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Divine Foreknowledge: 4 Views
~Gregory A. Boyd , David Hunt , William Lane Craig , Paul Helm , James K. Beilby , Paul R. Eddy
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List price: $17.00
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Average customer rating: 3.5 out of 5
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Sales rank: 50322

Product Information

Media: Paperback
ISBN/ASIN : 0830826521
Manufacturer : InterVarsity Press
Release data : November, 2001

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  • Nature & existence of God
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    1 star1 star1 starNo starNo star    A Book Worth Looking Through

    If you are looking for more of a philosophical look into the issue of God's foreknowledge at an acceptable reading level, then this is the book for you. I, however, was not. I found that Greg Boyd was the only author to present his view from a purely biblical/theological position, and was then chastised for his approach because he was not using an "objective" philosophical framework by which to defend the case of "open theism."

    I found the articles by both David Hunt and William Lane Craig to be highly speculative and way too dependent upon philosophy to be helpful. BUT, I must say that the worst article was the presentation of the Augustinian view by Paul Helm. For someone who has written an entire book on the Providence of God, this article looked thrown together and showed a complete lack of passion.

    If for no other reason, read the the "Open-Theist View" by Greg Boyd. Even if you don't agree with his position, it gives an excellent overview of the biblical data in favor of open-theism.

    1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star    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.

    1 starNo starNo starNo starNo star    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?"

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