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Que Conoce Dios Y Desde Cuando? [Paperback]

By Millard J. Erickson (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 2006
Publisher   VIA
ISBN  0829744479  
EAN  9780829744477  
UPC  025986744472  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
SPANISH EDITION. Does God know the future? Millard J. Erickson discusses with the reader both sides of the debate.

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Millard J. Erickson (PhD, Northwestern University) is distinguished professor of theology at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He is a leading evangelical spokesman and the author of numerous volumes, including the classic text Christian Theology.

Millard J. Erickson currently resides in Mounds View, in the state of Minnesota.

Millard J. Erickson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 3 Crucial Questions

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Millard Misses the Mark  Sep 5, 2008
There are so many argumentative fallacies, instances of neglect and misrepresentation of the open view of divine foreknowledge in Millard Erickson's book that it is difficult to know where a critical review should begin. I hope that cooler heads may prevail in issuing a more thorough critique than can be offered on this site. Fortunately, opposing views on divine foreknowledge are fun to talk about but remain as a peripheral issue, not essential for salvation. As such, there is little reason to get too upset about any of the respective positions. Nevertheless, I cannot easily express how disappointing this book was.

Erickson desperately tries to frame the issue of foreknowledge into two extremes, namely that God knows only one future, or that he does not know any of it. Only late in his book does it seem to occur to him that a more nuanced version of the open view is lingering about. This will be briefly addressed below. In general, however, all of Erickson's arguments are aligned against the second view, and he relies on scripture, church tradition and respected theologians who share his view to support his opinions. In fact, for almost 50% of this book Erickson argues for his position on the premise of tradition and on the basis of who has included and excluded tenets of Greek philosophy in their perspective. What does not seem to have dawned upon Erickson is the possibility that traditions (and their representatives) are not inerrant and possibly got things a bit off. Similarly, he fails to elucidate how the inclusion or rejection of ancient philosophy has anything to do with a respective position's truth value. As such, a majority of his reasoning for the traditional view is innocuous and relies on faulty assumptions and special pleading.

Finally, Erickson's assertion that open theists misuse scripture to suit their purposes is an ad hominem attack at best. And at worst, this is something that he also engages in to impose his own preconceived notions about how God can and cannot behave. Make no mistake, the open view also brings an interpretive framework to the text, but contrary to the caricature that Erickson provides, open theism does not fabricate hard and fast rules that must be applied equally to God and the biblical text regardless of their genre and content. Similarly, the open view does not take all scripture as rigidly literal nor circumvent its "plain" meaning. Neither does it seek to make all descriptions of God anthropomorphic nor deny cases when this description is appropriate.

I understand that human reasoning cannot be the final judge of God, but it does not follow that we should abandon its use either. I also recognize that God's full knowledge of our actions does not necessarily make him responsible for them, but that is not the issue that open theists find fault with. What is absolutely essential to understand about open theism is that its proponents do not seek to limit God or dictate what he must be like, but rather that we desperately desire to understand his goodness, omnipotence, omnipresence and yes, omniscience too, in the presence of freewill that has led to the worst kinds of evil that not only exists, but thrives, and does so on the blood and pain of innocents and God's own people.

To put all theodicies on hold for the moment, whatever problems conservative theologians may have with the open view, at least they cannot deny that it allows for the possibility that men like Hitler COULD have turned out differently. This, along with its value in reaching out to people who have an unfavorable view of God, is what is exceptionally attractive about the open view and its understanding of who God is. And inextricably connected to this is the hope that we all (should) have to fulfill texts like 1 Timothy 2:1-6 (verse 4 in particular).

But this is only a prelude to a more poignant critique of Erickson's work here. He constructs straw-man arguments against his open-view opponent, Gregory Boyd. As a somewhat secondary issue in Boyd's text, "Satan and the Problem of Evil," he offers an understanding of the open view that Millard Erickson largely misrepresents. In response to his own title (What Does God Know and When Does He Know It?), Erickson answers, "God knows everything and from all eternity." Ironically enough, this is the exact same answer some open-view advocates offer. The argument that God cannot know any part of the future without knowing all of it simply fails to be applicable. The issue is in how we define "everything." The open view does NOT suggest that God is not omniscient, but rather that he is super-omniscient, knowing not just one future, but all possible futures. The difference here is significant. Contrary to what Erickson offers, the open view actually ENHANCES the understanding of God's omniscience by allowing that there is not a single future that lays before us, but rather a seemingly infinite, multiplex of futures that remain as possibilities until we all act, react or fail to act in relation to God, to each other and to forces yet unseen.

In addition to providing a better interpretive framework to understand scripture, the idea behind the open view is a legitimate preservation of freewill and realization that if humans can predict the basic outcomes of various choices before us, then surely an all powerful and wise God can do so with perfect accuracy and infinitely into the horizon, even in the presence of nearly countless variables. To suggest (as Erickson does on page 192) that this might allow for the possibility for the future to run amuck and get away from God fails to understand that God knows all possible futures and sees himself as the shining culmination of all of them and how he will steer creation to those ends.

This also allows for people like Hitler to come onto the scene but legitimately leaves open the possibility (and hope) that they would turn into decent human beings. Knowing all possible futures, God fully knew that young Hitler might go catastrophically wrong, but he also fully knew the possibility that this man could be an average citizen or even a champion for peace and justice. Whichever one of these (or other) futures plays out is a dance (admittedly sometimes more of a mosh-pit) between how humanity and God interacts.

Furthermore, this slightly nuanced version of the open view does not undermine God's prophecies or statements of what will occur in the future. He still knows exactly what is possible and impossible for everyone, and he is still free to influence individuals, groups and nations as he sees fit to bring about his desires in relation to all of those possibilities. Thus, without relying on a single path to the destination, all of the Bible's prophecies can be brought to fruition. God can also look into the seemingly infinite realm of future possibilities and gauge, with perfect accuracy, which events are likely to occur, unlikely to occur, or MUST occur. Hence, Peter's rejection of Jesus was foreseen but not caused by the Lord. Nevertheless, God can intervene to bring about (or prevent) certain intentions as he sees fit, especially as people invite his Spirit to move in their lives. In this latter case, it is no longer coercion but rather rightly appropriated authority. Admittedly, Erickson does come close to this variation of open theism, namely through a brief assessment of Luis de Molina and Charles Hartshorne, but he is far too content to let it sink away until later in the book when he resumes a bitter tongue against Gregory Boyd.

But the essential problem of Erickson's work (and perhaps his open view counterparts too) is his discomfort with God's textual and operational ambiguity. As humans, we want to delineate, subdivide and categorize everything, especially when it comes to an entity as important as our God. We want to know what he knows and how he works. And we can do so, but only to the extent that he allows. Christianity is a faith system that incorporates a high degree of paradox and ambiguity. These should not be confused with inconsistencies or contradictions. By necessity, Christians must be comfortable with paradoxes such as "living sacrifice" or attaining perfection both now, and not yet. Similarly, some biblical texts indicate a fore-ordered future while others showcase a future that is at least partially open. The only way I know how to understand and reconcile this phenomenon is to employ a "all/ and" approach rather than an "either/or" system. According to the nuanced open view, God knows ALL the futures AND the fore-ordained ways that his will be wrought within them.

I was originally excited to read this work by a respected, contemporary theologian. Even though I knew that I might disagree with his conclusions, I also know that it is important to listen to those who offer dissent with sincerity. But having read Erickson's book, I am forced to conclude that either he does not know the depth of open theism or that he chooses to ignore or misrepresent its more potent nuances while preferring the comfort and safety of the traditions that he has seemingly elevated to cult status. I had hoped for more.

-C. Lambeth
Before Time Began, God Knew I'd Write This Review  Mar 23, 2008
Several years ago, I discovered that some serious, evangelical Christian scholars believed that God may not know everything about the future. That surprised me, to say the least. I wonder if God saw this coming.

I had always been taught that God knew everything, past, present and future. In fact, I was taught that He even knew future contingencies that wouldn't actually occur, but, if they did, this is how it would happen. God's complete omniscience seemed to be a reasonable concept to me. After all, He's God, right? He exists outside of time, so how could a matter that hinges on time (past, present, future) present a limitation for Him?

Well, I discovered that some theologians would be quick to say, "Wait, just a minute, buddy boy. What about this passage where God seems to change his mind?"

Or, "what about this passage where God's actions are changed based upon what a person does?"

Or, "what about this passage where God seems to truly discover something about a person based upon a test He has given the person?"

Or, "how can people really have a free will and, yet, God already knows what they're going to do?"

And, so, the debate is on.

Millard J. Erickson's book, "What Does God Know And When Does He Know It?" presents the issues of this debate in a reasonably fair and comprehensive manner.

Erickson presents the arguments for the Traditional View of God's foreknowledge and he presents the Open View of God. He offers a biblical basis for each position. He examines the hermeneutics and doctrinal structure of the issues. He looks at the historical development of the matters and the philosophical influences. And he presents some of the practical issues that follow.

Erickson has a keen eye for identifying the logical inconsistencies of the Open View.

Erickson, himself, holds the Traditional View of God's foreknowledge and he makes that clear, in the book. However, he also states that his book represents an attempt "to deal with these issues with an open mind and to listen carefully to the arguments on both sides." He does acknowledge the strength of the Open View on the points where he perceives they have the stronger argument, especially in the "Evaluation and Conclusion" section of the book.

Summing it up, he writes this, "On balance, then, while no single view has given final answers to the issues involved in the foreknowledge debate, the traditional view of God's exhaustive definitive foreknowledge appears to have considerably more cogent intellectual support and fewer difficulties than does the alternative."

This is a good introduction to Open Theism.

Commended to the attention of clergy and lay readers alike  Apr 13, 2004
Millard J. Erickson is an experienced theology instructor who has served several evangelical seminaries and who has more than twenty-five books and numerous published articles to his credit. In What Does God Know And When Does He Know It?: The Current Controversy Over Divine Foreknowledge, Professor Erickson grapples with tough questions and issues that transcend academic contemplation and reach into personal life, such as "When we pray, do our prayers make a difference, or is everything that will happen already determined?" and "Does God have a plan for our lives, and is it based on a knowledge of all that will happen?" A powerful, astutely reasoned treatise filled from cover to cover with deep spiritual reverence and a respect for the divine while simultaneously striving to better understand common concerns in the light of profound faith, What Does God Know And When Does He Know It? is strongly commended to the attention of clergy and lay readers alike.
Exposes neo-philosophy of openism  Mar 8, 2004
Dr. Erickson does not disappoint. He once again shows how the best way to handle the Bible is by first examining one's own presuppositions and philosophic bent in the exegesis process before analyzing the texts.

This is the finest strength of the book, whereby he shows the Traditional Evangelical approach and Biblical givens that will be used to interpret passages in question. Most indicting against the open theists is their failure to do just that. They go headlong into interpretation and pronouncement of their opinions without declaring their obvious dependency on neo-philosophic speculation. Erickson exposes their stunning lapse. He shows how their arguments against Historic Evangelical position collapse in the realm of undeclared, unsupported and assumed First Principles that are non-negotiable. Open theism is too heavily reliant on the contrivances of modernist philosophers like Charles Hartshorne.

When I looked up Hartshorne on the web, much disturbing information about 'Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes' and Process Philosophy that challenge the Bible and Historic Christianity became abundantly evident.

Any belief system that relies even remotely on Hartshorne as one of its heroes and mentors must to some degree be Hartshornian in presuppositions and First Principles. While open theists seem to knock Historic Evangelicals for reliance on Greek Philosophy, the question is: whom do they themselves rely on? Which Greeks are hiding under their sanctimonious mattress?

The book is fair, balanced and easily readible. I understand D.A. Carson has been working on a book to add to the discussion. I enjoyed his essay in God Under Fire, which in 30 pages nearly accomplished what Dr. Erickson does here in a full volume.

My only quibble is how the book ends not with a bang, but a whimper. Instead of outright declaring open theism to be non-evangelical, he says the tone and emotion of the debate needs to be moderated. Perhaps so. But a spade should still be called a spade, truthfully in love and lovingly in truth. Any less and it's neither truthful nor loving in Christ's sight. Just reading Rev. 2&3 makes one shudder about how Jesus felt about false doctrine damaging His precious churches! We too must beware!

A helpful defense of the traditional understanding  Nov 29, 2003
The debate over openness theology or free-will theism continues to bubble along nicely. Books both for and against continue to pour from the presses. In the past two decades some thirty volumes have been penned directly on this issue. One of the latest to weigh in, offering the "no" case to openness thought, is What Does God Know? Written by veteran theologian Millard Erickson, it explores one major component of openness thought, the belief that God does not know the future. Erickson has actually written before on openness theology, with parts of The Evangelical Left ( Baker, 1997) and God the Father Almighty (Baker, 1998) offering critiques of the movement.

Erickson begins by assessing the biblical support offered both by open theists and classical theists. This is followed by a look at the hermenuetical issues involved. It seems these sections could have been a bit stronger, and he seems to over-rely on Bruce Ware's God's Lesser Glory (Crossway, 2000) here. But it is a good introduction to the biblical material that is being debated.

He next explores the historical development of God's foreknowledge, arguing that although it was not a major doctrine of the early church councils and creeds, it was in the main supported throughout church history by most of the church. There have always been dissenters on this issue, but they have tended to be in the minority, and often on the edges of orthodoxy.

He then explores the philosophical debate surrounding God's foreknowledge. These are some of the stronger chapters in the book, as Erickson has always had as good a grasp of philosophy as theology. He demonstrates that the claims of the openness camp concerning classical theism's over-reliance on Greek philosophy are overstated and somewhat misleading. He also shows that openness thought is also quite depended on philosophy in its own right.

He concludes by looking at the practical consequences of these two theological systems, and how they impinge on other major doctrines of the faith.

All in all this is a very good restatement of classical theology, and a very incisive and irenic critique of openness thought. Erickson is always a joy to read and he has done a good job here in defending the traditional understanding that God does indeed know all things, even the future.


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