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God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God [Paperback]

By Gregory A. Boyd (Author)
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Item description for God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God by Gregory A. Boyd...

Perhaps no theological topic is more hotly debated within evangelical Christianity these days than God's foreknowledge. Is the future exhaustively settled, or does it include possibilities (maybes)? In encountering such questions, a growing number of evangelicals are becoming dissatisfied with the classical view of foreknowledge and have accepted an alternative, open view of God. In God of the Possible theologian Greg Boyd offers an accessible introduction to the freewill theism position. Boyd begins by laying out and critiquing the "motif of future determinism," which forms the basis of the classical view of foreknowledge. He goes on to explicate several scripture passages that depict the future as partially open and that God therefore knows it as such. He then discusses some practical areas in which he thinks the open view can make a positive difference. Finally, Boyd addresses the most frequently asked questions and typical objections raised against the open view. An appendix explores other passages supporting the open view of God and the future. Exploring issues of foreknowledge, freedom, and the future, Boyd presents biblical, theological, and philosophical insights into the openness issue in this introductory, yet provocative, book. While geared particularly for a lay readership, more advanced students of theology will also benefit from his presentation.

Publishers Description
Why did God tell Hezekiah he would die, then add fifteen years to his life?
If God knows certain people will go to hell, why does he create them?
Does God foreknow the outcome of every decision we will ever make?
In this accessible but provocative book, Gregory Boyd responds to the traditional answers to these questions with an alternative open view of the future. Combining a theologian's intellect with a pastor's heart, he approaches his topic with grace toward his opponents and enthusiasm for the way this new thinking has revolutionized his life.

From Publishers Weekly
This exceptionally engaging and biblically centered text defends a theological claim that is generating heated controversy among evangelicals: that from God's perspective, the future is partly open, a realm of possibilities as well as certainties. Boyd, professor of theology at Bethel College (St. Paul, Minn.) and author of Letters from a Skeptic and God at War, displays a remarkable ability to make "open theism" accessible to a wide audience. Open theism usually receives a cool reception among evangelical theologians, whose views of divine foreknowledge often echo Augustine, Aquinas and Calvin, as well as Hellenistic philosophical theology. This classical tradition interprets God's perfection as eternal changelessness, ruling out the possibility that God could learn new information, or that God's intentions could change. Boyd sidesteps the more abstruse theological debates surrounding this issue in favor of a patient, but not pedantic, exposition of a "motif of future openness" in biblical narrative and prophecy. These biblical texts repeatedly portray God as changing plans in response to human decisions, viewing future events as contingent and even being disappointed at how events turn out. Boyd clearly believes the debate over open theism has gotten off to an unfortunate start, as disagreements about the "settledness" of the future have unnecessarily been interpreted as challenges to God's omniscience or sovereignty. This convincing, clear book promises to raise the caliber of argument in the controversy. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God by Gregory A. Boyd has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 04/24/2000 page 86

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Books
Pages   175
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.56" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2000
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  080106290X  
ISBN13  9780801062902  

Availability  117 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 26, 2017 08:54.
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More About Gregory A. Boyd

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gregory A. Boyd (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the founder of ReKnew. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Letters from a Skeptic, Is God to Blame?, Repenting of Religion, and Across the Spectrum.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Theism
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Boyd, Gregory A.
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God?

Good, but cites his own work.  Nov 15, 2006
This is what I would call "an invitation to openness theology."

Boyd brings up many of the scriptures used to argue for openeness as a view of God's relationship with us, and also many of the biblical texts those holding to the classical view use to rebut it. He does a good job,I believe, in giving biblical support to the theory, showing that openness makes more sense of the the biblical account than does the deterministic view of God. Boyd makes a mistake, however, in citing his own work often in the bibliography.

Other than that, it gives a good overview of the openness position. I recommend this book, along with "The Openness of God," to those who want a cursory look at the subject. Want to go further? Start with "The God Who Risks," by John Sanders.
WONDERFUL book!  Oct 12, 2006
This book is amazing, wonderful, world-view changing and every Believer should read it! It takes a complex issue and breaks it down so that anyone can understand it. Open theism acknowledges free will in a way that most theologies simply can not account for, and for this... I am truly grateful! Imagine how big and wonderful our God is to be truly capable of creating us with free will!
I love Greg Boyd's presentation of this Truth!
Good theology, I recommend it!  May 29, 2006
Excellent summary of the open view of God, or of the so-called "Freewill Theism". The book has four chapters. The first chapter reviews and critiques the Classical View of Divine Foreknowledge and exegetes the verses brought to its support; the second chapter introduces the Open View and marshals biblical texts in its support; the third chapter highlights seven practical applications of the Open View; the last chapter consists in eighteen brief answers to objections made against the Open View.
I really enjoyed this book and certainly agreed with one of its contentions: we should not throw the label "heresy" lightly against this view; nor should we label it as an offspring of Process Thought. Boyd wants the merits of his view to be evaluated on the basis of Scriptures rather than from a preconceived philosophical bias. Reviewers either ought to be critical of his views by setting forth indepth crtitiques, or shut up! The issue at stake here is not the extent of God's knowledge, but the nature of reality: in other words, is the future completely and exhaustively determined by God, or is it partly open and partly determined? (Boyd's view) Boyd also rejects "Middle Knowledge" as inadequate because of this theory's support of God's exhaustive foreknowledge. Boyd appeals to the indeterminacy found in nature and expounded by science. In regard to predestination, God predestines the Church, the container of salvation, the corporate body, the means (faith in Christ), but not the individuals who will be saved.
Oh, by the way, since only 5 people out of 22 found this review helpful, let me ask my "critics" this: do you object to my liking Boyd's book or to my summary of it? I believe you are just being iedologically biased...But what do I know? I am just a reviewer...
Ideas have consequences: Open view vs. Bible view? Boyd's one big preconceived philosophic bias  Jan 16, 2006
Ideas have consequences. Important ideas have important consequences. Wrong ideas have wrong consequences. Dangerous ideas have dangerous consequences.

This is not just an academic debate among brothers & sisters. The openly farfetched notions innovated here have eternal implications on just Who the REAL Lord is: the Bible's Jehovah-Jesus or an idol, fake, phony, man-imagined falsegod.

Which is Correct? The Bibleview or openview? Historical Christianity's position or Greg Boyd's personal opining? Did all the prior Bible scholars, theologians, preachers, reformers get it wrong only to wait for Greg to set it right???

I've read all the reviews here, especially the one that says to ignore all one-star reviews. Really? What if the True LordGod was warning against opening up your minds and souls to falsehood and deception? Is there nothing to the warnings of one-star comments? Should we only receive the five-stars? Not!

I like what someone earlier said: this book blesses us with things both true and new. Sadly, what's true isn't new and what's new isn't true.

If you're compelled to spend braincells here, do yourself a favor and check out the traditional/original view by Millard Erickson: What Does God Know and When Does He Know It? You'll see how one-sided Greg takes certain pet passages and makes them suit his body of beliefs, ignoring or stretching verses troubling to his made-up-in-advance philosophy of limiting God's future knowledge to forecasting like a weatherman or chessplayer giving us an UNCERTAIN deity for whom much of our free futures remains a MYSTERY to the divine mind!!!

Boyd gives us what Yale & Princeton gave him: process philosopher Charles Hartshorne's preconceived philosophistry's bias warped by modern science, mortal grasp of the supposed nature of the future and existence, yada yada yada.

Are you not in gross error because you know neither the Scriptures (in their entirety, not just favored selections supporting one's lame view) nor the power of God?
The Book that is Possible!  Jan 7, 2006
For those who are interested in getting a taste of what the "Open View" of God is, you will be pleased with this book. Whether or not you agree with Boyd, this book is successful in introducing this topic and allowing you to choose what you believe. Boyd has no desire to enforce an Orthodox to accept his view and even claims that this is not salvific, thus, not a matter to divide over. Please ignore the previous one star reviews (and future ones which are sure to arise) which respond out of fear of their Orthodox doctrine. This book will accomplish its goal of allowing you to study this view and accept it or not. Along those lines, this book is a five star book.

As far as the objections to the Open View, I feel Boyd has accomplished a great deal in many of the texts which first challenged my acceptance of this doctrine. I feel that Boyd's discussion on Peter's denial did not really support an Open View. I felt that he might be on the right track, but I am nevertheless not totally satisfied with it. I would also have liked for him to address Rev 17.8. For the most part though, many doubts I had were quelled by a very thorough yet basic approach to this doctrine.

Boyd has superior skill in making illustrations that work; illustrations which really help make what he is saying make sense and stick. Along these lines, Boyd is very practical. He believes that the true test of a doctrine is if it can be applied on a practical level. He is successful in showing how this doctrine if truly believed can affect your life. In writing the book, he obviously wanted to be practical and not technical. In my estimation, the scholar and the average person could walk away from this book having gained some insight.

Overall, this book is easily a five star book and will greatly challenge and enhance your life if you will let it.

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