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The Openness Of God: A Biblical Challenge To The Traditional Understanding Of God
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The Openness Of God: A Biblical Challenge To The Traditional Understanding Of God

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  189 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Voted one of Christianity Today's 1995 Books of the Year!The Openness of God presents a careful and full-orbed argument that the God known through Christ desires "responsive relationship" with his creatures. While it rejects process theology, the book asserts that such classical doctrines as God's immutability, impassibility and foreknowledge demand reconsideration.The aut ...more
Published (first published 1980)
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Nov 12, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of my life time favorites. With all our systematic theologies these authors break through the systems, discussing some of the most difficult passages, and tell us what we know but don't want to hear. Passages that others call anthropomorphic they take for face value believing that God is giving information about Himself. We just can't and will not be able to understand it all and should just except what is said about Him. In other words, the difficult passages that do not fit in ...more
John Barbour
Jun 12, 2013 John Barbour rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: open atheists and Christian thinkers
Shelves: theology
I always loved the Bible but hated Systematic Theology. I also hated the way the theology Department at Seminary and Bible College seemed to dominate the Bible Department. I had to read the Calvinists ones popular at the time ( 1971-1984); Louis Berkhof, Herman Bavink, A W Pink; and the Dispensational ones; Charles Ryrie, Lewis Sperry Chafer. I even read the one entitled Biblical Theology by Geerhardus Vos (which is really just another Reformed one).

I found them all to be boring or scary or both
Oct 27, 2010 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The main idea of this book is found on the first page, "God, in grace, grants humans significant freedom to cooperate with or work against God's will for their lives, and he enters into dynamic, give-and-take relationships with us." The main idea is that God is not on His throne ordaining every single even that happens in the world. Instead, God enters into relationships with humanity, guiding, leading, and interacting with them throughout history. Humans have an effect on God.

Although they hav
Eddy Ekmekji
Mar 23, 2008 Eddy Ekmekji rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book presents a theological paradigm that will challenge many people's understanding of God and relationship with God. However, once you read it, you may realize that this is how you want to relate to God (but were afraid to frame it theologically).
Jeff Wiersma
Feb 06, 2013 Jeff Wiersma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An under-rated, sadly not-widely-known book that makes a rationally, philosophically and logically consistent and honest case for moving beyond conservative, limited understandings of God. It exposes the distortions of the traditional, Western understanding of the nature of God that have resulted from the synthesis of Hellenism and Biblical concepts by the early church fathers and many subsequent theologians (namely Augustine and John Calvin) which are so widely taken for granted as to be confus ...more
Allen Marshall O'Brien
This was a fascinating read. The authors attempt to make a clear distinction between a biblical portrayal of God’s relationship with the world and the influence of Greek philosophy upon Christian theology, specifically in regard to God’s experience of things like time, change, emotion, and knowledge.

[all while rejecting the over-correction that is called “process theology”]

They conclude that God has granted a measure of true freedom to creation and genuinely experiences the future as it occurs,
Michael Harmon
Jun 10, 2010 Michael Harmon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: theologian/philosophers
So far, a thorough introduction; I appreciate the logical approach, and the honest attempt to address the main opposition charitably.

At just a few points, I was concerned Rice (the first essay) doesn't make a clear enough distinction between creator and created, for example when he says that God's action involves change because he experiences the changes he makes to the world. And in a very well-comprehensive consideration of God's will and what it means for our own, he jumps to saying God's po
I was introduced to some of these concepts through the writings of G. Campbell Morgan, Terence Fretheim, George MacDonald and Winkie Pratney. (If it's true, it isn't new, and if it's new, it isn't true.) My thoughts on this book in particular:

This book is like an introduction to the "open theology" material. As such, it feels somewhat like a fly by. The biblical chapter did not have many new things to say to me, but the "historical considerations" was much more relevant to me since I am weak in
Nov 21, 2014 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking to say the least. This book has been highly controversial in some Christian circles and yet well embraced in others.

I believe that the authors present good arguments and critiques of the traditional understandings of God. That does not mean that the authors are necessarily right (but it doesn't mean that they are necessarily wrong either). Any time healthy debate can be offered is quite helpful.

I find their thoughts on the way that God operates in the world to be quite compelli
Jan 21, 2009 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would say for the most part I enjoyed this book. Due to the fact that there are five separate authors it was little up and down for me. The basic point of the book is to set out the theological view of God known as Open Theism and convince the reader that they should also believe it to be true. As far describing open theism the book does very well, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the topic. On the other hand I found the arguments to be unconvincing for the most part. I have sy ...more
Chole Allyson
It was a very interesting book to read. It makes great points on the Divinity of God and if he is all-knowing and all-powerful or not. It makes a point as to, if He is all-knowing, than why does He let such horrible things happen...especially to children? I thought it was a good book to read to give me insight on how others (besides my religion) view God.
Thomas Kinsfather
Jun 01, 2012 Thomas Kinsfather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful overview of the open view of God (also know as open theism). Five different authors are each given a different angle to approach the topic from. The chapter on classic Greek history is excellent. I also enjoyed the chapter on systematic theology.

A well written book and a perfect introduction if you are unfamiliar with open theism.
Jan 13, 2008 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
challenging, refreshing, accessible, something speaks to me in this. not sure it is all 100% exact, but something says "yes" about God always changing his action/reaction to me because he never changes from his essence - love.
Jul 19, 2012 Garey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I had to read this book for school and would never suggest anyone ever read this book without sitting down with me first to discuss the book.

The reason is that the book presents heretical views of the perfections of God.
Dec 05, 2014 Nathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, god, error
These people actually believe that God does not know our future. The "god" of "open theism" is not the God of the Bible.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 08, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it it was ok
Shelves: theology
Apr 26, 2013 Kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
A thoughtful presentation not just on what the authors believe but also some of the competing ideas. This book presents God as a person one might WANT to have a relationship with. I am not convinced by the predestination (or lack there of) arguments... But enjoy a possibility laced discussion.
David Ellis
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Jul 26, 2016
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OT: Something Old or Something New? 1 5 Oct 28, 2010 03:57PM  
  • The God Who Risks: A Theology of Divine Providence
  • God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God
  • Why I Am Not a Calvinist
  • God's Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism
  • Against Calvinism
  • Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament and Contemporary Contexts
  • Four Views on Divine Providence
  • The Source of Life
  • How Wide the Divide?: A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation
  • Systematic Theology
  • The Selfless Way of Christ: Downward Mobility and the Spiritual Life
  • A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith
  • Four Views on Hell
  • Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World
  • Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness?
  • Lion and Lamb: The Relentless Tenderness
  • Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship
  • The Oxford Companion to the Bible

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