ICS Calendar Title: The Divine (at) Risk: Open Theism, Classical Theism, and Beyond

ICS Course Code: ICS 120803/220803 F17

Instructor: Dr. Nik Ansell

Term and Year: Thursdays 9:30 am-12:30 pm, Fall 2017

Last Updated: September 10, 2017


1. Course Description

2. Reading Schedule

3. Course Learning Goals

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

5. Required Readings

6. Some Recommended Readings

1. Course Description

Did God take a risk in creating the world? How are divine and human freedom related? Can we confess God’s sovereignty in the face of evil? Paying special attention to different models of providence and the knowability of the future, this course will explore the ways in which the God of history is viewed by advocates and critics of “Open Theism.” Our examination will stimulate our own reflections on how we might best understand and, indeed, image God’s love, knowledge and power.

2. Reading Schedule

1.   Introductions; Hall and Sanders

2.   Fretheim

3.   Sanders

4.   Ware, ed: Helm, Ware

5.   Ware, ed: Olson, Sanders

6.   Jowers, ed: Helseth

[Reading week]

7.  Jowers, ed: Lane Craig

8.  Jowers, es: Highfield

9.  Jowers, ed: Boyd

10. Griffin, Hasker

11. Student presentations

12. Student presentations

13. final reflections

3. Course Learning Goals

a.   to gain an understanding of the doctrine of providence

b.   to gain insight into contemporary evangelical theology in terms of a current area of controversy

c.   to explore the relationship between philosophy and theology with respect to “classical theism” and its alternatives

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

a) Total  reading : 1250 pages total, including research for paper, of which approximately 60–70  pages per week is required to prepare for class.

b) In-seminar leadership: Written observations on two required readings,

identifying key issues and questions, to aid class, discussion; oral contribution to discussion.

c) One paper, addressing a question or theme arising from the class readings and discussion, of 3000–4000 words (Master’s students) or 5000–7000 words (Ph.D. students), due by relevant ICS/TST deadline.

d) Description and weighting of elements to be evaluated [TST in brackets]:

  1. Paper:  60% [50%]          

      ii.  Class presentations:  20% [30%]

  1. Oral contributions:   20% [20%]

5. Required Readings [you will need to obtain works marked with an asterisk]

Terence E. Fretheim, “God and World: Foreknowledge” in The Suffering of God: An Old Testament Perspective (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), chap. 4 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BS1199 .S82 F74 1984 - check Biblical Foundations Reserve Shelf]

David Ray Griffin, “Process Theology and the Christian Good News: A Response to Classical Free Will Theism” in John B. Cobb Jr. and Clark H. Pinnock, eds., Searching for an Adequate God: A Dialogue Between Process and Free Will Theists (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000), chap. 1 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT83.6 .S43 2000X

Christopher Hall and John Sanders, “Does God Know Your Next Move?” Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 in Christianity Today (May 21, 2001): 39-45 and (June 11, 2001): 50-56. [UTL e-resource: http://go.utlib.ca/cat/7695772]

William Hasker, “In Response to David Ray Griffin” in John B. Cobb Jr. and Clark H. Pinnock, eds., Searching for an Adequate God: A Dialogue Between Process and Free Will Theists (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000), chap. 1 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT83.6 .S43 2000X]

*Dennis W. Jowers, ed., Four Views on Divine Providence (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011) [some libraries/bookstores might list Stanley Gundry as (series) editor ahead of Jowers.] Contributors: Paul Kjess Helseth, William Lane Criag, Ron Highfield, and Gregory A. Boyd [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT135 .F68 2011]

John Sanders, “Historical Considerations” in Clark Pinnock et al, The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understanding of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), chap. 2 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT102 .O64 1994]

*Bruce Ware, ed., Perspectives On The Doctrine Of God: Four Views (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2008) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT75.3 .P47 2008]

6. Some Recommended Readings

Herman Bavinck, The Doctrine of God, trans. William Hendrickson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 101 .B2743 1977]

James K. Beilby and Paul R. Eddy, eds., Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT131 .D575 2002]

G. C. Berkouwer, The Providence Of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT135 .B4713 c.1]

————, Divine Election, trans. Hugo Bekker (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960). [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT810 .B443 c.1]

Gregory A. Boyd, God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 131 .B69 2000 ; Robarts Library: BT131 .B69 2000X]

Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996) [1958 ed. ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT130 .C51 1958]

Christopher Hall and John Sanders, Does God Have a Future? A Debate on Divine Providence (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 135 .H25 2003 ; Robarts Library: BT135 .H25 2003X]

Paul Helm, The Providence of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 135 .H35 1994 ; ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT135 .H35 1994]

Jeffrey S. Hocking, Freedom Unlimited: Liberty, Autonomy, and Response-ability in the Open Theism of Clark Pinnock (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2010) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 810.3 .H63 2010]

William Ockham, Predestination, God’s Foreknowledge and Future Contingents., trans. Marilyn McCord Adams and Norman Kretzmann. Second edition (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1983) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B765 .O33 T73 1983]

Thomas C. Oden, The Living God, Systematic Theology, Vol. 1 (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987), chap. 7 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT102 .O32 1987]

H. P. Owen, Concepts Of Deity (London: Macmillan, 1971)  [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT98 .O9a]

Clark Pinnock, Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God’s Openness (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT140 .P5 2001 c.1]

John Piper, Justin Taylor and Paul Kjoss Helseth eds., Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2003) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT131 .B49 2003]

John Sanders, The God Who Risks: A Theology of Providence (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 135 .S26 1998 ; Regis College Library: BT135 .S26 1998]

Thomas Schreiner and Bruce A. Ware, eds. Still Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives on Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 761.2 .G694 2000 ; Knox College Library: BT761.2 .G694 2000]

Terrance Tiessen, Providence and Prayer: How Does God Work in the World? (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 135 .T54 2000]

Bruce A. Ware, God’s Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2000) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT131 .W27 2000]

Thomas G. Weinandy, Does God Change? The Word’s Becoming in the Incarnation (Still River, MA: St. Bede’s Publications, 1985) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 198 .W43 1985 ; Regis College Library: BT198 .W44 1985]

Thomas G. Weinandy, Does God Suffer? (Edinburgh: T and T Clark, 2000) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 453 .S8 W45 2000 ; St. Michael’s College Library: BT453 .S8 W45 1999]

Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach me and/or Student Services as soon as possible.

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