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Grace of God and the Will of Man, The [Paperback]

By Clark H. Pinnock (Editor)
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Does God's Sovereignty Make Human Freedom Meaningless? The Grace of God and the Will of Man brings together an impressive array of evangelical scholars from many traditions to examine the scope of God's saving purposes and His manner of working for the salvation of human beings. Developing the proposition that the dynamic, personal God of the Bible respects the freedom He has given to the human race, the essays in this book paint a picture of how God sensitively works out His plans for individuals and the whole of history. The writers of this volume don't claim the last word on this subject, but they make a convincing case for an evangelical alternative to deterministic theology.

Publishers Description
Does God's Sovereignty Make Human Freedom Meaningless?The Grace of God and the Will of Man brings together an impressive array of evangelical scholars from many traditions to examine the scope of God's saving purposes and His manner of working for the salvation of human beings.Developing the proposition that the dynamic, personal God of the Bible respects the freedom He has given to the human race, the essays in this book paint a picture of how God sensitively works out His plans for individuals and the whole of history. The writers of this volume don't claim the last word on this subject, but they make a convincing case for an evangelical alternative to deterministic theology.Dr. Clark H. Pinnock, general editor of this volume and the acclaimed book The Openness of God, is Professor of Theology at McMaster Divinity College in Ontario, Canada.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Bethany House
Pages   318
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.41" Width: 5.44" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1995
Publisher   Bethany House
ISBN  1556616910  
ISBN13  9781556616914  

Availability  0 units.

More About Clark H. Pinnock

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Clark H. Pinnock (PhD, University of Manchester) is professor emeritus of systematic theology at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, and has written or edited eighteen books, including Most Moved Mover. Barry L. Callen (DRel, Chicago Theological Seminary) is University Professor Emeritus of Christian Studies at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. He is editor of the Wesleyan Theological Journal and author or editor of over twenty books, including Authentic Spirituality.

Clark H. Pinnock currently resides in Ontario. Clark H. Pinnock was born in 1937.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

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Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Grace of God and the Will of Man, The?

Biblical, not "systematic" theological examples  Aug 30, 2008
This book is easy to read. Some chapters are a bit deep, but you can get similar ideas from the authors of the other chapters (most of whom wrote concisely and simply). What a great collection of non-Calvinist scholars!
Cottrell really helped me understand the biblical nature of sovereignty. He deals directly with the idea that faith is NOT a work. Calvinists claim that Arminians work for that salvation because believing/faith is a work. This is just not biblical.
John Sanders makes the God of the Bible a personal God. He thinks, creates, plans, anticipates, remembers, responds, punishes, warns, forgives. All of these biblical examples (not from a systematic theology) confront the "immutable", impersonal God of Calvin, who only acts and never reacts. Do they read the Old Testament?
Read the Bible. Simply and without systematic presuppositions. You will not find Calvin's limited atonement. You will find a God of mercy who make his gift available to all who will act in faith and receive it.
A Well Thought Out Book Against Calvinism  May 25, 2007
It's ironic to me that many Calvinist who have reviewed this book do so in one of the most defensive tones you can find in many reviews. Calvinist hate to be questioned and to question Calvinism, as Vic Reaonser wrote, is to question the faith to many of them. That is why I enjoyed reading THE GRACE OF GOD AND THE WILL OF MAN. The book is a systematic attack against Calvinism as well as a defense of the Arminian faith.

The book flows in a natural order from the sovereignty of God to finally ending with the application in salvation. While I did not fully agree with everything that was written, I found that the book is a solid philosophical and biblical defense of Arminianism.

The draw back to this book is the beginnings of the "open theism" arguments beginning to take shape from Clark Pinnock, John Saunders, and Richard Rice. Their chapters are not typical Arminian chapters and they move away from the theology of James Arminius toward their own views. It is worth reading their views though to see that, despite what Calvinist claim, they seek to build their arguments for open theism from Scripture and reason.

Overall this is a solid book to read. As with any book, you take the good and the bad. The Bible must be the final authority (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and we must not buy into the arguments from Calvinist or Arminians simply because they say what we want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3).
interesting dialogue  Feb 19, 2007
Up front, I would suggest that this book would do nothing for a non-believer in Christianity. It does present an interesting set of sometimes very different views on the subject of man's free will in relation to God's sovereignty. I personally found that it challenged me to rethink how the appearance of free will in my "choices" actually could fit in with God's sovereignty. I had found my own thinking heading toward a hyper-Calvinist view (Deterministic). This book definitely does not give any answers--but I have come to see that the tension and the questions are really very important to our Christian walk.
Presents God as weak, vulnerable, and limited  Oct 6, 2006
In a time when reformed theology is on the rise, Pinnock and his co-authors seek to provide an Arminian understanding of Scripture. However, the book is strewn with problems. The authors claim that God's love trumps other attributes like holiness and justice, but they give no scriptural support. Their arguments are based simply on our western sense of fairness. They make such appeals because they believe our moral sense reflects truth, instead of recognizing our fallen nature. In addition, they advocate "making peace with the culture of modernity" (27). Instead of letting God's Word shape our thinking, they allow our lost culture to shape our view of God's Word.

The result is a presentation of a weak, helpless God. In fact, the authors state "it is more important for God to give himself to his creation than to rule the world or to be worshipped" (35). He is described not as ruling, but as "limited by humanity" (40) , vulnerable, and "the defenseless superior power" (175). The book has weak, humanistic argumentation, little scriptural support, and a harsh tone toward those who embrace reformed views, views said to be "theologically repugnant" (84). Do not waste your time with this book. While there are legitimate differences between Arminian and Calvinistic views and a place for dialogue, this book does not give dialogue but instead gives unsubstantiated claims that leave you with a helpless God not in control and not worthy of worship.

In case you do not know, the editor of this book embraces the view that God does not know the future.
A case for... open theism   Jul 9, 2006
In this symposium edited by Clark Pinnock in 1989, a selection of Arminian leaning theologians present essays on a variety of themes attached to man's free will.

Though I have always been more Arminian than Calvinist in my convictions, I am sorry to report that this collection fails in the promise held out in the subtitle of other printings of this work: "A case for Arminianism." It is possible to read this book from cover to cover without finding out the five points of Arminianism, much less a scriptural explanation for them. Holiness is surely Arminianism's glory, and there is no rousing call for a holy life in this collection. Instead there is a lot of philosophy, some fragments of the history of soteriology, and personal reflections on the question of free will.

What hamstrings Grace of God is a surfeit of authors. Hence good essays, such as those by Terry Miethe and Jack Cotterell, are not given adequate space to develop their arguments. On the plus side less lucid contributions, such as I Howard Marshall's rather stolid essay on the pastoral epistles, are soon out of the way. Arminians remain a minority within evangelicalism. Perhaps for this reason Pinnock felt that he had to muster the troops in force for the Grace of God.

Having said this, a lot of the essays are very good and well worth reading. Pinnock's provocative From Augustine to Arminius is lucidly written. Grant Osborne's Soteriology in the Gospel of John is thoughtful and well argued. Terry Miethe's The Universal Power of the Atonement does an excellent job in defending the universal atonement, though he seems reluctant to take on Packer's notorious Death of Deaths introductory essay (freely available on the Internet). Jack Cotterell's The Nature of Divine Sovereignty presents the more traditional Arminian view on the subject. Jerry Walls compares and contrasts Luther and Calvin's views on predestination with Wesley: a very readable essay that needs more scripture! I certainly didn't mind reading about Molinism (middle knowledge) or Kierkegaard, but if I was Calvinist I would have been reinforced in my view that Arminianism is more concerned with philosophy than exegesis.

This is pre-Openness Pinnock - just - open theist ideas are present in Grace of God co-open theists Richard Rice and John Sanders feature in the collection. Rice falls into the Calvinist trap of assuming that foreknown means foreordained. Thus he denies God's omniscience and the seed of open theism germinates. Sanders' essay on God as Personal discusses the influence of Greek philosophy on classical theism. He was to develop this further, his essay in The Openness of God is well worth reading, whatever your views on open theism (this reviewer is sympathetic but has reservations).

The Grace of God and the Will of Man, evoked a Calvinist response in Still Sovereign a collection of essays edited by Thomas Schreiner and Bruce Ware. If time allows, reading the two volumes in parallel is highly recommended. Still Sovereign is more measured and less knee-jerk than much of what has been published more recently in response to Open Theism. It is also a valuable introduction (and summary) of contemporary 5-point Calvinist thought. Regrettably, Grace of God does not do the same for Arminianism.

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