God in Eternity and Time: A New Case for Human Freedom


Product Details

$29.99  $27.89
B&H Publishing Group
Publish Date
6.06 X 9.13 X 0.32 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Robert E. Picirilli (PhD, Bob Jones University) is professor emeritus at Welch College.


"Renowned theologian and New Testament scholar Dr. Robert Picirilli has written a book that makes compelling reading for his fellow Baptists and for all others interested in a truly biblical theology. Picirilli argues that to construct a truly biblical theology, one should start with the Bible itself as 'the best evidence of God's plan, ' believing that 'it is better to infer what God has decreed in eternity, from the Bible's account of how God acted in the history . . . of man and the cosmos' rather than starting with the classical 'decrees' and imposing them on biblical revelation. This Scripture-honoring approach produces powerful and important insights into such thorny issues as God's will, human freedom, and divine foreknowledge. God in Eternity and Time merits and will reward every dedicated Christian's rapt and focused attention."
--Richard Land, executive editor, Christian Post, and president emeritus of Southern Evangelical Seminary and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

"Dr. Picirilli demonstrates how human libertarian freedom is consistent with key divine attributes and actions. In so doing, Picirilli masterfully provides understandable and plausible explanations for complex doctrines such as immutability, timelessness, and foreknowledge, as well as God's work in creation, incarnation, and redemption. This book provides answers to thorny theological questions that concern many Christians."
--Steve Lemke, provost emeritus and professor of philosophy and ethics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

"Certainly, Picirilli brings many fresh ideas in support of human freedom, answering conundrums proposed by determinists of every sort. Perhaps his most striking contribution, however, is to throw the more speculative aspects of systematic theology back upon the surer footing of biblical theology. One might even assert that this book is essentially a hermeneutical guide to the issue of divine sovereignty and human freedom. Clearly and concisely written, the book will straighten out many a crooked argument in the complex debate, and will invite readers to connect with Picirilli's previous works on the Calvinist-Arminian issue."
--James M. Leonard, vice president, Society of Evangelical Arminians

"While differing from the Molinist model to which I subscribe, Picirilli offers a well-reasoned and innovative model of the relationship between divine eternity and divine temporality. Grounded first and foremost in revealed theology, Picirilli insightfully argues that the events comprising God's relationships with creatures in time are ontologically identical with those same events in eternity. His model effectively avoids the--in my judgment--erroneous extremes of divine determinism and divine openness. This book will be read profitably by biblical theologians who seek an understanding of God that reconciles the scriptural data on divine sovereignty, divine counterfactual knowledge, divine foreknowledge, and genuine human freedom."
--Kirk R. MacGregor, associate professor of philosophy and religion and department chair, McPherson College

"Robert Picirilli has written a pleasant text about the most important subject human beings can discuss--God and his relation to time and eternity. Picirilli is both humble and clear, filled with conviction and with reservation, fully confident in Scripture while warning about our penchant for drawing airtight inferences. He cautioned, '[W]hen we try to define too closely the nature of the infinite God and his attributes, considered apart from the biblical account, our logic is not fully dependable.' The reader will find that immediate interaction--sometimes agreement and celebration, sometimes contemplation of possible alternative constructions--characterizes the reading experience. The author's style invites this kind of conversation with the text. It is fun to read and will help one reason with humility, always deferring to Scripture over philosophy and biblically unwarranted assertions, sometimes even those made by the author--as Picirilli fittingly observes, 'This is especially true when our logical inferences appear to be in conflict with what the Bible actually affirms about God.' How the biblical text relates events in time to a biblically warranted understanding of eternal decrees 'according to the counsel of his will' (Eph 1:11 ESV) will probably occur frequently in these interactions with the text. Arguing for a traditional Arminian understanding of eternal, exhaustive foreknowledge as the only alternative that leaves genuine human freedom, libertarian freedom, intact, Picirilli takes issue with confessional Calvinism (determinism), middle knowledge, and open theism as outside the parameters of the demands of the biblical text as it relates to creation and the intersection of time and eternity. This will provide some healthy theological exercises for the reader. I heartily recommend this book to all who want to engage a mind-clearing, spirit-elevating, theologically challenging, Bible-endearing exercise that will bear eternal fruit and give great clarity to what is at stake on the several sides of this important discussion."
--Tom J. Nettles, visiting professor of historical theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"In this book Robert Picirilli does what he does best: he serves the church by writing about theologically controversial issues in a way that is irenic, clear, and enjoyable to read, all at the same time. Picirilli is one of the few authors I know of who are credentialed in, and have taught, Greek exegesis, theology, and philosophy, and this unique combination is in evidence in this volume. This is the best discussion of these matters from an Arminian vantage point, and Calvinists and Arminians alike will benefit from grappling with Picirilli's winsome and cogent analysis."
--J. Matthew Pinson, president and professor of theology, Welch College

"In God in Eternity and Time, Robert Picirilli deftly wrestles with the paradox of an infinite God acting within a finite world of space and time. With thoughtful, gracious insight he clearly explains why he rejects both open theism and a hard determinism, carefully examining Scripture to understand how an omniscient God can know everything that will happen and yet his creatures are free to act within the arena he created. This work is essential reading for any Christian seriously studying the grand issues of God's sovereignty and human agency."
--Hershael W. York, dean, School of Theology and Victor and Louise Lester Professor of Christian Preaching, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary