Monday, July 27, 2009

Beyond the Bounds: some brief thoughts on reading polemical literature

Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity
(ed. John Piper, Justin Taylor and Paul Kjoss Helseth) is available for free online here.

The chapters by Ardel Caneday, Wayne Grudem and Mike Horton are a must read.

Obviously it is a polemical piece of writing and in clear and firm terms spells out an error that is to be firmly rejected. I have turned to it again and again and found it to be very profitable reading.

It is not the kind of book that takes a perverse delight in pointing out the theological errors of others, and neither, for that matter, should it be read that way. It is all too easy to read polemical literature in a way that shrivels up your own soul. But even when we can clearly see why a particular view is wrong it is essential that we should more firmly grasp, and rejoice in, and be shaped by, the corresponding biblical truth. Otherwise we are none the better for reading it. And all the more so on those weighty matters that concern the glory of God and the gospel of his free grace in Christ.

This is what Packer said about it:

Here is a weighty tract for the times, in which a dozen Reformed scholars survey the “open theism” of Pinnock, Sanders, Boyd, and colleagues, and find it a confused, confusing, and unedifying hypothesis that ought to be declared off limits. Some pages are heavy sledding, but the arguing is clear and strong, and the book is essential reading for all who are caught up in this discussion.

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