Theism

"Everyone who believes in God at all believes that He knows what you and I are going to do tomorrow."
–C. S. Lewis

This understanding of God's foreknowledge has united the church for twenty centuries. But advocates of "open theism" are presenting a different vision of God and a different view of the future.

The rise of open theism within evangelicalism has raised a host of questions. Was classical theism decisively tainted by Greek philosophy? How should we understand passages that tell us that God repents? Are essentials of biblical Christianity–like the inerrancy of Scripture, the trustworthiness of God, and the Gospel of Christ–at stake in this debate? Where, when, and why should we draw new boundaries–and is open theism beyond them? Beyond the Bounds brings together a respected team of scholars to examine the latest literature, address these questions, and give guidance to the church in this time of controversy.

Contributors include:

  • John Piper
  • Wayne Grudem
  • Michael S. Horton
  • Bruce A. Ware
  • Mark R. Talbot
  • A. B. Caneday
  • Stephen J. Wellum
  • Justin Taylor
  • Paul Kjoss Helseth
  • Chad Brand
  • William C. Davis
  • Russell Fuller

"We have prepared this book to address the issue of boundaries and, we pray, bring some remedy to the present and impending pain of embracing open theism as a legitimate Christian vision of God. . . . As a pastor, who longs to be biblical and God-centered and Christ-exalting and eternally helpful to my people, I see open theism as theologically ruinous, dishonoring to God, belittling to Christ, and pastorally hurtful. My prayer is that Christian leaders will come to see it this way, and thus love the church by counting open theism beyond the bounds of orthodox Christian teaching."
–From the Foreword by John Piper

Highly acclaimed in Sweden where it was first published in both hardcover and paperback editions, A Concealed God poses two intriguing questions: •Does God truly exist?
•If so, is the concept of God logical and in agreement with the knowledge of the world that science has provided to date?

The God presented by most religions doesn't make sense in today's world; we have little room for miracles. Furthermore, there are irreconcilable aspects in the world's religions. Must we abandon our faith or belief in God? Perhaps not, says popular Swedish thinker Stefan Einhorn. We can behave as scientists do when they run experiments only to obtain contradictory results. They ask themselves whether there might not be a logical conclusion that binds all the results together and leads to the most probable explanation.

Einhorn hypothesizes that if God truly exists, then many different religions would have discovered this. He finds a common denominator in the concept of a hidden God in seven major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. But even with this shared belief, can we know if God exists? Did humankind create the idea of God to answer the unexplainable? What about evil and suffering, the absence of meaning in life, loneliness and insecurity? And most importantly, how do we search for a concealed God?

Most religions share common principles for the search for "that which is concealed," including meditation, contemplation, and prayer. Whatever route is chosen, the search for God may bring us some answers. Einhorn concludes that two themes are central to the search: one is that God is both concealed and simultaneously omnipresent; the other is that only with utter humility and an awareness of our inability to fully understand may we approach the divine.

In the end, there are no definite answers. But the search sheds light on the many paths to enlightenment offered by the world's religions.

Does it make sense - can it make sense - for someone who appreciates the explanatory power of modern science to continue believing in a traditional religious account of the ultimate nature and purpose of our universe? This book is intended for those who care about that question and are dissatisfied with the rigid dichotomies that dominate the contemporary debate. The extremists won't be interested - those who assume that science answers all the questions that matter, and those so certain of their religious faith that dialogue with science, philosophy, or other faith traditions seems unnecessary. But far more people today recognize that matters of faith are complex, that doubt is endemic to belief, and that dialogue is indispensable in our day. In eight probing chapters, the authors of The Predicament of Belief consider the most urgent reasons for doubting that religious claims - in particular, those embedded in the Christian tradition - are likely to be true. They develop a version of Christian faith that preserves the tradition's core insights but also gauges the varying degrees of certainty with which those insights can still be affirmed. Along the way, they address such questions as the ultimate origin of the universe, the existence of innocent suffering, the challenge of religious plurality, and how to understand the extraordinary claim that an ancient teacher rose from the dead. They end with a discussion of what their conclusions imply about the present state and future structure of churches and other communities in which Christian affirmations are made.
This essay is conceived as a critical exposition of the central issues that figure in the ongoing conversation between Logical Positivists and neo Positivists on the one hand and Christian apologists on the other. My expository aim is to isolate and to describe the main issues that have emer ged in the extended discussion between men of Positivistic turn of mind and men sympathetic to the claims of Christianity. My critical aim is to select typical, influential stands that have been taken on each of these issues, to assess their viability, and to isolate certain dilemmas which discussion of these issues has generated. I am convinced that the now commonly rejected verifiability theory of meaning is very commonly misunderstood and has been rejected by and large for the wrong reasons. Before it is cast off-if it is to be cast off-what is needed is a reconsideration of that theory and of the objections that its several formulations have elicited. Furthermore, at least partially because of a misconstruing of the verifiability doctrine, there have been some interesting-though in my opinion unsuccessful-claims advanced about the testability-status of sentences expressive of Christian belief. Moreover, in their haste to vindicate Christianity, some apologists have been fairly cavalier, in my opinion, about what "Christianity" involves. This volume offers what I hope will be a clear statement and analysis of the principle points at issue between Positivism and Christianity, together with my own assessment of where the argument stands now.
When people encounter an argument for or against God's existence, it often raises more questions than it answers. In Letters to Doubting Thomas, C. Stephen Layman offers a fresh, insightful approach to the issue of God's existence--a way to organize what can seem like a blizzard of claims and concepts--bringing clarity to a debate often mired in confusion. Layman explores the evidence for the existence of God in a series of fictionalized letters between two characters--Zachary, a philosopher, and Thomas, an old college friend who appeals to Zach for help in sorting out his thoughts about God. As their correspondence grows, Zachary leads Thomas through an informal and highly readable comparison of Naturalism (the belief that there is no God and that ultimate reality is physical reality), and Theism (the idea that there is an almighty, perfectly good God). In engaging letters that break down complex philosophical arguments into easily digestible bits, the two friends delve into such weighty topics as the reliability of religious experience, various arguments for God's existence (such as the cosmological, design, and moral arguments), the question of free will, and the problem of evil. A piece at a time, they build an argument that shows that Theism, on balance, provides a better explanation of the world and human life than does Naturalism. Here then is a highly accessible account of the major arguments for and against the existence of God, capturing some of the best new insights of modern philosophy in a marvelously clear and engaging format.
Given the central role played by religion in early-modern Britain, it is perhaps surprising that historians have not always paid close attention to the shifting and nuanced subtleties of terms used in religious controversies. In this collection particular attention is focussed upon two of the most contentious of these terms: ’atheism’ and ’deism’, terms that have shaped significant parts of the scholarship on the Enlightenment. This volume argues that in the seventeenth and eighteenth century atheism and deism involved fine distinctions that have not always been preserved by later scholars. The original deployment and usage of these terms were often more complicated than much of the historical scholarship suggests. Indeed, in much of the literature static definitions are often taken for granted, resulting in depictions of the past constructed upon anachronistic assumptions. Offering reassessments of the historical figures most associated with ’atheism’ and ’deism’ in early modern Britain, this collection opens the subject up for debate and shows how the new historiography of deism changes our understanding of heterodox religious identities in Britain from 1650 to 1800. It problematises the older view that individuals were atheist or deists in a straightforward sense and instead explores the plurality and flexibility of religious identities during this period. Drawing on the most recent scholarship, the volume enriches the debate about heterodoxy, offering new perspectives on a range of prominent figures and providing an overview of major changes in the field.
©2021 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.