Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Loveliness of Orthodoxy

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Sheeesh! That's big

One outstanding book on Open Theism that isn't particularly well known on this side of the pond is the Canon Press volume Bound Only Once: The Failure of Open Theism. It includes a great essay by Phil Johnson of Pyromaniac fame and one not to be missed by Douglas Jones called 'Metaphor in Exile'.

Doug Wilson also has a superb essay in here the title of which is the title of this blog, and which, characteristically, plows an interesting and amusing furrow on the whole topic of language and imagination: 'The inability of those in the Openness of God camp to see how their portrayal of God clanks, is, at bottom a failure of the imagination'.

He provides an insightful consideration of Isaiah 40:
'Only the most profound kind of spiritual blindness can keep a man from seeing what Isaiah is doing here. "To whom then will ye liken God?" Isaiah has been comparing God to all kinds of things throughout this chapter, and therefore the point of every comparison must be to show that all of them collapse under the weight of eternal glory. They are holy metaphors that make us look up to that which transcends them all. And, as we are glorying in this scriptural language, along come some very pedestrian exegetes, with a poetic ear comparable to about three feet of tin foil, who want us to acknowledge that the text compares God here to a shepherd and every shepherd they have ever met didn't know the future ...'
'To what may we liken God? The answer, friends, is nothing. And we show that we may compare Him to nothing by comparing Him to everything that is worthy of Him, and, of course, nothing completely is. In Him we live, and move, and have our being. This is not zen Christianity; it is the recognition that the Bible does not give us a tiny schematic version of the attributes of God, carefully drawn to scale. Rather, the Bible points, sings, shouts, eats, alliterates, teaches, glorifies, compares, and exults. Do you not see? Lift your eyes on high, Isaiah says'.

1 comment:

Dr. Ron Smith said...

Openness theology fails on several points. The largest one is related to Isaiah 40-48. God differentiates himself from Idols by declaring his absolute foreknowledge. Would one conclude that open tehism is idolatry? I wonder what Isaiah would say?