Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity

Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity

Piper, John

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Publisher's Description

“Everyone who believes in God at all believes that He knows what you and I are going to do tomorrow.” – C. S. Lewis

This understanding of God's foreknowledge has united the church for twenty centuries. But advocates of "open theism" are presenting a different vision of God and a different view of the future.

The rise of open theism within evangelicalism has raised a host of questions. Was classical theism decisively tainted by Greek philosophy? How should we understand passages that tell us that God repents? Are essentials of biblical Christianity–like the inerrancy of Scripture, the trustworthiness of God, and the Gospel of Christ–at stake in this debate? Where, when, and why should we draw new boundaries–and is open theism beyond them? Beyond the Bounds brings together a respected team of scholars to examine the latest literature, address these questions, and give guidance to the church in this time of controversy.

Contributors include:

  • John Piper
  • Wayne Grudem
  • Michael S. Horton
  • Bruce A. Ware
  • Mark R. Talbot
  • A. B. Caneday
  • Stephen J. Wellum
  • Justin Taylor
  • Paul Kjoss Helseth
  • Chad Brand
  • William C. Davis
  • Russell Fuller

“We have prepared this book to address the issue of boundaries and, we pray, bring some remedy to the present and impending pain of embracing open theism as a legitimate Christian vision of God. . . . As a pastor, who longs to be biblical and God-centered and Christ-exalting and eternally helpful to my people, I see open theism as theologically ruinous, dishonoring to God, belittling to Christ, and pastorally hurtful. My prayer is that Christian leaders will come to see it this way, and thus love the church by counting open theism beyond the bounds of orthodox Christian teaching.”
– From the Foreword by John Piper

About the Editors

John Piper is pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, where he first sensed God’s call to enter the ministry. He went on to earn degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary (BD) and the University of Munich (DTheol). For six years he taught biblical studies at Bethel College in Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 30 books including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, and Spectacular Sins, and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available for download at DesiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren.

Justin Taylor is vice president of book publishing and an associate publisher at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books, including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center. He blogs at "Between Two Worlds," hosted by the Gospel Coalition, and runs the website www.johnowen.org.

Paul Kjoss Helseth is Associate Professor of Christian Thought at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota and the author of numerous scholarly articles.

Book Details

416 Pages
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers
Publication Date: February 2003
ISBN 10: 1581344627
ISBN 13: 9781581344622

“The downsized deity of open theism is a poor substitute for the real God of historic Christianity-as taught by Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theologians through the centuries. This book offers an important analysis and critique of this sub-Christian view of God. Well researched and fairly presented.”
- Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School; General Editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

“Here is a weighty tract for the times, in which a dozen Reformed scholars survey the "open theism" of Pinnock, Sanders, Boyd, and colleagues, and find it a confused, confusing, and unedifying hypothesis that ought to be declared off limits. Some pages are heavy sledding, but the arguing is clear and strong, and the book is essential reading for all who are caught up in this discussion.”
- J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College; author, Knowing God