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3.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0830826521
Manufacturer : InterVarsity Press|
Release data : November, 2001
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A selection of product reviews
Excellent Introduction to the Foreknowledge debate
Most of the reviews on this page miss the boat entirely. Rather than actually reviewing or recommending DF the reviewers are merely venting their anger because their particular view is challenged.
Pay them no mind. DF is an excellent book. Buy it and read all the views with as much of an open humble mind as you can. It's better than the alternative spoon feeding that is rampant in many circles of Evangelicalism today.
The glossary is a great idea more publishers should follow.
Keep em coming Eddy, Beilby, Gannsle ....etc.
Gregory Boyd Fails to Make Biblical Case: openism??
"the prophet who prophesies will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord ONLY IF HIS PREDICTION COMES TRUE."(Jer.28:9)
This is the inerrant litmus test of Bible prophecy: 100% Definitive Factuality in ADVANCE of freely chosen agent decisions, 0% error rate. Openism is DOA,AWOL,Mene-Mene-Tekel-Uparsin at this point! The handwriting is on the wall!
"Hear the Word of the Lord all you exiles in Babylon. This is what the Lord Almighty says about Ahab and Zedekiah who are prophesying lies to you in My Name. 'I will hand them over to King Neb. and he will put them to death before your very eyes. Because of them, all the exiles from Judah in Babylon will use this curse: The Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned in the fire.'"
An irrefutable case of EXHAUSTIVE DEFINITIVE DIVINE FOREKNOWN FACTUALITY about the future free decisions of Ahab; Zedekiah; King of Babylon specifically using fire for execution; and all exiles using the exact, precisely predicted curse based on the free decisions of Ahab, Zedekiah, King (all inextricably interlinked) in the OMNI-Mind of God, freely played out in time
Openism's 'extensive indefinite forecasting' cannot account for such prophecies. (Too many to list here - see separate reviews for 'Beyond the Bounds'; 'God Under Fire'; 'Bound Only Once'.)
Why must Gregory Boyd set up a hyper-Calvinist view as straw antagonist, then make his 'case' for why his Open Theory is the 'most Biblical' (compared to what??)? Ajarism (Free Futures are seen by God as through an ajar door darkly) can't help but seem more palatable by comparison with the ultra-Calvinist
'Closed door known but to God' or Liberal Process 'Wide-Open door unknown to God'.
The nebulous argument for 'Infinite Intelligence' to compensate for 'Non-infinite knowledge of free futures' (known as Divine Nescience,i.e Ignorance) is verbal legerdemain for denial of genuine, meaningful OMNI-science as the Bible teaches.
God is, according to Boydian theory, MULTI-scient or MAXIMI-scient (God knows a lot, more than anyone, the maximum logically knowable, but not quite EVERYTHING as the Bible says).
Instead, Gregory makes God out to be of such great intellect to work around His deemed lack of Infinite Foreknowledge of all future mortal free Shalls and Shall nots, Wills and Will nots. Boyd invents a new sub-Attribute to compensate for eviscerating another Attribute to allow God to come out O.K. in the end.
But it backfires. It only creates a deity in a limited human's intellectual image. In exchange for the Biblical Jesus of Infinite awareness, foresight, prescience and precise knowledge of all Space-Time events/decisions from Eternity Past to Eternity Future and all in between, we are left with a supreme weather forecaster or chess grandmaster. However as we all know, weathermen are often surprised, wrong, erroneous and mistaken. Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue have both lost against each other. Is this the sort of Jesus that Gregory Boyd sincerely believes in, trying to persuade others to accept,too?
'Infinite Intelligence' is woeful consolation for 'knowing' free agent futures as predominantly possibles, maybes, contingents, risky what-ifs, potentials, probables, likelihoods,
projections, indeterminates, variables, random chance, unpredictabilities, uncertainties that may after all not materialize to divine expectations/forecasts.
It is here that the equally nebulous Boydian concept of 'Theo-Repentism' must be triggered to explain how Jesus handles free futures that don't work out as anticipated. When confronted with new information, or in relating to free decision makers, the Eternal Lord Jesus then changes the divine mind, repents (of wrong-doing, wrong-guessing,wrong-imagining, wrong-thinking,wrong-prognosticating, wrong-speaking,wrong-predicting, wrong-prophesying, etc.) or regrets, rues prior decisions based on incomplete data, wishing they could be do-overs or in need of retraction or repair. Infinite Intelligence kicks in at this stage for 'divine damage control' to salvage a draw and prevent checkmate from all the free-ranging opponents who act/decide contrary to the limits of divine predictability in the chaotic chessgame/meteorology of life.
Sound puzzling? It is. Especially when you read the seminal book by Gregory Boyd that started it all: 'Trinity & Process' (see separate review), based on Hartshorne's 'Omnipotence & Other Theological Mistakes' (see review where you discover that Boyd's Omnipotence is no less limited than his Omniscience).
It seems OMNI (Latin for All) cannot mean OMNI anymore, at least for Open Theorists. What then becomes of OMNI-presence? Infiniteness? Eternality?
Transcendence? OMNI-sapience (ALL-Wise)? What happens to all the Historic-Evangelically understood Trinitarian Attributes? How are they Openistly redefined/updated for modern consumption? Only God knows (or, maybe He doesn't? Stay tuned!)
Most unfortunate that books like this which incorporate non-evangelical 'theology' alongside historic Christianity are distributed for uncritical consumption by a non-discerning readership. Seeking wider respectability, Openism/Ajar Theory merely shows with every published page how far Boyd-Pinnock-Sanders have headed AWAY from the Bible and TOWARD a vivid, free agent imagination a la borrowed elements of Hartshorne's Processistic, non-Scriptural philosophic fabrications.
The LORD said it best in Job 42:7 "I am angry with you..because you have not spoken of Me what is right."
This book rates 3 stars for including 3 Biblical/Evangelical views, but subtract stars for Gregory's use of contemporary philosophic presuppositions applied to selective misinterpreted Bible texts to provide a marginal audience the latest heterodox option to counter the straw antagonist of hyper-Calvinism.
Ultimately can't persuade in any cogent, balanced, unbiased way.
The OMNITrue One Who has Eternal Exhaustively Divine Definitive Foreknown Factuality of ALL Free Futures, Infinitely Uninformable ,Unrepentable,Inerrant, Incorrectible, Infallible, OMNI-Present (Ever-Present I AM in ALL point-moments of space-time: Length-Width-Height-Past-Present-Future), Eternal, Limitlessly Aware,OMNI-Relational,Interactive LORD Jesus said,
"Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?"
Extensive Indefinite Forecasting?? Theo-Repentism??
Just one Scripture from Jesus settles the Foreknowledge Issue once for all:
"I AM TELLING YOU NOW BEFORE IT HAPPENS SO THAT WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN YOU WILL BELIEVE THAT I AM HE." (John 13:19)
Not forecasting, possibilizing, but TELLING. Not if, but WHEN.
Not may,might,could,perhaps should, but DOES happen. 0% Uncertain. 100% definite. That's genuine Omniscience. Amen.
Interesting that this book would present as one of the "evangelical" options of what God knows and when He can know it:
the curious notion that God possesses EXTENSIVE INDEFINITE FORECASTING (a la weather prognosticator or chess grandmaster) subject to all the iffiness and unknowable randomness of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and Chaos Theory working themselves out in a fallen world unbeknownst in advance to the Creator! Boyd's presupposition is THE FUTURE DOES NOT EXIST YET, EVEN FOR THE OMNISCIENT/ETERNAL CREATOR GOD, except as mere possibilities yet to be freely actualized.
Therefore He is the deity of what is humanly,logically possible.
Boyd's Neo-Processistic philosophical theorizing becomes more incoherent with each book. How can God know how He will definitely act in the future if He doesn't know how sinners and demons will definitely behave? If our decisions don't exist until we freely make them, how can God's decisions exist until He freely makes His in response to ours in response to others in response to the devil's in response to... ad infinitum?? If all God can know are ultimately possibles (not actuals, definites), then ALL He can know about future agency is INDEFINITE (MAYBE). Thus Boyd teaches EXTENSIVE INDEFINITE FORECASTING - which he calls Omniscience! Talk about verbal legerdemain! God can only know what is humanly,finitely knowable
A careful study of the Bible shows rather the truth that there is NO LIMIT to the extent (past,present,future) of God's knowledge. It is ETERNALLY EXHAUSTIVE DIVINE DEFINITIVE FOREKNOWN FACTUALITY OF ALL FREE FUTURES-OMNIPRESCIENCE
His understanding is INFINITE. That God definitely knows in advance precisely what sinners and demons WILL/WILL NOT do doesn't mean therefore that they are thus forced to, or thereby lose their agency/moral responsibility. Neither is God to blame for the foreknown exercise of their agency. He retains full final say, ultimate control and awareness as definite in advance of ALL they will choose to do. Because some mortal minds can't reconcile this profundity, Open Theory (Ajarism) is the misbegotten result. With all due respect to sincere but sincerely wrong Gregory Boyd, there is little about Neo-processism or EIF (EXTENSIVE INDEFINITE FORECASTING) that can be understood in any sense as Biblical or Orthodox Truth about God's Attributes such as OMNISCIENCE/OMNIPRESENCE. God is ever PRESENT at every point/moment of space/time, including ALL the FUTURE. The I AM is ALREADY THERE/THEN waiting for us just as He IS with us HERE/NOW.
Otherwise well-written. 1 star for attempting to resurrect the long-discredited 'Nescience' pseudo-theology of the late 19th Century (with some elements of 16th Cent. Socinianism) via a self-refuting misunderstanding of how God interacts with ALL FUTURE MORTAL AGENCY: Comprehensively, and for Open Theorists, Incomprehendible.