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Satan & the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy Paperback – October 8, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (October 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830815503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830815500
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gregory A. Boyd (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is a pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Previously, he was a professor of theology at Bethel University, also in St. Paul. His books include Recovering the Real Jesus in an Age of Revisionist Replies, Letters from a Skeptic, God of the Possible, Repenting of Religion, Seeing is Believing, Escaping the Matrix, The Jesus Legend, Myth of a Christian Nation, Is God to Blame, God at War and Satan and the Problem of Evil.

More About the Author

Gregory A. Boyd is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and founder and president of ReKnew. He was a professor of theology at Bethel College (St. Paul, Minn.) for sixteen years where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor. Greg is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (BA), Yale Divinity School (M.Div), and Princeton Theological Seminary (PhD). Greg is a national and international speaker at churches, colleges, conferences, and retreats, and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows. He has also authored and coauthored eighteen books prior to Present Perfect, including The Myth of a Christian Religion, The Myth of a Christian Nation, The Jesus Legend (with Paul Eddy), Seeing Is Believing, Repenting of Religion, and his international bestseller Letters from a Skeptic.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Herbert J. Reisig Jr. on December 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a pastor and student of theology, I have leaned more on the Calvinist side of the fence in regards to the free will/sovereignty debate. I understand the implications of different views on God's foreknowledge. My position has always been that much of this issue is mystery and we as finite beings will never fully understand how we can have the experience and responsibility of freedom and yet be created by a God who is omniscient and omnipotent.
The reason, though, that I have always leaned on the Calvinist side is that Reformed theologians always seemed more consistent and cogent in their thoughts. 'Arminian' theology always seemed weak to me. It seemed like it took a middle ground that never cleared up the logical confusion of human freedom and divine foreknowledge. Of course, strict Reformed theology never cleared it up either. It was just comfortable with the logical conclusion that God chooses some to be objects of eternal wrath for His own glory, as well as with the problem of evil in this age. It is honest, but it's honest conclusion does not line up with the God of love who wills that all men be saved. But due to the weakness of Arminian scholarship, I accepted most of classic Calvinism (except for limited atonement) and chalked my confusion up to mystery.
Gregory Boyd's two-fold work in God at War and Satan & the Problem of Evil is the first that I have read from 'the other side' that has provoked me to much thought. I have never been 'open' to openness theology (and have thus never read anything from this stream until now) because of its association with process theology, but after reading Boyd's work I see that openness is not an embracing of process thought.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Tom Ewall on May 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is true that the focus of the book is anti-Augustinian in its emphasis, but there is no reason any Armenianist should have a problem with the book's central thesis. The author argues that Augustine's emphasis on God's will being the overriding factor in all that happens logically led to a de-emphasis of the importance of the forces of evil (since if nothing that happens except as God's will, the evil forces become as puppets in his hand to accomplish His will). Boyd argues that the emphasis of the early Christians, and of Scripture, is on their being an actual battle between good and evil. This is the central thesis of the book. The Open view stuff is a sideline, which Boyd points out several times in the book is not necessary in order to hold to the central premis of the book. I'm mentioning this because it seems to me that there are reviewers who have gotten hung up on this issue (i.e. the Open View issue).

I really liked the book a lot. It supported exhaustively the concept of warfare in Scripture, from virtually every book in Scripture. Seeing the problem of evil as one where what happens is not necessarily God's will, but the result of those opposed to His will, has profound practical applications.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Isak Lee on March 28, 2006
Format: Paperback

It's been a long time since I've been here. I read my review below with both amusement and slight embarrassment. I remember being irked the day I wrote it, and I must apologize for it's tone. It was not the most Christian way to go about writing.

However, I do stand by the central point I was making. Disagreement is fine, but avoid making accusations. I must disagree with a following reviewer about preconceptions. I was merely pointing out that many people come to read Boyd with the purpose of striking him down; I was simply advising the readers to avoid this purpose and to examine their own background. Obviously, reading a book with an empty mind is both impossible and irresponsible, but when we evaluate our own influences we can better handle debates such as this one. The reviewer's logic is circular about Boyd; we all have outside philosophical influences, "liberal" or "conservative," and he seemingly thinks that the label of conservative automatically entails correctness. Any objective person will say that Augustine had influences from Hellenistic philosophy; this does not automatically mean that his biblical interpretations are illegitimate. Likewise, Boyd, like all of us, has influences from Harthorne (I think "indoctrinate" is highly inaccurate), but this does not mean he is incorrect all of a sudden. To argue this way borderlines arrogance, for it assumes that "those" people don't have philosophical influences as others. The very term Calminian is curious as well; obviously, both Arminians are Calvinists are concerned about the Bible and differ on interpretation; saying that they would be "Calminian" if they truly were wholly Scriptural is, again, somewhat arrogant.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By W. GORDON on January 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
It's inteeresting to see Calvinist responces to Boyd's excellent thesis in God at War and Satan & the Problem of Evil and their charges of hersy, delusional misinterpretation of Scripture, and so on. Having read both books let me just make a few comments:
1) Augustine's Neo-Platonic 'reading' of the bible on the issue of God's Decrees, the denial of free will, and so on which has become Calvinistic orthodoxy in the West, was never accepted in the Eastern Church and always considered 'heterodox' and not Orthodox.
2) St John of Damascus and the Cappadocian Fathers all distitinquished between God's Decrees and Gods' foresight and did not see the two as 'the same'
3) The 'dark side' of Augustinian/Calvinism is that it makes God the author and ultimate cause of evil in the world, as Boyd rightly objects to because to make God the source of evil is totally unbiblical. just as the denial of libertarian freedon and responsible choice.
4) It is possible that Boyd, in seeking to correct this distortion, has moved too much in the opposite direction and claims clarity in areas (on the basis of a one-sided interpretation of a few difficult biblical texts) which are actually shrouded in mystery because it is really impossible for finite human beings, by logic. to understand the relationship between tme and eternity.
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