Reviews on Resources for Biblical and Theological Studies


Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Jul• 17•12

Helseth, Paul Kjoss, William Lane Craig, Ron Highfield, and Gregory A. Boyd. Four views on divine providence. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2011.

Four Views on Divine Providence has appeared in the ‘Counterpoints. Bible and Theology’ series of Zondervan edited by Stanley N. Gundry and Dennis W. Jowers. Four leading theologians of our day have contributed the four dominant views on Providence prevalent now.

Paul Kjoss Helseth has written on the view that ‘God is Causes all Things’ (Reformed tradition) and William Lane Craig on “God Directs all Things” (Molonism), Ron Highfield “God controls everything” (Resotorationist) and Gregory A. Boyd on “God Limits His Control” (Open Theism).

This is not just presentation of four views by four scholars but interact with each other. The view of one scholar is critiqued by the three others so that the readers get a fairly good view of the issues involved as the other titles in COUNTERPOINTS series try to do.

Dennis W. Jowers, General Editor has contributed the Introduction and the Conclusion. In the introduction he elaborates on the scriptural foundations for the doctrine of providence before he moves on to give us historical view on this doctrine. This is where the novice is introduced to the debates, disputes and all that happened in the past. He divides the historical presentation into six periods as: (1) The anti-Nicene period (AD 70-325), (2) Post-Nicene period  (AD 325-787), (3) The medieval period (AD 787-16th century), (4) Early modern period that is from Reformation to the seventeenth century, (5) The Enlightenment Period, (6) the Post Enlightenment period (from nineteenth century to the present.)

The volume ends with an essay by the General Editor (Dennis W. Jowers) where he summarizes the positions of the contributors. This is a very useful section as he brings out the areas of agreement and areas of disagreement between the four contributors.

The volume is where anyone who want a comprehensive view of this doctrine should begin. This is comprehensive, interactive and leaves the readers to make up their minds on the issue.

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