Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Faithful Creator: Ron Highfield’s Forthcoming Book on Providence

The doctrine of providence is far from theological oblivion – there’s another new book on the matter coming out later this year: Ron Highfield’s The Faithful Creator: Affirming Creation and Providence in an Age of Anxiety (IVP, expected October 2015). Here’s the blurb:

As Paul says in Romans, creation groans for redemption. But can we trust God to make all things new?

The doctrines of creation and providence address the question of human anxiety in the face of suffering and evil. In a world that often seems to be spinning out of control, Christian faith confesses a “faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19) who promises a glorious future for all creation.

In The Faithful Creator, seasoned professor and author Ron Highfield presents an overview of creation, providence and the problem of evil. He explores a wide range of issues, including the biblical accounts of creation, the dialogue between theology and science, models of providence, philosophical problems of evil and the proposals of open theism and process theism. Both accessible and scholarly, The Faithful Creator is an ideal text for classroom use.

And here is the table of contents:

Part One: Creation
1. “Let There Be Light”: Creation in the Old Testament
2. “In The Beginning Was the Word”: Creation in the New Testament
3. “Creator of Heaven and Earth”
4. How God Creates the World (Part One): Probing a Mystery or Solving a Problem?
5. How God Creates the World (Part Two): Assessing the Quest
6. Jesus Christ as Creator
7. Creation from Nothing: Creation as an Act of Sovereign Generosity
8. Divine Creation and Modern Science
9. Creation and Time

Part Two: Divine Providence
10. Biblical Theology of Divine Providence
11. All Things Work Together
12. Models of Perfect Providence: Foreknowledge
13. Models of Perfect Providence: Omnipotence Models
14. The Open Theist Model of Providence
15. Creation, Providence and Human Freedom

Part Three: The Challenge of Evil
16. Creation, Providence and Evil
17. The Philosophical Problems of Evil
18. The Rhetorical Argument from Evil
19. “Do Not Be Afraid”

Beyond the blurb and the table of contents, there’s very little to indicate the direction The Faithful Creator takes. I dare say that it’s largely an elaboration on Highfield’s chapter in Four Views on Divine Providence (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), where he concludes: ‘Not until, by God’s grace, we long for freedom from sin more than we desire another day of life can we rejoice in the divine providence that controls by liberating and liberates by controlling.’ (p. 164).

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