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Four Views on Divine Providence…
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Four Views on Divine Providence (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) (2011 original; edició 2011)

de Dennis Jowers (Editor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses
1021207,582 (2.5)No n'hi ha cap
Questions about divine providence have preoccupied Christians for generations: Are people elected to salvation? For whom did Jesus die? This book introduces readers to four prevailing views on divine providence, with particular attention to the question of who Jesus died to save (the extent of the atonement) and if or how God determines who will be saved (predestination).But this book does not merely answer readers' questions. Four Views on Divine Providence helps readers think theologically about all the issues involved in exploring this doctrine. The point-counterpoint format reveals the assumptions and considerations that drive equally learned and sincere theologians to sharp disagreement. It unearths the genuinely decisive issues beneath an often superficial debate. Volume contributors are Paul Helseth (God causes every creaturely event that occurs); William Lane Craig (through his "middle knowledge," God controls the course of worldly affairs without predetermining any creatures' free decisions); Ron Highfield (God controls creatures by liberating their decision-making); and Gregory Boyd (human decisions can be free only if God neither determines nor knows what they will be). Introductory and closing essays by Dennis Jowers give relevant background and guide readers toward their own informed beliefs about divine providence.… (més)
Membre:BlakeBoylston
Títol:Four Views on Divine Providence (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology)
Autors:Dennis Jowers (Editor)
Informació:Zondervan Academic (2011), 272 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Four Views on Divine Providence (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) de Dennis W. Jowers (Editor) (2011)

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I appreciate books that provide different views on theological issues. (see my discussion on “Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?” Wayne Grudem, ed.) It’s important for objectivity to hear, read and understand opposing arguments or approaches to issues facing Christians today. That challenge is to find people who will communicate in an understandable way and be objective themselves. In this volume, there are four authors approaching Divine Providence: God causes all things, Paul Kjoss Helseth; God directs all things, William Lane Craig; God controls by liberating, Ron Highfield; and God limits His control, Gregory A. Boyd.

Dennis Jowers as editor summarizes the four views. Helseth promotes providence as divine omnicausality, meaning every creaturely event that occurs, God exercises comprehensive control over even the minutest aspects. William Lane Craig advocates what he emphasizes as Molinism, meaning that God employs “middle knowledge” or knowledge of what man would decide in any set of circumstances to control man’s life and environment without depriving man of libertarian freedom. Ron Highfield is a theological bedfellow with Helseth emphasizing divine omnicausality, but stresses man’s dependence on God for his being and living. He adds that this dependence doesn’t compromise human freedom, because Scripture identifies true freedom with a life of obedience to God. Gregory Boyd contrasts those views with his open theist perspective. He seems to argue that God doesn’t always desire what is best for all men and that God fails to achieve this only because he cannot ensure men will obey without depriving them of libertarian freedom.

The four authors agree that God is separate from the world as Creator of it. Helseth, Craig and Highfield all agree that transcends and knows all things past, present and future. Boyd, seems to question whether God is partially ignorant of the future. All four believe God can cause extraordinary events like miracles, but Helseth and Hightower believe in or lean toward God’s “causing” of human choice, whereas Craig holds to a high view of freewill and Boyd believes in the free agency of human decisions. All four agree on the veracity of Scripture and are members of the Evangelical Theological Society, whose members affirm annually, “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs.”

The four authors disagree on several issues. For example, Boyd’s view on free will is most clear from man as the agency of his choices. Craig believes in free will, but there were no other possible choices than what was chosen and the agent is morally responsible, even if he cannot decide otherwise being the ultimate originator. Helseth believes that humans act because of divine causality. Craig adds, “…it is not as though some effect is produced by a secondary cause without God’s concurring.” (p. 248) Helseth’s and Hightower’s response seem to fall short in addressing the problem. The term “compatibility” referring to the synthesis of “human freedom” and “divine determinism” is a major discussion point throughout the volume and it seems far more philosophy is used to explain it than Scripture. A second issue of disagreement is Helseth, Hightower and Craig hold to divine omniscience in a classical sense, however Boyd sees the future as indeterminate and no fact exists until it occurs. That is Boyd’s downfall. God is aware of the beginning and the end and knows the actual and possible all through history, because God is not confined to history. A third issue of disagreement regards evil. Helseth and Hightower see God’s sovereign control as the basis for all decisions and there must therefore be a pure motive and an ultimate good result from evil. Craig sees God’s empowerment of man’s freedom to choose so God does not cause evil, so evil comes because of man’s evil choices. Boyd is realistic in removing God from the evil and places the sole responsibility on man’s choices.

The challenge I had to this volume was the lack of Scriptural support. Boyd was most free in using Scripture. Were the other authors trying to save space in their explanations? Maybe. I thought Helseth and Hightower were far more philosophical than Biblical, although I’m confident the editor and they might disagree. It seems they are inserting their system of theology into their explanation and justifying that “it is what Scripture says” or words to that effect. Craig’s dependence on Molinism seems like an explanation that needs to be explained. When theologians use previous systems to explain their system, rather than just Scripture, that include divergent issues from their emphases by default and then can cloud the explanation. Boyd’s explanation was almost the most understandable. I don’t agree at all that the future is not determined. The future is already written in the divine decree. Yet, I do believe Scripture is clear on human freewill throughout life. God is able to take the evil choices and work them together for divine good, so that Jesus Christ is exalted. What I found is that many outside authors describing Open Theism have been unjustly critical of the approach. Regardless of Boyd’s wrong view of God’s omniscience, I see another example of other Christians building a straw man about Open Theism.

These men are brilliant and excellent writers. These men love the Lord Jesus Christ and have travelled the theological road for decades. These men should be loved and respected. One or all of them are wrong, however, but they have helped me to sharpen my thinking. I submit to your study and encourage every growing student of Scripture to read this volume for edification and awareness of the issues.

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  bhult | Apr 28, 2012 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Jowers, Dennis W.Editorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Boyd, Gregory A.Col·laboradorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Craig, William LaneCol·laboradorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Highfield, RonCol·laboradorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Boyd, Gregory A.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Craig, William LaneCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Gundry, Stanley N.Series Editorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Helseth, Paul KjossCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Highfield, RonCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Jowers, Dennis W.Editorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat

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Questions about divine providence have preoccupied Christians for generations: Are people elected to salvation? For whom did Jesus die? This book introduces readers to four prevailing views on divine providence, with particular attention to the question of who Jesus died to save (the extent of the atonement) and if or how God determines who will be saved (predestination).But this book does not merely answer readers' questions. Four Views on Divine Providence helps readers think theologically about all the issues involved in exploring this doctrine. The point-counterpoint format reveals the assumptions and considerations that drive equally learned and sincere theologians to sharp disagreement. It unearths the genuinely decisive issues beneath an often superficial debate. Volume contributors are Paul Helseth (God causes every creaturely event that occurs); William Lane Craig (through his "middle knowledge," God controls the course of worldly affairs without predetermining any creatures' free decisions); Ron Highfield (God controls creatures by liberating their decision-making); and Gregory Boyd (human decisions can be free only if God neither determines nor knows what they will be). Introductory and closing essays by Dennis Jowers give relevant background and guide readers toward their own informed beliefs about divine providence.

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