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God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  587 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Through an examination of relevant biblical passages, this theologian-pastor presents an alternative "open view" to the classical doctrine on God's foreknowledge of the future.
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Published May 1st 2000 by Baker Books
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Scott Heaton
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
God of the Possible by Dr. Gregory Boyd was a difficult read for me. It is a theological book that challenges the traditional view of God (mostly my ideas) and argues for the ‘open view of the future.’ It was difficult for me, not because the writing was poor or that the logic was faulty, but the exact opposite. This was an easy-to-understand book that took me awhile because I had to put it down so frequently to think about the ideas that were being presented. (Mainly because he launched an arse ...more
Adam Ross
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
After reading an interesting interview with Greg Boyd online, I picked up this book and enjoyed it a lot. I'm not fully convinced of his case, but the book certainly convinced me that Open Theism is no heresy. It is, instead, a means of trying to reconcile God's sovereignty and man's free will in a satisfactory way. Having remained unconvinced by the attempts of Calvinism to deal with free will and the Arminian attempt to explain God's sovereignty, I found this to be an interesting suggestion fo ...more
JJ Vancil
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Greg Boyd is one of my favorite authors and this book helps the reader understand the driving principles of his theology. I happen to understand God through the open lens and see it lining up with the whole counsel of Scripture. I appreciate Boyd's heart and the depth in which he uses Scripture. People are free to disagree with him, but they can't accuse him of not teaching the Word. I believe that the open view, as espoused in this book, paints the most accurate picture of God and after reading ...more
Joshua Duffy
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There is not a lot not to love about this book, unless you are a determinist. It is well written, concise, effective, and what is likely the best introduction to the idea of 'Open Theism' that I can imagine. It remains quite disconcerting that there are aspects of the future that God possibly does not know, but Boyd fills in the blanks quite nicely. Whether or not you accept Open Theism after reading this one, you most likely will have to admit it makes way more sense than Determinism.
Carl
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this after reading "Letters..." because I had questions about Boyd's Open View as presented to his father. Never having been completely comfortable with the classical arguments presented by Calvin or Arminius, I am intrigued by Boyd's presentation and by the evidence he brings from Scripture. Those who want to label him a blasphemer or heretic go too far.
Donovan Richards
When Bible Study Becomes Scary

When I was young, my parents hosted a couples’ Bible study on Sunday nights. While my parents studied in the community of believers, I listened to music and played video games in the office.

One Sunday evening, I remember my mother visibly shaken after a study. During the Bible study, one member shared with the group his personal study on the actions God cannot perform. The very thought, to my mother, seemed heretical. God is God right? God can do anything!

But the pe
...more
Carl Jenkins
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book asks a lot of good questions about the nature or depth of God's foreknowledge. Boyd's position is that God is indeed all knowing, but that, for the most part, God leaves the future "open" or "unsettled." That is to say that the future isn't eternally settled, and God doesn't know all of the exact decisions you will make. That leaves God also open to be able to change his mind on issues, such as giving Hezekiah 15 more years to live. The position of "Open Theism" puts much more responsi ...more
Daphne Tan
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thankful for a work that common folk like me can read. Greg is candid that people should not be divided over this issue in the unity Christ has set up with his own flesh and blood, nor should they pretend to be ignorant about differences people have towards such issues. To paraphrase John Stott, not using our mind to think for ourselves on this issue (Calvinism/Arminianism/Open Theism/Molinism etc) is an insult to our Creator who designed us to use our minds to think.

Great introduction, Bible-ba
...more
Alan
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
While I'm sure Greg Boyd is a very nice man, I feel his understanding and explanation of divine sovereignty and foreknowledge is theologically shallow and wrong-headed. Bruce Ware has written multiple books that address the exegetical shortcomings of open theism that I would highly recommend if you are looking for a solid response to Boyd's articulation of open theism. Personally, I was borderline annoyed at his constant accusations towards classical theists of misinterpreting 'straight forward' ...more
Calvary Church
Controversial! The future is partially open to God. Boyd places an emphasis on the Biblical texts that speak of God changing his mind, or being grieved, or giving people options – and constructs a new theology of God – referred to as Open Theism or Neothism. In all fairness, Boyd does not give up God’s sovereignty, but redefines it. His views have created a flurry of evangelical scholarship defending the traditional/classical view of God, even suggesting that Boyd’s views fall outside of the pal ...more
Thomas Kinsfather
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Boyd's approach to the future and God's sovereignty in Scripture. Boyd voiced a philosophy I have held for years, but never been able to put in words. That is, that the future hasn't happened, that it is partially settled and partially open. Well written with an overload of Scriptural support.
Bryan Neuschwander
Boyd argues clearly and fairly. Not everyone will find him convincing, but his astute reflections and calm analysis may serve to shift certain deterministic presuppositions and to combat a kind of folk Christian fatalism that simply accepts whatever happens with the bland "God is in control" cliche.
Brian Jones
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent overview of the "Openness of God." A much needed corrective to the Reformed fad sweeping through evangelical circles.
Tom
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Does God know in advance all of history, including the future, down to the last detail? Or does God experience the future as we do: as an array of possibilities that are not yet decided?

My cousin and her husband gave this book to me while I was visiting them. I told them I wanted some good theology and they literally pressed it into my hands. I had no idea what it was about.

It turns out to be a very thorough theological argument for what is known as the ‘Open View’ of God. In the ‘Classical Vie
...more
Jason
I'll start with the premise, that I think I probably agree with Boyd theologically here. I think his position makes sense, even if it separates itself from Orthodoxy in some pretty substantial ways.

My disconnect with this book is that it serves as sort of a proof text that allows the reader to have ammo against the more standard theological position, but the problem is, the ammo isn't good enough. While I appreciate the thought exercise as to how various scriptures could mean that god has parts
...more
David Ruiz
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un excelente y accesible acercamiento al teísmo abierto, o a la idea de apertura al futuro de parte de Dios. Con bases bíblicas, argumentos filosóficos y cuestiones prácticas se presenta al Dios de lo posible. “El problema con respecto a la "apertura del futuro" no se trata de la infalibilidad o falibilidad del conocimiento previo de Dios, sino más bien acerca de la naturaleza del futuro que Dios sabe infaliblemente. ¿Está exclusivamente previsto y predeterminado por Dios, o determina Dios algun ...more
Menashe Israel
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boyd correctly identifies Platonism to be the source of the general Christians misinterpretation of God and Time.

I wish he would take his studies further to see in which other areas of Christianity our theology has been infected with Platonism: such as Dual Natures Theory and Platonic Death, the Doctrine of an Everlasting Hell, The Trinity.

There is much work to be done. I applaud him in this area.
Pixiedust
Jul 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious-books
The book was not that great. Trying to present what I learned in the 1970s as revolutionary thought. Not impressed.
Randall Pratt
In this book, Boyd presents his case for the open view of God (or, the open view of the future) in a highly readable text.

After a brief introduction, he uses the first chapter to present an honest description of the classical view (or views -- Calvin and Arminius) of divine foreknowledge. Each of these essentially sees the future as exhaustively settled, and Boyd presents the biblical case for such a view.

In the second chapter, he shows the motive for the open view by sound biblical exegesis of
...more
Greg Dill
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Open Theism is grossly misunderstood by many Evangelicals. They believe Open Theism greatly diminishes the sovereignty of God. This couldn't be further from the truth. In Open Theism, God still knows the beginning and the end, but not everything in between is predetermined/predestined while some things are. Think "Choose Your Own Adventure" books where the outcome is already written, but the in between stuff is for you to choose.

In a sense, to me it seems Open Theism is Arminianism on steroids (
...more
Kris Brewer
I found that the author did well when he simply stuck with the biblical passages. However, there were several areas that he strayed away from scripture and in the process introduced unbiblical concepts, that when taken to their natural end, contradict his main premise. For the most part, he refuted the idea of an absolute predestination, but then argued at one point that a person couldn't respond to Gospel unless God chose to allow them to receive it (miraculous working on the heart by the Holy ...more
Naomi
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Boyd invites his readers to consider something that might be new to them, in thinking about God and free will and the future. In so doing, he addresses questions of theodicy and God's involvement in history, and teaches readers a way of approaching the Bible that is consistent both Biblically and with accepting a world of probabilities as a perfect one, undoing the notion of perfection as static. He carefully distinguishes the open view of God from process theology. All in all, a fine christian ...more
Coryke
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
This book was fine. I felt like a lot of the book was a conversation I've already had. This is in no way meant to diminish the book, rather, it didn't scratch the itch I thought it might. Nevertheless, I can think of several people who I would like to have read this book.

The highlight of the book, to me, seems to be tucked into the question and answer chapter at the end. I wish his line of reasoning there would have been highlighted, but alas it was not. Look for it! It is about how metaphors us
...more
Gerhard Peters
Sep 09, 2003 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. I read it in 2000 but it was not as meaningful back then as it was now when I read it again (2009). Boyd presents solid arguments for the open theist position. I relate well to the open theist position from life experiences. Boyd writes from an Evangelical perspective. I will read his latest book soon because I understand that he is taking on main stream evangelism and being critical of it.
Andrew Schumann
'Open Theism' (whether you subscribe to it or not) is an interesting view on God's foreknowledge. The open view stretches one's view on God's foreknowledge, and provides some interesting insight on scriptures that seem to show God changing his mind, or "regretting" decisions he made. Every Christian that is serious about theology should at least know what the open view of God is, and this book is an excellent starting point
Tom
Sep 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It does what it was written to do--introduce readers to the biblical arguments for open theism. It's short, bereft of footnotes, and so not a scholarly work. And introductions are just that--introductions. There are other books that give more comprehensive treatments, but if all you want is briefly outline the main biblical supports for open theism, this book gets five starts. It does that extremely well.
Tim Felten
Great book! Definitely worth the read. The weighty chapter division was a bit rough, but beyond that, some great insights. Pages are soaked in Scripture, solid philosophical arguments and common sense interpretation. Reasonably in-depth, but would've liked to have seen some further steps toward fleshing out some more ideas (e.g., more details on foreordination and election). Nonetheless, it was outstanding and a definite whistle-wetter!
Darnell
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a popular level look into the open perspective of the future or Open Theism. It's an interesting and scripturally grounded alternative to classical theism's future determinism and the idea of predestination. Open Theism provides different answers to the question of evil, the power and importance of prayer and the role of humanity in creation. I find it's a biblical and life giving perspective.
Kristen
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
For friends I have recommended this to: my five star rating was ALMOST a four star, since I would hardly call myself an evangelical Christian. But objectively, I found this book to be highly internally consistent, and therefore an excellent case for the open view of the future. So even though I don't necessarily agree with the evangelical Christian point of view, I feel I must give it five stars all the same. It was that good.
Rachel
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely an interesting book. I have had several questions about God and how predestination fits with the idea of free will and this book was very helpful in answering many of them. I don't know if the author has totally converted me to the idea of open theology, but I'm not nearly as Calvanistic as I used to be.
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Gregory A. Boyd is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and founder and president of ReKnew. He was a professor of theology at Bethel College (St. Paul, Minn.) for sixteen years where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor.

Greg is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (BA), Yale Divinity School (M.Div), and Princeton Theological Seminary (PhD). Gre
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“It takes a greater God to steer a world populated with free agents than it does to steer a world of preprogrammed automatons.” 2 likes
“Biblically, God is repeatedly depicted as facing a partially open future. Theologically, several unsolvable problems inherent in the classical view can be avoided when one accepts that God is the God of the possible and not simply a God of eternally static certainties. Practically, a God of eternally static certainties is incapable of interacting with humans in a relevant way. The God of the possible, by contrast, is a God who can work with us to truly change what might have been into what should be.” 0 likes
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