- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Send The Light (January 20, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0853646341
- ISBN-13: 978-0853646341
- Package Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,104,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Unbounded Love: A Good News Theology for the 21st Century Paperback – January 20, 1995
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Overview In this groundbreaking book, Clark Pinnock and Robert Brow offer a fresh but profoundly biblical understanding of God, humanity, sin, salvation and the church. They insist that the gospel is news about divine grace and restoration. Still, they admit, "This news can be read in different ways. It can even be made to sound like bad news for most people." Instead, Pinnock and Brow root what they call creative love theism in 1 John 4:8 - "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love." They present a gospel that can be welcomed, emphasizing God not as a judge demanding legal settlement but as a father seeking to restore relationship with his estranged creatures. Unbounded Love mounts a powerful case for a truly evangelical (that is, good news) theology. It will spark debate, reconsideration - and perhaps even praise of God.
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The Introduction to this 1994 book states, "The book developed out of an article written by Robert Brow for Christianity today... [which] called for a revisioning of evangelical theology... Clark H. Pinnock came into the picture as a respondent to the original article... As Brow and Pinnock got together and reflected on some reactions to the article and on deeper underlying themes, the conviction grew that there is a shift in evangelical thinking which Brow was pointing to... This book, then, is a fuller exposition of Brow's original vision, merged with Pinnock's parallel thoughts... It is an attempt to recover good news for our time. Brow was the one to call it 'creative love theism.' ... Unbounded Love is an invitation to consider God as a dynamic and loving triune being who wants to have meaningful interaction with us... What is needed is... clarification of God's gracious character and actual identity." (Pg. 7-8, 10)
They state, "Because God is love, we can be sure that no one will be excluded from knowing God by ignorance or lack of opportunity. Only those who deliberately reject God's love will be excluded, and they will really have excluded themselves. God has decided to exclude no one---exclusion can happen only as a result of the human decision to love darkness rather than light." (Pg. 32)
Of Romans 9:20-22 they wrote, "If every lump of clay is spoiled with original sin... God is perfectly just in sending any person to hell. And if we are among the few who are lucky enough to be chosen, we can magnify God's grace without feeling bad about the others who get the hell their sin deserves anyway. Of course we question whether this is what Paul was getting at. The passage about the potter has nothing to do with individual guilt and salvation. These words of Jeremiah [18:1-6] refer to God's dealings with the nation of Israel and have not arbitrariness attached to them." (Pg. 64)
They suggest, "When God's anger does burn against sinners, the Bible says it lasts only a moment. His anger passes, but his love endures forever... Because God's anger is rooted in his love for us, it is actually distasteful to him. It is a tragic necessity, not something God ever delights in. It causes him suffering and means he must suspend his mercy for a time... Our point is that God's wrath is not a fundamental disposition inherent in God's nature but a reaction that God experiences because of his love when he is confronted by sin." (Pg. 69)
They admit, "Should there be a final refusal to repent, God's judgments may mean final judgement and irrevocable rejection. The finally impenitent will be swept away in fury---we do not intend to sidestep clear biblical warnings to that effect. But the judgments in history PRIOR to final judgment are not meant as God's last word." (Pg. 70) Later, they add, "It does appear that some may finally reject God's love and be separated from him forever. The warnings about eternal destruction are clear enough to prevent us from entertaining the hope of universal salvation. Evidently God values human freedom so much that he allows people to reject him finally... We are not suggesting that it is easy for a person to go to hell---only that is can be done. God's love is offered to all, and hell is not a contradiction of that. Hell exists because love can be rejected. God would like to prevent it but cannot. Yes, there are things God cannot do, and this is one." (Pg. 87-89)
They say, "Of course the Bible is reserved in giving us information about the nature of life after death. Yet when it uses the language of death and destruction to refer to hell, it leaves the distinct impression that hell is closure. The Old Testament sets the stage for the New Testament position in speaking of the wicked falling like grass and being cut off forever... This language fits closely with Jesus' warning that God will destroy both body and soul in hell. The apostles use the same imagery of destruction... A fair-minded person might just conclude ... that the Bible teaches the destruction of the impenitent." (Pg. 91)
As controversial as some of Pinnock's other books, this challenging book will nevertheless be of interest to Christians wrestling with doctrines such as Hell and Open Theism---whether they agree with Pinnock and Brow, or not.