The Impossibility Of God Of The Possible -- By: Richard L. Mayhue

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 12:2 (Fall 2001)
Article: The Impossibility Of God Of The Possible
Author: Richard L. Mayhue

The Impossibility Of God Of The Possible

Richard L. Mayhue

Senior Vice President and Dean
Professor of Pastoral Ministries and Theology

Gregory A. Boyd has written God of the Possible to promote “Open” or “Free-will” Theism at the grassroots level of Christendom. This volume proposes to show how classical theism is inferior and Open Theism is superior. In this reviewer’s opinion, Dr. Boyd has failed to prove his point and accomplish his purpose for at least eight reasons. First, the history of orthodox Christian doctrine declares against, not for, Boyd’s position. Second, God of the Possible depends upon philosophy, not theology, to prove its point. Third, this volume deifies man and humanizes God. Fourth, Boyd discards the unknown, mysterious dimensions of God in his discussions. Fifth, the book is built with an aberrant methodology. Sixth, God of the Possible dismisses the literary device of anthropopathism. Seventh, Boyd’s position diminishes the Almighty’s deity. Eighth, the author downplays determinative biblical texts. For these points, God of the Possible and Open Theism are judged to be heretical. Thus, the church needs to be warned to reject these ideas, not to entertain or embrace them.

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“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man …” (Rom 1:22–23). Admittedly, “openness” advocates have not yet strayed this far, but they are, in this reviewer’s opinion, further away from the truth and closer to idolatry than they realize or care to admit. This neo-processian movement1 has so disturbed the evangelical community at-large that one clear-minded thinker has observed, “[T]he crisis of evangelical theism is seen in the denial of the God of classical theism as sovereign, transcendent, omnipotent, and omniscient.”2

This review article will evaluate Gregory A. Boyd’s volume, God of the Possible,3 which espouses a view of God called the “Open” view. Boyd teaches “that the future exists partly as actualities (future events which God sovereignly determines to bring about) and partly as possibilities (aspects of the future which God sovereignly allows His creatures to bring about).”4

Since God is the unmistakable core, centerpiece, and organizing principle of theology,

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