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The Battle for God: Responding to the Challenge of Neotheism Paperback – November 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


A must read book forAnyone concerned about the changing views of God within evangelical Christianity. (Paul Virtue Get to the Pointe 2004-06-03)

From the Back Cover

What does God know?
When does God know what He knows?
What can God do about it?

God’s understanding, power, and wisdom are at issue in the first consequential theological debate of the twenty-first century. Neotheism, also known by such names as the “openness of God” theology, argues for a limited Creator and Sustainer. He can only guess what the free-willed human beings will do. Sometimes He guesses wrong and must undo the damage.

The Battle for God reminds us how far such a view of God diverges from the traditional understanding of God described in the Bible and also the Triune Being confessed by church fathers through the Reformation. Norman L. Geisler, H. Wayne House, and Max Herrera describe nothing less than a contest to set the course for all of Christian faith, with vast ramifications for the future understanding of God’s essential attributes—His omniscience, omnipotence, eternality, simplicity, and sovereignty.

Here is a clear and unambiguous refutation of arguments in recent writings by the three central neotheists: Greg Boyd, Clark Pinnock, and John Sanders. But more than simply a negative attack on those who propose to redefine God, the authors present a systematic confession of the attributes—what they mean, why we can take confidence as Christians in the God they describe, and why the battle for God is well worth fighting.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic & Professional (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825427355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825427350
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an extremely disappointing book. It is something of a comic rehash of traditional-fundamentalist theology. It lumps very diverse perspectives together through the use of non-contexual quotations and treats the proponents of Open Theism with disdain. It lacks both academic respectability and basic Christian charity.
A number of criticisms might be leveled at the book on the immediate surface:
1. It renames Open Theism with Neo-Theism. This has the effect of disallowing academic opponents the privilege of defining themselves. This is a subversive and cruel attempt to malign the perspective before it is discussed. Apart from a brief introductory discussion and direct quotations, the authors refuse to use the lable Open Theism. It seems they need a little more openness if they are going to honest participants of theological dialogue.
2. They identify Open Theism as a development of Process Theology. However, Open Theists have repeatedly denied such a connection and have even offered critiques of Process Theology that are superior to those offered in this book. In short, Process Theology teaches that God needs the world. Open Theism does not have a God that is dependent upon the world nor does their God need the world in any way. The God of Open Theism has a more intimate connection with the world than that of Geisler, House and Herrera. Particularly in that Open Theism posits that God works in partnership with his creation and not simply in a relationship of absolute dictatorial dominence. This of course is the appeal of Open Theism, its democratic rather than autocratic or despotic relationship between the Creator and the creature.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on May 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
What God knows and when he knows it has become a very hot topic in Christian circles today. It seems to be a common question regarding how much God knows about the future. Does He make things happen? Does He merely know about future events? Or does God, as neotheism so states, limit Himself by not knowing the future, meaning that the future really is up in the air and is contigent on the decisions made by humans?
As it can be obviously seen, this is a pretty big issue because how we view God is vital. In fact, the Bible very clearly says it can be very dangerous to have a wrong view of God. Geisler, House, and Herrera show how neotheism is the "new kid" on the block as neotheist theologians have combined aspects of panentheism, or process theology, with traditional theism. It has implications on the way we worship as well as how we view and interpret the scripture. The book takes a look at certain key qualities about God, including His omniscience, eternality, immutability, and sovereignty, and compares the traditional Christian view with the neoorthodox view. Actually, The Battle for God serves as an overview of the attributes of God, so a study in who God is can't be all bad!
I like the way that the authors treat this issue with as much simplicity as possible, attempting to show through biblical evidence and historical Christian quotes that neotheism is problematic for the evangelical Christian. It should be pointed out that, in the limited number of pages of a paperback text, the quotes from church fathers are pieced together, so the danger of the context being destroyed is certainly possible, especially since the average reader won't look them up. However, I saw nothing that appeared to be unusual with the people being quoted.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Randy A. Oldaker on March 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
The authors, for all their talk about the importance of interpreting the Bible literally, actually reject all those literal passages that describe God and his attributes. Suddenly, these literal verses become figurative because they contradict the Platonic view of God to which Augustine and other church fathers held. Therefore, quoting Medieval theologians (like Thomas Aquinas, a syncretist who presented an Aristotelian view of God and a Catholic theologian whom Geisler greatly admires) or certain Protestant reformers (who were slavish followers of Augustine and his Platonic God) is not convincing. Those views of God are contradictory to the God we read about in the Old and New Testaments, a God who really loves, who really is touched by the the feelings of our infirmities, a God who allows free moral agents be responsible for their own actions, a God who is concerned and who is affected by his people to the point that he answers real prayers. The God of so-called classical theism is an emotionless God who is not affected by his people at all. That is why you find so many classical theists saying that God is not affected by our prayers but, rather, it is we who are changed in the process of praying. Geisler, et al. do not like the Open Theology view of God because it is held to by those in the freewill tradition which rejects five-point Calvinism. I have read almost all of Geisler's books and had a great deal of respect for him but, when he confuses open theists with liberal process theologians, that shows he is not a scholar and, worse, not really interested in the truth or in making vital distinctions. A mark of scholarship is to be fair to the "other side" and to present its views accurately. These authors fail in that task.Read more ›
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