A Review Article God Of The Possible? -- By: Roger R. Nicole

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 10:1 (Winter 2001)
Article: A Review Article God Of The Possible?
Author: Roger R. Nicole


A Review Article
God Of The Possible?

Roger R. Nicole

God Of The Possible: A Biblical Introduction To The Open View Of God, Gregory A. Boyd. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker (2000). 175 pages, paper, $12.99

In the 1980s and 1990s a movement developed among some theologians who consider themselves as evangelical in which God’s foreknowledge of future decisions of free agents was declared impossible. These are known as “free will theists” or again as the upholders of the “Openness of God.” Notable names are David and Randall Basinger, Gary Friesen, William Hasker, Clark Pinnock, Richard Rice, and John Sanders.1 A friendly presentation by Roger Olson in Christianity Today (January 9, 1995) was accompanied by critical observations by Douglas F. Kelly, Timothy George, and Alistair E. McGrath. Millard Erickson and Norman Geisler have published important criticisms of this approach.2 Recently Gregory Boyd issued The God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God.

Contents Of The Book

In this volume the Bethel College theology professor presents in a very lucid manner what he sees as the biblical evidence for an open view of God and against the “classical” understanding of the immutability of God’s plan. After

a brief introduction explaining how he was led to adopt an open view, there are four chapters as follows.

Chapter 1 provides a list of thirty-two passages of Scripture commonly advanced by upholders of a fixed future and gives Boyd’s comments to show that neither these nor other analogous ones actually prove a divine foreknowledge of the whole future in all its detail (21–51).

Chapter 2 lists and comments on a number of Scriptures that show God as “repenting” or changing his mind. These, Boyd opines, manifest that God faces at least “a partially open future” (53–87).

Chapter 3 discusses some advantages provided by a view of a partially open future as Boyd envisions it (89–112).

Chapter 4, the longest, undertakes to discuss eighteen questions or objections that are raised with reference to the open view of God (113–56).

An appendix adds nineteen additional passages (sixteen from the Old Testament and three from the New Testament) that, according to Boyd, support the open view (157–69).

Three pages of endnotes and three for a Scripture index complete the volume.

All of this material is presented in a very clear ma...

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