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The Faithful Creator: Affirming Creation and Providence in an Age of Anxiety Paperback – October 3, 2015
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"The Faithful Creator is an extraordinarily rich scholarly treatment of the subjects of divine creation and providence. Highfield situates the doctrine of providence where it belongs―as an outworking of the doctrine of divine creation, which in turn is grounded in the triune nature of God. And the discussion culminates in a wise and extensive treatment of the diverse ways in which the problem of evil threatens to undermine our belief in divine faithfulness. Highfield seems equally adept when discussing biblical, philosophical and historical-theological dimensions of the issue, enabling him to bring into the conversation an impressive range of thinkers―ancient to contemporary. This study demands consideration by those on all sides of the providence debate." (James S. Spiegel, Taylor University)
"In this splendid book, Ron Highfield carefully argues that a proper theological understanding of God's creative action and providential care for all things may afford peace and assurance in this age of anxiety. Solidly grounded in Scripture and masterfully engaging key figures in both classical and contemporary theology, Highfield employs the notions of analogy and secondary causality to preserve God's transcendence and immanence while affirming human freedom and the authentic causality of creatures. The reader is invited to find 'comfort, hope, courage and joy' in the reality of God's providence―in the truth that 'God so orders and directs every event in the history of creation that God's eternal purpose for creation is realized perfectly.'" (Michael J. Dodds, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology)
"Suffering and evil often challenge our understanding of, and love for, the God who created and rules over the world. Focusing on God's work of creation and providence, Highfield is swimming against a stream in evangelical theology that has revised or modified aspects of the traditional understanding of God's nature (simplicity, immutability, eternity and omnipotence). He cogently reaffirms classical theism, and he applies it very helpfully in our present context. Whether or not readers agree with Highfield's criticism of recent departures from the classical tradition, they will benefit, as I have done, from interacting with his superb restatement of the tradition and his own constructive appropriation of it." (Terrance Tiessen, professor emeritus of systematic theology and ethics, Providence Theological Seminary)
"What I appreciate about The Faithful Creator is that Highfield goes beyond just saying that God is faithful and actually demonstrates it with his discussions on creation and providence. . . . This book is an excellent reminder that even though we may not know how our choices will play out in the rest of our lives, we can be certain that God, as our Creator, will be faithful in working all things toward His purpose. It is a reminder that we don't need to be anxious about the future because God is in control of the world that He has created." (Kailynn Nelson, Brave Daily, October 31, 2015)
About the Author
Ron Highfield (PhD, Rice University) is professor of religion at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He is the author of Great is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God, Barth and Rahner: Toward an Ecumenical Understanding of Sin and Evil, God, Freedom & Human Dignity and coauthor (with Gregory Boyd, William Lane Craig and Paul Helseth) of Four Views on Divine Providence. His published chapters and articles have covered subjects ranging from theological anthropology to open theism to Christian higher education.
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Top customer reviews
The book is in three parts: Creation, Providence, and the Problem of Evil. By the time you finish you will see that the problem of evil is where your beliefs on creation and providence are tested. I was genuinely impressed with the author’s presentation, logic, and fairness. Though he was a strong Bible believer and conservative in theology, he did not write to support one theological persuasion as much as addressing the hardest questions we Christians will ever hear or think.
Highlights include his explanation of the glory of God (pg. 111), his interaction with evolutionary biology (pg. 159), his description of reading the OT christologically (pg. 206), his phenomenal discussion of foreknowledge (pg. 226 ff), and his majestic handling of the problem of evil.
This volume will get the most prominent place on my shelves for this subject. I highly recommend it!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
It evinces a rigorous level of intellectual modesty and logical consistency -- which don't always come together in an author. Further, Highfield's interaction with thinkers ancient and modern is as sweeping it is impressive. And his respect for (and humility before) thinkers on all sides of the issues is truly an upward call to all who desire to write, teach, and think about creation and providence.
Even for one familiar with the subject, sitting at the feet of Highfield it's easy to feel like a bit of a dimwit. Probably this is just a feeling. Probably Highfield truly is a mental giant, and the rest of us simply have a lot to learn! When I read Faithful Creator, I proceeded slowly and cautiously, unable to resist the strong gravitational pull into the subject matter -- amplified by the unrelenting logic and fairness of its author. The reader who pushes himself or herself to the end will be richly rewarded. Through the course of its (three) sections, Creation, Divine Providence, and The Challenge of Evil, the book soon builds an unstoppable momentum, and its final chapters are golden.
My advice: Get a copy of the book, and read it. Come back in six months or a year and read it again. (Yes, it's that good.)