Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 05:1 (Winter 1996)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

Unbounded Love, Clark H. Pinnock and Robert C. Brow. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press (1994). 180 pages, paper, $12.99.

Rush Limbaugh says about political liberals that some of them (Ted Kennedy, et. al.) ought to be kept around just to remind us of how inept their ideas are. If the spiritual stakes weren’t so high, I suppose the same might be said about Arminians.

Clark Pinnock (McMaster Divinity School, Hamilton, Ontario) and Robert Brow (a retired Anglican parish priest) have resurrected the Arminian view of God and men from dusty obscurity and are marching it around the academic stage as if a new world order has been found. Based on the teachings of the seventeenth-century patron saint of unlimited human will and limited divine sovereignty, the lengths to which these authors go in their extension of Arminius’ thinking prove that the grave danger to the order of biblical Christianity sensed by the church council at Dordt was very real.

Pinnock and Brow authored Unbounded Love, which is at once a summary and extension of the theology found in The Openness of God by Pinnock and Richard Rice, a philosophy of religion, and an evangelistic apologetic from the perspective of what they call “creative love theism.”

Unbounded Love is an invitation to consider God as a dynamic and loving triune being who wants to have meaningful interaction with us.... The image of God as severe Judge and absolute Sovereign has driven and can still drive people to unbelief and despair.... We want to lift up a God who is all-loving and open to the world, and we invite all our readers to embrace the Father’s heart.... Understood properly, God is practically irresistible. It is a mystery to us why anyone

would reject Him who loves him so (pp.10–12).

With these kinds of introductory sentiments the biblical and theological naivete ought to appall the truth-conscious mind.

One gets the feeling that Pinnock and Brow are simultaneously engaged in salesmanship toward two very different markets. On the one hand are the evangelicals who down through history keep handing James Arminius and his occasional troubadours their theological walking papers, stubbornly forcing them out of the historical mainstream.

Indeed, it is hard to see how Unbounded Love might find a secure niche in evangelical academia, especially given the recent broad acclaim for Augustinian theologians like David Wells, but its potential popular appeal is foreboding. The writing is clear and straightforward, and the book warmly invites anyone interested in exploring God’s love into its pages.<...

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