Item description for God Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents God by Douglas S. Huffman; Eric L. Johnson...
Overview A positive presentation of the God of classic Christian theism, the One who in recent years
Publishers Description God Never ChangesOr does he? God has been getting a makeover of late, a 'reinvention' that has incited debate and troubled scholars and laypeople alike. Modern theological sectors as diverse as radical feminism and the new 'open theism' movement are attacking the classical Christian view of God and vigorously promoting their own images of Divinity.God Under Fire refutes the claim that major attributes of the God of historic Christianity are false and outdated. This book responds to some increasingly popular alternate theologies and the ways in which they cast classical Christian theism in a negative light. Featuring an impressive cast of world-class biblical scholars, philosophers, and apologists, God Under Fire begins by addressing the question, 'Should the God of Historic Christianity Be Replaced?' From there, it explores issues as old as time and as new as the inquest into the 'openness of God.' How, for instance, does God risk, relate, emote, and change? Does he do these things, and if so, why? These and other questions are investigated with clarity, bringing serious scholarship into popular reach.Above all, this collection of essays focuses on the nature of God as presented in the Scriptures and as Christians have believed for centuries. God Under Fire builds a solid and appealing case for the God of classical Christian theism, who in recent years---as through the centuries---has been the God under fire.
Citations And Professional Reviews God Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents God by Douglas S. Huffman; Eric L. Johnson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 01/01/2003 page 93
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.9" Weight: 1.35 lbs.
Release Date Nov 4, 2002
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310232694 ISBN13 9780310232698 UPC 025986232696
Availability 0 units.
More About Douglas S. Huffman; Eric L. Johnson
Douglas S. Huffman (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Professor and Chair of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, La Mirada, California. Huffman is author of The Handy Guide for New Testament Greek and Verbal Aspect Theory and the Prohibitions in the Greek New Testament, and he is editor of Christian Contours.
Douglas S. Huffman currently resides in Saint Paul, in the state of Minnesota. Douglas S. Huffman was born in 1961.
Reviews - What do customers think about God Under Fire?
A Biblically Strong Case Against Open Deism Nov 30, 1999
The Open view of God has been gaining support as more and more evangelicals seek to become more politically correct and tolerant of other world views and religions. Theologians such as Clark Pinnock and Gregory Boyd have added fuel to the fire through their books that support what they deem "an evangelical but biblical view of God" (Boyd).
In this work, GOD UNDER FIRE, leading evangelical scholars take aim at the Open God viewpoint. The book is deals with the subject of the doctrine of God. Each chapter focuses on the different attributes of God that are under fire by open deist. From the historic view of God to the unchanging nature of God (immutability). Each chapter is quite well written with many Scriptures to back the writers point. Each writer has many endnotes and includes the open view before building their own case from the Bible.
This book is a wonderful book to read about the glory of the biblical God. As we move closer to the end of time more and more will arise to question our God (2 Peter 3:1-9). False prophets have always been around (1 John 4:1-2). We must stand firm for biblical truth (Jude 3-4) and stay grounded in the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Only by remaining committed to the Bible do we find true security (John 8:31-32; James 1:21; 1 John 2:28).
Good, if not altogether focused effort Nov 30, 1999
This book is yet another book to hit the market in recent years that attempts to address the open theism issue. But unlike other books in this genre, this book does not target open theism exclusively, but attempts to critique numerous strains of questionable theology that the book's contributors believe are out of step classical Christian orthodoxy. As will be discussed below, this is both a strength and a weakness to the book.
Contrary to one of the previous reviewers of this book (who either hasn't read the book or did the read the book and is deliberately misrepresenting it), this is not a book that emanates from a monolithic theological perspective. Being a collaborative effort, there are 12 contributors who have come together in this book to deal with varying issues where they believe that God has come under fire. Of the 12, at least 4 (and probably 5 in my view) come from a decidedly non-Calvinist perspective (one is even a Roman Catholic). As such, this book differs from other books such as 'Beyond the Bounds' and 'Bound Only Once' which are both collaborative efforts from a Reformed perspective nearly exclusively. The reader should take note that the theological diversity represented in this book is a formidable obstacle for the sympathizers of open theism, since it demonstrates that a diverse group of scholars who have no problem disagreeing with each other on secondary matters can unite against a theological movement that all of them see as a threat. To say that because these folks disagree on secondary matters, they therefore have no standing to critique open theism is sort of like saying that a divorced husband and wife should not come together to raise their children responsibly since they obviously disagreed on so many other things and had therefore lost their standing to come together in any other family area. I don't know of too many folks who would adopt such thinking there, it doesn't make any better sense to adopt it in the area of pertinence here.
As for the book itself, there are a number of notable strengths by specific contributors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, DA Carson hits a homerun in his contribution which thoroughly devastates open theism's irresponsible embrace of love as trumping all other attributes of God. Carson, drawing upon his highly commendable work in other books on the area of God's love, demonstrates that a responsible reading of Scripture results in a fundamentally different view of God than what open theists espouse.
In addition, Spiegel provides an excellent chapter on the whole issue of the open theist god having to play dice. Spiegel does a good job of debunking this. In addition, Craig nicely steps up to the plate to refute open theism from an Arminian perspective, which is quite refreshing since Arminianism, with some notable exceptions, has been less than stalwart in its repudiation of open theism. It was nice to see several Arminian/holiness folks in this book stand up to defend classical theism. In addition, Ware provides perhaps the best chapter in this book critiquing feminist theology, which along with open theism and process theology, is one of the main areas of thought dealt with in this book.
I gave the book 4 stars because I didn't feel as if the book hung together as well as it could have, nor was it as focused as it could have been. I felt like the book tried to do too many things, and take on too many different brands of thought. In the end, I know that the overriding theme of the book was to deal with various areas where the contributors believe that the God of orthodox Christianity is being undermined, as opposed to being a book that attempts to thoroughly critique any one kind of theology, such as open theism. But because of the inherent nature of collaborative efforts, a fair amount of information is repeated from chapter to chapter, and I felt that while the majority of the essays are good, they didn't always dig to the root issues that have fueled the aberrant theologies that are discussed here (the issue of human freedom being the biggest one). As such, the level of focus is less than what it could have been.
In addition, a number of chapters were heavily slanted toward philosophical examination, and while this is good, such examination needs to interact with Scripture. Too often, this did not happen. As is unfortunately the case with many of the open theism critiques, the contributors in this book stoop to the level of the open theists by arguing over philosophical imperatives and presuppositions (which is certainly not a bad thing in and of itself) to the demotion of Biblical exegesis and critique (which is a bad thing). To date, Ware's 'God's Lesser Glory' remains the only open theist critique that provides a consistently rigorous exegetical critique. As someone who believes that open theism is unbiblical, I nonetheless feel that perhaps part of the reason why open theism is attractive is because of the deemphasis on the kind of Biblical exegesis that is rooted in defendable hermeneutics that has become a scandal within evangelicalism. Unfortunately, with each passing critique of open theism that treats Biblical exegesis less seriously than other things (such as philosophical or emotional imperatives), I can't help but think that evangelical scholars are contributing in some degree to this scandal in irresponsible ways.
So in summary, this book is good for what it does, but it could have done it better and it is certainly a legitimate question as to whether what it's trying to do methodologically really delivers the mail here. Carson mentioned in his chapter that he is working on his own critique of open theism. It is strongly hoped by this reader that his critique will focus upon Biblical exegesis first and foremost.
Openism Unmasked as Neo-Processist Contagion Nov 30, 1999
Airtight refutation of the discredited aberrancy floating about in some Christian circles called "Open Theory of the unaware deity who changes as it is beneficial to change in order to meaningfully relate to his fully free creation."
Openism's main proponent Gregory Boyd is unmasked as a misguided Christian failing to establish credibility for his aberrant hybrid between Hartshorne's Process Theory and Historic Christianity.(See his seminal book TRINITY & PROCESS where he acknowledges his embracing of major elements of Hartshornian philosophy contra Historic Christianity).
Gregory's denial of Inerrancy is enough to call into question his continuation on the clergy roster of Baptist General Conf. and faculty position at Bethel College. In his most recent book, 'Across the Spectrum', Boyd's essay on 'Infallibilist View' merely patronizes the Historic Christian teaching and puts forward an Errant Bible for consumption by the undiscerning. For Boyd, 'Infallible' means 'unfailing in matters of faith and practice ONLY', which is contrary to the Dictionary Definition or any understanding of true Evangelical Theology. Why Boyd's own superiors, BGC President Jerry Sheveland or Bethel Trustees don't ask for a retraction or resignation is troublesome when he is in open, published defiance of BGC Affirmation of Faith on Inerrancy of Scripture.
One of the best essays in this excellent resource is by D.A.Carson. Here are some excerpts to get a flavor of how Openism is little more than a miscarriage, a stillbirth, an attempt at cloning new illigitimate offspring from Evangelical Theology defective from conception:
"Toward the beginning of his book God at War, Boyd tells us of Zosia..who in gory cruelty the Nazis (had) blinded. The narration becomes a reason to want to believe God did not know what was going to happen..Because of his ignorance of what would take place, God (could) not prevent its happening.
I(Carson) am not persuaded that this theodicy is an adequate defense of God...When God saw the Nazis were about to take out Zosia's eyes (in God's present), why did he not intervene (now that it was no longer an unknowble future choice)? Or if God still wasn't sure what they were going to do, why didn't he intervene after they took out the first eye? If God's goodness and love can only be preserved in the first instance by ascribing ignorance to God, what will protect His goodness and love at this point? Slow reaction times?" (Same with the entire Holocaust from 1933-1945: wasn't 12 years enough time for the Almighty, All-Loving to react before the first murdered Jew became 6 Million murder victims?? Boydism breaks down here.)
"Gregory Boyd acknowledges his indebtedness to process thought in Trinity and Process..Hartshorne's Bi-Polar Theism Towards a Trinitarian Metaphysics..(where Boyd admits)'It is our conviction that the fundamental vision of the process world view especially as espoused by Charles Hartshorne(not even a Christian, certainly no Evangelical) is correct.'" Carson goes on to demonstrate how this processismic world view dominates Boyd's understanding of the Bible, with fatal,incoherent consequences.
"Christian Theology with but rare exceptions (among them 16th cent. Socinianism) did not, until 20th century, follow the option of the process theologians and open theorists."
"a dismissive caricature (ultra-Calvinist straw-antagonist) of the 'providential blueprint' model that charges God with evil, destroys human freedom/responsibility and makes God appear more power than person..are found as depictions of (Historic Christianity) by many 'openness' theologians."
"Boyd repeatedly cites passages that he says teach a universal saving will of God and uses them to dismiss or domesticate passages that teach individual predestination..Boyd never wonders whether these themes might be mutually complementary or what it does for the doctrine of God to have an astronomical number of instances where human intransigence means that God's will, in the only sense Boyd is willing to talk about the will of God, is necessarily defeated."
"There are many texts that deal with the theme of God's knowledge or control that cannot easily be skirted..Boyd mentions only two of them and says they mean no more than God declares his own intentions, not that he foreknows or declares the future. BUT THIS WILL NOT DO."
"If (Cyrus') parents 'freely' chose the name Cyrus, yet God determined that would be the name in advance, then somehow God not only foreknew but arranged to bring to pass what he predicted. (Boyd's) expression 'set strict parameters around the freedom of the parents in naming (Cyrus)' is a SPECTACULAR CIRCUMLOCUTION." (i.e. semantic legerdemain)
"I assume Greg Boyd will deal with Job in a more substantive way..Judging by his website (Christus Victor), however, he is moving toward some creative exegesis. The book of Job, Boyd says,'shows Job's view of God was essentially UNBIBLICAL." Carson cites from Boyd's website chatroom discussion board, noting Boyd missed a key verse in the whole openist argument, "In all this, Job DID NOT SIN IN WHAT HE SAID."
Carson pegs much of openist argument as "at best disingenuous. Certainly openness theorists do not deny (the term) omniscience..but their redefinition is most emphatically NOT in line with Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Wesleyan traditions. It is in line with some Process and Socinian traditions.." Openism's problems stem from confusion of Historic Christianity and radical new redefinitions of key terms, muddling the issues and disingenuously deceiving.
"It is the openness (proponents) who are cut off from the 'great tradition'..and they should be brave enough and candid (instead of underhanded) enough to admit it instead of trying to marginalize (Evangelicals as 'fundies')."
Buy extra copies and share them with your pastor and friends. Excellent companion book to the new BEYOND THE BOUNDS which also decimates openism by exposing Boyd's Neo-Processism for what it is: a violation of the First Commandment, i.e. IDOLATRY.
Jesus' warning is as timely as ever for Open Theorists:
"I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of Heavenly things?"