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Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity [Paperback]

By John Piper (Author), Justin Taylor (Author) & Paul Kjoss Helseth (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   395
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.66" Width: 5.5" Height: 1.06"
Weight:   1.06 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 30, 2003
Publisher   Crossway Books/Good News
ISBN  1581344627  
EAN  9781581344622  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Isaiah tells us that knowing the future distinguishes God from idols. In denying exhaustive foreknowledge, "open theism" undermines the foundation of orthodox Christianity. Explaining why this new theology's god is not the God of Scripture, 12 pastors and teachers provide a philosophical, historical, and linguistic understanding of the boundary lines at stake. 288 pages, softcover from Crossway Books.

Publishers 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

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More About John Piper, Justin Taylor & Paul Kjoss Helseth

John Piper John Piper, the preaching pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis since 1980, is the author of numerous books" "and a senior writer for "World "magazine,"" He received his doctorate in theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College, St. Paul, before becoming a pastor. He and his wife, Noel, have four sons and one daughter.

SPANISH BIO: John Piper es pastor de Bethlehem Baptist Church, en Mineapolis. Sus muchos libros incluyen: Cuando no deseo a Dios, No desperdicies tu vida, Lo que Jesus exige del mundo.

John Piper currently resides in Minneapolis, in the state of Minnesota. John Piper was born in 1946.

John Piper has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Coleccion Teologica Contemporanea: Estudios Ministeriales
  2. Essential Edwards Collection
  3. John Piper Small Group
  4. Lifechange Books
  5. Swans Are Not Silent

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Theism   [225  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( P ) > Piper, John   [105  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Opentheism: More Dangerous Than You Might Think  Mar 27, 2008
A collection of articles put together in this book presents a multi-dimensional challenge against opentheism and a rigorous defense against the foundations of Christianity it assaults; from the point of view of biblical theology and historical Christianity (by Profs. Russell, Brand, Caneday and Horton), as well as pastoral - ecclesiastical (by Pastor Piper and Prof. Grudem), and philosophical and logical point of view (by Profs. Talbot, Davis, Wellum, Helseth and Ware).

If the rise and fall of the church hinges on the doctrine of justification by faith according to Martin Luther, I would think, as Prof. Wellum, Helseth and Ware in particular argue, that the rise and fall of the inerrancy of the Scriptures, the reputation of the gospel, the trustworthiness and the glory of the God of the Bible, and the solid rock foundation of Christianity; the security of the believers, hinge on the doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God, of which the opentheists reject, despite seemingly good intentions by its proponents.

Opentheism is a natural consequence, an illegitimate child of the churches and individuals that teach and embrace the doctrine of autonomous self, specifically free-will theism, one of the most fertile breeding grounds of which is certainly the Arminian churches. By looking at the content of each article, Prof. William Davis was in the best position to point this out but he did not and neither did other writers. Nevertheless, his analysis on not only the appeal of opentheism and what should be done about it, is powerful and compassionate.

My fallen tendency in responding to opentheists is to immediately blast them as self-infatuated, blasphemous, God-degrading heretics. It is humbling to me, however, that the authors of these papers have responded rightly with grace and understanding without compromising the truth by endorsing the fallacy of opentheism; holding on to the principle that "the goal of the commandment is love," specifically by what Profs. Talbot, Davis, Grudem as well as Dr. Piper wrote in their paper. Prof Talbot's sincerity compellingly describes the concept of dualism, that I have come to love, with a few examples, where every event has divine and human view and motive behind it that explains the age-old doctrine of the immutability and exhaustive foreknowledge of God that is compatible with human responsibility. All this leads to what the true biblical freedom is, or as he puts it as, "the kind of freedom worth having", that is, "the compatibilist freedom, the freedom to choose to be righteous without the possibility of choosing otherwise, the freedom not to sin", contrary to the libertarian freedom that implies autonomy or independence to be able to choose what is good or evil. The compatibilist freedom is a humble freedom, while the libertarian freedom, in my view, is a presumptuous freedom. If I were to grade each article, it would be on the basis of how balanced it is in its argument against opentheism from the point of views of theology, logic, history, persuasion, and anthroposensitivy (the word borrowed from Prof. Kelly Kapic), and here is what I came up for each author:

Justin Taylor: A (He did not contribute an article but he wrote an excellent introduction)
Russ Fuller: B
Chad Brand: C
Mark Talbot: A
William Davis: A
A.B. Caneday: B
Michael Horton: B
Stephen Wellum: A
Paul Helseth: C
Bruce Ware: C
Wayne Grudem: A
John Piper: B

Since opentheism is most closely related to the perennial mystery and controversy of divine sovereignty and human responsibility, and this is something which Prof Talbot has studied and wrestled on for thirty years (quoting him from his address at 2005 Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis, MN, the best one of the conference, I love it), I would pick his article to be the most humble and compassionate. Upon learning more about opentheism and reading about the arguments against it and the serious dangers it presents, the readers will discover that it is not the apostolic gospel but another gospel that the Apostle Paul warns most severely against in his epistle to the Galatians, and will not stand against the doctrine of the exhaustive definite foreknowledge of God written all over the Scriptures sooner or later.
Undermining something, but what???  Mar 17, 2008
Ya know, I can't get past the title of this book. Piper calling his side of the issue "Biblical" in his title is really begging the question. It would seem that Piper would enter into the discussion, but with a title like this he seems to be disallowing the discussion, condemning the discussion. Isn't the BIG question that people are trying to discuss..."What does the Bible say on this aspect of God's nature?" (Not to mention what the Bible says about the nature of time) "Which view IS the Biblical view of God?" Thank goodness some, like Boyd, are finally shedding some light on the neo-platonism which has been embraced by the church since Augustine brought it into the church. It pretty much became the biggest blunder of a "pagan sacred cow becoming the accepted teaching of the church" imaginable. If anything is unbiblical it is the "traditional" view of the neo-platonist god we have had shoved down our throats in the name of sound teaching. I hope people will read the open theists for themselves and not just run out for some wool to pull back over their eyes. Listen to what Boyd and some of the guys say regarding what scripture really says to see if the reformed teaching on God is after all Biblical. You will not in the end, I think, agree fully with either side...but please, can we at least quit acting like the "traditional view" is right simply because it has been a majority view since Augustine. Maybe indeed the views of Calvin and Augustine will be undermined by some of the views of open theism, but the Bible squares amazingly well with some of the points Boyd is trying to raise. Can we investigate the issue without all the arrogance and posturing from the "old guard"? I cannot agree with all the open theists say. I don't agree with all that Piper believes either. Since when did a group of Calvinists speak for the whole church about what is "Biblical Christianity?" Wesley said Calvinism "makes God worse than the devil." In some ways the majority of Christians in the world, (who are not Calvinists by the way) could say Calvinism is undermining Biblical Christianity. Quit the hysteria and deal with the issues fairly. It is really a most fascinating area of study, discussion, and debate. I hope the knee jerk reaction of the old guard does not squelch a long over due critique of the views we have held too long without an adequate evaluation of their true origin...some greek philosophers studied by a few overly influential church fathers.
Great Look At The Open Theism Debate  Feb 26, 2007
This is a great book for those of you who have questions about Open Theism. Piper, Taylor and Helseth have done a wonderful job taking a look at this issue from an evangelical standpoint. It can be a bit academic at points, but is worthwhile reading for anyone who has questions about why Open Theism is such a big deal. Pick this book up. Read it! It's well worth your time.
When is a circle not a circle?  Jan 21, 2006
John Calvin blazed the trail for most reformed reviewers: if you disagree with what is said, kill the 'sayer'. Ad hominem critique, attempting to discredit an idea by crushing its advocate, is particularly odious in theological discussion but many of the chapters is this book raise it to an art form.

The argument of this book:
the classical description of God = the Biblical description of God: take our word for it, we are the experts, no discussion needed.

anyone who disagrees with us is obviously inspired by satan to destroy Christianity.

God loves only people who think like us - to hell (literally) with the others.

Classical theology presents a picture of God as a disconnected (in His ultimate nature), unfeeling, micro manager who chooses to allow evil when He could stop it. As a recovering Calvinist who finally read the Scriptures and took them seriously (how's that for a back door ad hominem? I've still got it) it appears God has revealed himself in the Bible as something diferent: a loving, involved creator/father who is working with His children to restore a fallen world.

If you are looking for argument by stipulation, Beyond the Bounds is for you. If you want careful analysis of germane scripture passages, look elsewhere.
Open Theism Massively Dependent on Hartshornism  Mar 21, 2005
Mr. John Litzinger needs to please understand something about Open Theorism's use of terminology, with all due Christian respect.

Open proponents rely extensively on Charles Hartshorne, Process Theologian, in developing their understanding of God, His Attributes & Definition of Terms. See Boyd's first book: "Trinity & Process" and Millard Erickson's "What Does God Know & When Does He Know It?" for documentation of Boyd's dependency on & gratitude to Hartshorne in developing Boyd's brand of theologism = Boydist Open Theory.

Take a quick gander at Hartshorne's seminal book that was formulative for many like Boyd, Sanders, Pinnock: "Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes". Hartshorne realized he could not vacate traditional Evangelical Theology of longstanding Attributes of God like Omnipotence, Omniscience, etc. So what does he cleverly do? Redefines them to his suiting.

This is precisely what quasi-processistic Openism does with Evangelical terms: it simply redefines them to philosophic taste.

Sadly, many Openism sympathizers do not realize the difference. To them, Omnipotence is still there, as is Omniscience. But HOW they're defined by Hartshorne, Boyd, Sanders, Pinnock is NOT the dictionary or Bible definition.

Who else pulls this sort of 'bait & switch' with familiar doctrinal terminology to sow confusion among undiscerning evangelicals? LDS=Mormons. They bandy about the terms 'Salvation', 'Grace', 'Faith', 'Jesus', but pour ENTIRELY DIFFERENT definitions into them to deceive their prey.

Openism is inbetween Evangelical & Cultic = DEVANGELICAL.

Dear Christian Friends: BEWARE of BEYOND-BOUNDS-openism! Their 'Omnipotence' is NOT the Bible's/Historic Evangelical Faith. Their 'Omniscience' is NOT Scriptural. Read Erickson's book for yourself to see documentation of openism definitional switcheroo's.

Write your own review about Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity

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