone who has read Pinnock on any subject besides this (I'm guessing most Calvinists have not) will find a man who makes arguments for the absolutely centrality of Scripture and the need to avoid twisting it to fit cultural biases. Yes, he sometimes seems guilty of this himself with some of the issues of open theism and I most definitely disagree with his annihilationist view of Hell. But pointing out one or two verses which seem to say the opposite is not sufficient. Scripture has tension in it and one must go with what he/she believes is the best summation of the general direction of Scripture.
The preface and introduction of the book were the most important for me as an evangelical theology student. Seeing the absolute vitriol to which a new idea was faced including baseless accusations of being "unbiblical" (it is built on Scripture, perhaps a misreading in your view, but the appeals to Scripture are numerous and in context)
After having read MMM, I am still what I was - basically a classical Arminian, but I found open theism to be a valid reading of Scripture, simply not the one I find most compelling. Early on I kept bringing up problems with the view and he kept answering them. The answers were not always fully satisfying, but apparently he is aware of the areas in his argument is open to attack and ready to meet them. Of course there are verses that "plainly" show open theism is wrong.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Clark H. Pinnock (1937--2010) was Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at McMaster Divinity College, and author of books such as Reason Enough: A Case for the Christian Faith,... Read morePublished on January 30, 2014 by Steven H Propp
Like many contemporary thinkers, Pinnock is too quick to reject the traditional position concerning philosophy of God. Read morePublished on November 10, 2009 by Professor Eric Silverman
Finally a good foundation for being able to view God through the scripture and not through the lens of Greek philosophy that has distorted the scripture for way too long. Read morePublished on March 4, 2007 by Seek Ye First
Since Mr. Oord felt compelled to offer multiple reviews (see July 14,2002 entry), though I wasn't so compelled, here goes my single review. Read morePublished on September 6, 2004 by M. Martinko
The most Process-Theism leaning book I have yet read by one who still claims the label Evangelical. I have watched Mr. Read morePublished on March 20, 2004 by darren rodgers
The following is what Clark Pinnock once said about the theological views he now holds.
Modern theology is characterized by an acute awareness of the historicity of the... Read more
Friend, the issue is not the sincerity of Mr. Pinnock. I believe he is most sincere. The issue is that he is sincerely wrong. Misled. Scripturally Self-deceived. Erroneous. Read morePublished on January 23, 2003
It is a unfortunate that a theological/intellectual debate cannot exist in Christian circles without one party condemning another for heresy. Read more