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A Wideness in God's Mercy: The Finality Of Jesus Christ In A World Of Religions Paperback – March 31, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 31, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310535913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310535911
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Here is a ground-breaking book that suggests some new possibilities of interpretation around the challenge of religious pluralism. The subject of the book is the finality of Jesus Christ in a world of different religions. Pinnock explains succinctly the factors that have made religious pluralism a major challenge for Christian theology. Then he places the issue in the history of doctrine leading up to the present day. Five chapters follow this introductory material and cover the field very systematically: The first chapter deals with God's global reach in salvation and shows that God is concerned for all people in all nations; chapter two highlights the Christology through which God is known to be the God of grace; the third chapter shows how the Bible views other religions as they presently exist and how we can understand them; chapter four deals with religions as non-static entities and the object of divine power bringing in the kingdom; and the fifth chapter discusses eschatology, or how it is possible to understand salvation in generous and large terms. A Wideness in God's Mercy is one of the very few books to present a strong proposal on the issue of religious pluralism while maintaining a rock-solid evangelical stance. It will no doubt launch a decade of discussion on a higher level among Christians.

About the Author

Clark H. Pinnockwas professor of theology at McMaster Divinity College.

More About the Author

Clark H. Pinnock is professor of theology at McMaster Divinity College.

Customer Reviews

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jackson on August 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Clark Pinnock is probably the most controversial evangelical theologian of the second half of the twentieth century. Born in 1937 in Canada and raised in a mainline protestant denomination, he converted to evangelicalism of the Reformed Baptist variety. In his early works (1967-1971) he defended biblical inerrancy against attempts to limit the Bible's truthfulness to spiritual matters. By the mid-1970s (if not earlier) Pinnock's views started evolving. He embraced Arminianism and the Charismatic movement. In 1984 he published THE SCRIPTURE PRINCIPLE, in which he rejected the strict view of inerrancy he had previously advocated. By 1992 he was advocating annihilationism (the belief that the finally impenitent will be destroyed rather than condemned to eternal punishment). Not content with these changes he turned his attention to the doctrine of God, contributing an important essay to the 1994 collection THE OPENNESS OF GOD. There Pinnock advocated "open theism." Open theism (also called free-will theism) rejects the classical conception of God in favor of something roughly between process theism and classical theism. Although Pinnock has always considered himself an evangelical, some haven't hesitated in calling the "later Pinnock" a heretic. In 2002 some members of the Evangelical Theological Society sought to expel him for his views on biblical inspiration. After Pinnock "clarified" his views on inerrancy, the ETS voted to retain him.

1992's A WIDENESS IN GOD'S MERCY is Pinnock's most detailed presentation of his position concerning non-Christian religions and the salvation of non-Christians. He attempts to stake out a middle ground between the restrictivist approach of his younger days and the pluralistic approach of much of main-line Christianity.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Shobert on September 17, 2004
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Other than reading Pinnock's contribution to a Moody Counterpoint Series on the challenges pluralism presents to orthodox Christianity, I had not read any of Pinnock's other work. This was my first exposure to him; I look forward to picking up more of his work in the future. Pinnock argues for a broader view of salvation outside of Christianity than most evangelicals will accommodate; however, he does not sacrifice the concepts of Divine inspiration of Scripture, the historicity and Divinity of Christ, and conventional orthodoxies on the Trinity. A very worthwhile read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Veale on May 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Published in 1992, this presentation on how God can work in all nations and cultures is just as fresh today. Pinnock (an excellent theologian of our day) upholds both the particularity of Christ and the wideness of God's love in all cultures. Pinnock's high view of scripture and high Christology place him in the evangelical camp. One highlight of this book is Pinnock's utter demolition of the religious pluralist ideology which is so prevalent today. Maybe this is surprising to some who may view him as a liberal theologian. I would highly recommended this book to all those who are building a framework of how God can (and does) interact with all mankind. Tiessen's "Who can be Saved?" is a more complete treatment but "A Wideness in God's Mercy" is more concise for those with limited time to read. One criticism I have with this book is Pinnock's mixing Reformation doctrines of election and inclusivism. As Tiessen shows, these are two separate questions.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John B. Case on June 26, 2007
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Clark Pinnock once again has caused me to stretch a little. This is a challenge to those who believe that God includes those who "think right," and exludes those who don't. The challenge come from those whom we know God included: Job, Jethro, Cornelius, and others. Maybe, as Peter said, "God does not show favortism, but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 30, 2012
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Clark H. Pinnock (1937--2010) was Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at McMaster Divinity College, and author of books such as The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understanding of God, Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God's Openness (Didsbury Lectures), Grace of God and the Will of Man, The, Scripture Principle, The,: Reclaiming the Full Authority of the Bible, etc.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 1992 book that "my proposal is exclusivist in affirming a decisive redemption in Jesus Christ, although it does not deny the possible salvation of non-Christian people... (and) acknowledges God's gracious work in the lives of human beings everywhere and accepts real differences in what they believe."

One of his intentions in the book is to refute the "fewness doctrine" (e.g., as exemplified by Cavinist G.T. Shedd's The Doctrine of Endless Punishment), and "to replace it with an optimism of salvation based in Scripture." (Pg. 17) He considers the fewness doctrine as a heresy of orthodoxy, "more than religious liberalism." (Pg. 44)

He cites examples of "pagans" such as the Queen of Sheba (Mt. 12:42) and the Magi (Mt. 2:1-12) as showing the "possibility of pagan saints in the wider world." (Pg.
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