Item description for No Place for Sovereignty: What's Wrong With Freewill Theism by R. K. McGregor Wright...
Overview Concerned that evangelicals may soon find no place for sovereignty in their blinking, Wright sets out to show what's wrong--biblically, theologically and philosphically--with free will theory in its ancient form. Along the way, he treats readers to a short course in historical theology, making a fresh, powerful case for the Reformed emphasis on God's sovereign grace.
Publishers Description In recent years an increasing number of evangelical thinkers have called for a reevaluation of our understanding of God, making a case for what has variously been called "freewill theism" or the "open view" of God. R. K. McGregor Wright sees their efforts not as something radically new, but a contemporary reaffirmation of Arminianism. Concerned that evangelicals may soon find no place for sovereignty in their thinking, Wright sets out to show what's wrong--biblically, theologically and philosophically--with freewill theory in its ancient form. Along the way, he provides a short course in historical theology, making a fresh, powerful case for the Reformed emphasis on God's sovereign grace. Wright also meets challenges head-on with a discussion of the Arminian position and a chapter on the problem of evil. Finally, he subjects to close scrutiny the recent work of Clark Pinnock, a contemporary advocate of freewill theism. Regardless of where readers' sympathies lie, they will want to hear, think through and respond for themselves to the arguments Wright makes on behalf of the Reformed understanding of God.
Citations And Professional Reviews No Place for Sovereignty: What's Wrong With Freewill Theism by R. K. McGregor Wright has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Booklist - 09/15/1996 page 182
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Studio: IVP Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.28" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.74" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2000
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
Edition Print on Demand
ISBN 0830818812 ISBN13 9780830818815
Reviews - What do customers think about No Place for Sovereignty: What's Wrong With Freewill Theism?
Excellent Contemporary Examination of Sovereignty Jan 2, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting book and keep it on my shelf for reference. While there are many great classics on the Reformed view of scripture, this book explores the issues from a more contemporary and philosophical perspective. But the sections offering scriptural proof were excellent as well as the critiques of the so called "Arminian passages." There were also some wonderful eye openers such as the brief history of the persecution of Church Fathers who held to predestination prior to the time of Augustine and Calvin.
The doctrines of grace are received by the Spirit and we cannot necessarily expect people to be convinced through argument or logic. But a disregard for logic can shipwreck faith and weaken Biblical conviction. I know this from personal experience and I am convinced that the current movement away from sound reasoning in Scripture has diluted the faith of many. For those of us who have been given this view of scripture, Wright's book offers renewal and refreshment and growth. I highly recommended it to anyone serious about Biblical truth.
Not Convincing Apr 11, 2007
I read this book in the hope that it would provide a better understanding of predistination. I came away shaking my head at some of the logic contained therein. It seems that Wright has a lot of personal issues, as well as polarized thinking that leaves him little alternative but to take potshots and lump everyone who disagrees with him (including prominent Calvinists like Francis Shaeffer) into the same boat.
His chapter on supposed Arminian verses is somewhat predictable, in that he makes claims like "all" doesn't mean "all" but merely "some" or "from all types." However, he also claims that all that the Calvinist needs to do is cast doubt on the interpretation of supposed Arminian verses and he "effectively removes them from the Arminian arsenal." Well, turnabout is fair play and the Arminian can cast doubt on the supposedly Calvinist verses and then what are we left with but a Bible filled with holes?
He doesn't give a good answer to the problem of evil, either. His entire argument in the book is that we are all prisoners to causality - either the chain of events begun with the creation of the world or God's interference with that chain. Either way, when we are faced with a "choice", the decision has already been made by all the past events and inputs we've had. When he says that "God is not the author of sin" just as a father is not the author of his son's book, I think he's made a critical error. If the father pushed the son into a stack of books such that they fell, who is really the cause of the books falling? The son who actually struck the books, making them fall or the father who pushed him into the books to begin with? Such is what we're left with in Wright's causality; God has caused all the evil in the world, but he punishes sinners for doing what He caused them to do.
In another chapter, he deals with the definition of Good, and ultimately determines that whatever God does is Good by definition. In other words, Jesus didn't sin because he *couldn't*. Anything he chose to do, including drowning his disciples and burning Jerusalem would have been good because Jesus was God and whatever God does is good. We're left to look at verses that say, "Should we go on sinning that grace may abound" which roughly means, Let's do evil so good will result... and we have to say that it's not okay for us, but that's what God is allowed to do. Wright categorically rejects the idea that we can know what good outside of God's revelation of such.
Frankly, I came away from this book saying, "If this is true, what kind of God is this?" Maybe Wright is correct, and the image he presents of God is correct - that God is basically capricious, random (which is what Wright calles "free will" something he agrees God has), and omnipotent.
Many gold nuggets found Mar 22, 2007
I read this book a number of years ago during the "formative" years of my theological understanding. This book helped to strengthen and solidify my views in favor of a reformed anthropology. I have read several other books on this same topic sense that time but I still believe that this is one of the best if not the best I've read (especially among contemporary treatments of this topic). Sure it is technical and challenging throughout, but for the patient reader who is willing to put in the time and effort required to mine the rich gold found here, it will be well worth your endeavor. It is biblically founded and philosophically sophisticated and sound.
Still the best Oct 27, 2004
Published in 1996: Eight years later, this is still the best book on the subject, and will continue to be for a very long time.
This book is excellent. Regarding the final two chapters, that some find out of place and rushed, I have to disagree: it is the only place in the literature where I found a meaningful and reasonable explanation of the questions of evil and ultimacy, which are the essential issues where the debate ends up every time.
Of course, anyone opposed to the concept of being under God's sovereignty will find this book abhorrent.
Some Pros and Cons Jul 30, 2002
There are both some strong points and weak points to this book. The author excels in reviewing the historic origins of libertarian free. His historic and philosophical overviews are very informative and helpful. Yet, his review of biblical Calvinistic position is lacking and incomplete. He fails to mention some essential points in presenting the 5 points of Calvinism and is not written in a very understandable style. Overall, the author's writing is somewhat choppy and lacking cohesiveness. The last chapter seems out of place and rushed, not giving clear explanations of the issues raised. It appears as if the author was attempting to fit another book into one chapter. If a reader desires a good historic overview of the Armenian/Calvinism debate, this book is a good choice. If the reader is looking for a well written presentation and defense of the 5 points of Calvinism, I recommend "The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination" by Loraine Boettner.