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No Other God: A Response to Open Theism Paperback – October 1, 2001
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Open theism is bad news. The appearance of this book is good news. Precisely because God is closed and not open to the nullification of his purposes (Job 42:2), he has opened a future for believers that is utterly secure no matter what we suffer. The key that would open the defeat of God is eternally closed within the praiseworthy vault of His precious sovereignty. John Frame delights to show when it is good to be closed and when it is good to be open. And the Bible is his criterion.
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He wrote in the Preface to this 2001 book, "The purpose of this book is to describe and evaluate biblically the theological movement known as open theism... in my judgment, their position is deeply unbiblical, and their movement has caused division and confusion..." (Pg. 11)
He admits concerning the Problem of Evil that "There is no perfectly satisfying solution to it. Some have tried to solve it by appealing to libertarian freedom, but ... such an appeal is inadequate, since freedom in the libertarian sense is both unscriptural and destructive to moral responsibility." (Pg. 68)
Concerning John Sanders The God Who Risks: A Theology of Divine Providence, Frame agrees that God allows his will to be "thwarted" because of the nature of the creatures he has made, because of their integrity and the integrity of his plan. But he adds, "integrity is one thing, and autonomy is something else." He adds that if God brings about everything that happens, then there is no room for autonomy; "God has planned and foreordained everything that happens, so nothing takes him by surprise." (Pg. 113)
He points out that since in Heaven, we will not be free to sin, "the highest state of human existence will be a state without libertarian freedom." (Pg. 125) He responds to biblical passages that seem superficially to show God "changing his mind," and explains, God's "relenting" is based on his eternal plan, "which incorporates his appropriate responses to events in the created world." (Pg. 196)
Frame's critique is another valuable addition to this controversy.
While some Arminians (myself included) may find some of Frame's arguements based on his Calvinistic presuppositions, all orthodox Christians will find Frame does wrestle with the Bible for all his answers. His strong view on the authority of the Bible shines forth in his solid critique. While I disagreed with Frame on his view of divine determinism, I found that he answers nearly every major passage that Open Deist often appeal to try to prove that God is open to change based on the decisions, prayers, and actions of men.
Overall this book was a great read. Theological works often can be a bore to read, I found that not to be the case with Frame's book. In fact, reading this book by Frame made me want to purchase his other theological books as well. He is good writer and who keeps the focus on the subject while keeping the reader interested in the teaching at hand. A good read even before you go to bed.
D. A. CARSON
Research Professor of New Testament
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Open theism is bad news. The appearance of this book is good news. Precisely because God is closed and not open to the nullification of his purposes (Job 42:2), he has opened a future for believers that is utterly secure no matter what we suffer. The key that would open the defeat of God is eternally closed within the praiseworthy vault of his precious sovereignty. With the Bible as his criterion, John Frame delights to show when it is good to be closed and when it is good to be open.
Bethlehem Baptist Church
John Frame's No Other God presents the serious minded, biblically faithful, and philosophically responsible reflections of a seasoned theologian regarding the profoundly misguided open view of God. While portions of Frame's criticism could be directed more generally to classical Arminianism's commitments to libertarian freedom and the centrality of the love of God, yet much of Frame's deepest concern focuses upon a range of distinctively and deeply distressing aspects of the post-Arminian openness model. Here one will see vividly so much that is wrong with open theism while encountering afresh the beauty and glory of the true and living God of the Bible.
BRUCE A. WARE
Professor of Christian Theology
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Combining exegetical good judgment, sound theology, and profound philosophical insight, Professor Frame has written exactly the book we need today to put into the hands of Christians attracted to the allegedly "new" doctrines of so-called open theism. Open theism leaves believers with a god who is not merely "too small" but irrelevant to our lives, our needs, our goals. And John Frame spells this out clearly in this easy-to-read but comprehensive and compelling critique. It is "must reading" for all Christians today.
ROBERT B. STRIMPLE
Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology
Westminster Theological Seminary in California