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This book may not convince the skeptics but I shared it with someone who had never heard of Mrs. Eddy and she devoured the book as fast as she could.
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The Saint Highly Recommends this to Lovecraft fans.
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It becomes more meaningful after becomeing thouroughly familiar with Science and Health (and having practised Christian Science for a while), for some parts, whereas other parts like 'The Peoples Idea of God' or 'Unity of Good' or 'Christian Healing', 'Rudimental Divine Science'(all in Proes Works) can be useful and supplemental and occasionally introductory to Science and Health, while one is reading it.
It is a compilation of all of Mary Baker Eddy's writings other than Science and Health for quick and easy reference. You would require a separate Concordance for your index to these writings.
Some of the writings are meaningful to the person dealing with organizational challenges while participating in the church. Much of the information is transcendent and applicable, like Science and Health, to working out that 'science of being' in the context of Christian Science practise.
There are lectures and articles by and interviews with and early writings by or letters from and to Mary Baker Eddy to serve various and other purposes than that of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures which is a textbook and companion to the Bible (the two together serving as the Pastor of the church.)
It is the place I find continued metaphysical inspiration, sort of like a 'workbook', showing me other ideas in the Bible and ways Mary Baker Eddy shared Christian Science with the world in it's inquirey about what it is.
Like Science and Health, which is deep and kaleidescopic with meaning and comfort and healing, one reads through the layers. With experience using Christian Science one returns to it to find new meaning and continued insight on the Bible and what one had proved to oneself. Reading Science and Health is a new experience in meaning. Proes Works holds many a spiritual insight along with some occasional practical wisdom to go with it.So, sometimes the language is like Science nad Health and other times it is a more traditional or familiar form of rhetoric.
Some of the articles speak to more specific or general issues than can be addressed in Science and Health. There are Christian admonishments to good behaviour and right thinking about God and our fellow man as well as metaphysical exactitudes and some allegory.
It can becomes necessary to have after pretty good familiariy with Science and Health. Science and Health stays absolute in what it teaches. Sometimes the various writings compiled in Proes Works are more relative.
[Just a personal comment, I do not like the Aquuas publishers copy of these books - I have one - because they are aesthetically very unpleasing. The authorized versions are created with a mind to the readers comfort and ease through large type and/or portable paperbacks. I feel comfortable to pocket or scribble all over them. The Aquuas books are kind of cheap, which is probably there whole point to keep cost down. I wonder if the authorized publishers will do an authorized version of the Proes Works like the nice big red and green book put out? It has nice big margins for note making and large readable type.]
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This is the inerrant litmus test of Bible prophecy: 100% Definitive Factuality in ADVANCE of freely chosen agent decisions, 0% error rate. Openism is DOA,AWOL,Mene-Mene-Tekel-Uparsin at this point! The handwriting is on the wall!
"Hear the Word of the Lord all you exiles in Babylon. This is what the Lord Almighty says about Ahab and Zedekiah who are prophesying lies to you in My Name. 'I will hand them over to King Neb. and he will put them to death before your very eyes. Because of them, all the exiles from Judah in Babylon will use this curse: The Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned in the fire.'"
An irrefutable case of EXHAUSTIVE DEFINITIVE DIVINE FOREKNOWN FACTUALITY about the future free decisions of Ahab; Zedekiah; King of Babylon specifically using fire for execution; and all exiles using the exact, precisely predicted curse based on the free decisions of Ahab, Zedekiah, King (all inextricably interlinked) in the OMNI-Mind of God, freely played out in time
Openism's 'extensive indefinite forecasting' cannot account for such prophecies. (Too many to list here - see separate reviews for 'Beyond the Bounds'; 'God Under Fire'; 'Bound Only Once'.)
Why must Gregory Boyd set up a hyper-Calvinist view as straw antagonist, then make his 'case' for why his Open Theory is the 'most Biblical' (compared to what??)? Ajarism (Free Futures are seen by God as through an ajar door darkly) can't help but seem more palatable by comparison with the ultra-Calvinist
'Closed door known but to God' or Liberal Process 'Wide-Open door unknown to God'.
The nebulous argument for 'Infinite Intelligence' to compensate for 'Non-infinite knowledge of free futures' (known as Divine Nescience,i.e Ignorance) is verbal legerdemain for denial of genuine, meaningful OMNI-science as the Bible teaches.
God is, according to Boydian theory, MULTI-scient or MAXIMI-scient (God knows a lot, more than anyone, the maximum logically knowable, but not quite EVERYTHING as the Bible says).
Instead, Gregory makes God out to be of such great intellect to work around His deemed lack of Infinite Foreknowledge of all future mortal free Shalls and Shall nots, Wills and Will nots. Boyd invents a new sub-Attribute to compensate for eviscerating another Attribute to allow God to come out O.K. in the end.
But it backfires. It only creates a deity in a limited human's intellectual image. In exchange for the Biblical Jesus of Infinite awareness, foresight, prescience and precise knowledge of all Space-Time events/decisions from Eternity Past to Eternity Future and all in between, we are left with a supreme weather forecaster or chess grandmaster. However as we all know, weathermen are often surprised, wrong, erroneous and mistaken. Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue have both lost against each other. Is this the sort of Jesus that Gregory Boyd sincerely believes in, trying to persuade others to accept,too?
'Infinite Intelligence' is woeful consolation for 'knowing' free agent futures as predominantly possibles, maybes, contingents, risky what-ifs, potentials, probables, likelihoods,
projections, indeterminates, variables, random chance, unpredictabilities, uncertainties that may after all not materialize to divine expectations/forecasts.
It is here that the equally nebulous Boydian concept of 'Theo-Repentism' must be triggered to explain how Jesus handles free futures that don't work out as anticipated. When confronted with new information, or in relating to free decision makers, the Eternal Lord Jesus then changes the divine mind, repents (of wrong-doing, wrong-guessing,wrong-imagining, wrong-thinking,wrong-prognosticating, wrong-speaking,wrong-predicting, wrong-prophesying, etc.) or regrets, rues prior decisions based on incomplete data, wishing they could be do-overs or in need of retraction or repair. Infinite Intelligence kicks in at this stage for 'divine damage control' to salvage a draw and prevent checkmate from all the free-ranging opponents who act/decide contrary to the limits of divine predictability in the chaotic chessgame/meteorology of life.
Sound puzzling? It is. Especially when you read the seminal book by Gregory Boyd that started it all: 'Trinity & Process' (see separate review), based on Hartshorne's 'Omnipotence & Other Theological Mistakes' (see review where you discover that Boyd's Omnipotence is no less limited than his Omniscience).
It seems OMNI (Latin for All) cannot mean OMNI anymore, at least for Open Theorists. What then becomes of OMNI-presence? Infiniteness? Eternality?
Transcendence? OMNI-sapience (ALL-Wise)? What happens to all the Historic-Evangelically understood Trinitarian Attributes? How are they Openistly redefined/updated for modern consumption? Only God knows (or, maybe He doesn't? Stay tuned!)
Most unfortunate that books like this which incorporate non-evangelical 'theology' alongside historic Christianity are distributed for uncritical consumption by a non-discerning readership. Seeking wider respectability, Openism/Ajar Theory merely shows with every published page how far Boyd-Pinnock-Sanders have headed AWAY from the Bible and TOWARD a vivid, free agent imagination a la borrowed elements of Hartshorne's Processistic, non-Scriptural philosophic fabrications.
The LORD said it best in Job 42:7 "I am angry with you..because you have not spoken of Me what is right."
This book rates 3 stars for including 3 Biblical/Evangelical views, but subtract stars for Gregory's use of contemporary philosophic presuppositions applied to selective misinterpreted Bible texts to provide a marginal audience the latest heterodox option to counter the straw antagonist of hyper-Calvinism.
Ultimately can't persuade in any cogent, balanced, unbiased way.
The OMNITrue One Who has Eternal Exhaustively Divine Definitive Foreknown Factuality of ALL Free Futures, Infinitely Uninformable ,Unrepentable,Inerrant, Incorrectible, Infallible, OMNI-Present (Ever-Present I AM in ALL point-moments of space-time: Length-Width-Height-Past-Present-Future), Eternal, Limitlessly Aware,OMNI-Relational,Interactive LORD Jesus said,
"Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?"
"I AM TELLING YOU NOW BEFORE IT HAPPENS SO THAT WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN YOU WILL BELIEVE THAT I AM HE." (John 13:19)
Not forecasting, possibilizing, but TELLING. Not if, but WHEN.
Not may,might,could,perhaps should, but DOES happen. 0% Uncertain. 100% definite. That's genuine Omniscience. Amen.
Interesting that this book would present as one of the "evangelical" options of what God knows and when He can know it:
the curious notion that God possesses EXTENSIVE INDEFINITE FORECASTING (a la weather prognosticator or chess grandmaster) subject to all the iffiness and unknowable randomness of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and Chaos Theory working themselves out in a fallen world unbeknownst in advance to the Creator! Boyd's presupposition is THE FUTURE DOES NOT EXIST YET, EVEN FOR THE OMNISCIENT/ETERNAL CREATOR GOD, except as mere possibilities yet to be freely actualized.
Therefore He is the deity of what is humanly,logically possible.
Boyd's Neo-Processistic philosophical theorizing becomes more incoherent with each book. How can God know how He will definitely act in the future if He doesn't know how sinners and demons will definitely behave? If our decisions don't exist until we freely make them, how can God's decisions exist until He freely makes His in response to ours in response to others in response to the devil's in response to... ad infinitum?? If all God can know are ultimately possibles (not actuals, definites), then ALL He can know about future agency is INDEFINITE (MAYBE). Thus Boyd teaches EXTENSIVE INDEFINITE FORECASTING - which he calls Omniscience! Talk about verbal legerdemain! God can only know what is humanly,finitely knowable
A careful study of the Bible shows rather the truth that there is NO LIMIT to the extent (past,present,future) of God's knowledge. It is ETERNALLY EXHAUSTIVE DIVINE DEFINITIVE FOREKNOWN FACTUALITY OF ALL FREE FUTURES-OMNIPRESCIENCE
His understanding is INFINITE. That God definitely knows in advance precisely what sinners and demons WILL/WILL NOT do doesn't mean therefore that they are thus forced to, or thereby lose their agency/moral responsibility. Neither is God to blame for the foreknown exercise of their agency. He retains full final say, ultimate control and awareness as definite in advance of ALL they will choose to do. Because some mortal minds can't reconcile this profundity, Open Theory (Ajarism) is the misbegotten result. With all due respect to sincere but sincerely wrong Gregory Boyd, there is little about Neo-processism or EIF (EXTENSIVE INDEFINITE FORECASTING) that can be understood in any sense as Biblical or Orthodox Truth about God's Attributes such as OMNISCIENCE/OMNIPRESENCE. God is ever PRESENT at every point/moment of space/time, including ALL the FUTURE. The I AM is ALREADY THERE/THEN waiting for us just as He IS with us HERE/NOW.
Otherwise well-written. 1 star for attempting to resurrect the long-discredited 'Nescience' pseudo-theology of the late 19th Century (with some elements of 16th Cent. Socinianism) via a self-refuting misunderstanding of how God interacts with ALL FUTURE MORTAL AGENCY: Comprehensively, and for Open Theorists, Incomprehendible.
Pay them no mind. DF is an excellent book. Buy it and read all the views with as much of an open humble mind as you can. It's better than the alternative spoon feeding that is rampant in many circles of Evangelicalism today.
The glossary is a great idea more publishers should follow.
Keep em coming Eddy, Beilby, Gannsle ....etc.
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Most of the book is devoted to explanations of how to use various drawing packages: Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop etc. If you have any of these packages the original manuals offer a much better source for how to use them. The text does not even orientate itself specifically to GIF creation when discussing the drawing packages. Indeed, these pages are purely descriptive rather than guiding you through how best to create an animation.
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Eddy Joe Cotton is a name made up by the author to be his "tramp" name. Hoboes don't look back at their past a lot and it's almost a ceremonial thing to leave your old name behind if you're a real traveller.
There is a constant conflict inside Eddy. The conflict is between living the perilous, well, let's say precarious life of the hobo, and the American Dream. By American Dream I mean that slough of a nice house, car, wife, whatever. The life of freedom is one of loneliness and an avoidance of responsibility according to Cotton. Some would see this as a rejection of adulthood in a way. In some ways I agree. What's going to happen to Eddy when he gets old and he can't jump on a train? Who's gonna take care of him after all his wanderings? What is he truly gaining here? Of course Eddy rolls out the cliched "it's not the destination, it's the journey" hokey.
I don't know, this book is sad in the same way that Jack Kerouac's books are sad. I mean, the longing to belong and live a normal life which can never be had by the writer. It's something that can threaten to overwhelm any happiness or at the least cast a shade on it.
There is a lot of interesting information here, what with all the hobo jargon, and it really does make for a good adventure. Call me cynical but at some points I began to debate Eddy's credibility. I mean how do I know that this book is true? At times, his escapades have the feel of lies to me.
The fact that I hold this book in my hand kinda ruins his credibility to me. For a man who doesn't want the materialistic and is supposedly a hobo, I'm sure he had to get an agent and make a book deal just like any other person. If you were a true "tramp", what would you want to publish a book for? Your concern should be with living, not with dredging up the past. I'm much more impressed with Jack Kerouac, who descended into alcholism and death BECAUSE he was famous, thereby proving the fact that he didn't want success and fame. While Hobo is entertaining and has good passages, I believe it should be taken with a grain of salt.
An intro...grandparents, father, mother, circumstance....starts it off, then he's off on the road following a father/son blowup.
We meet a bums and burnouts, hobos and waitresses and they are real people. He conveys the grit and flavor, the smell and grime to the reader. He's chasing a dream and I was cheering him on. Then plop...the book ends and there is no real conclusion. But the anecdotes are like stories on their own and offer some sense of closure. I was sorry that the narrative was over but I did not feel as though I were left hanging. More like someone was describing part of a life still in progress.
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. It isn't profound or deep but it is colorful and engrossing.
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But 4 stars deducted for labeling liberal, non-evangelical philosophies/fabrications as 'Across the Spectrum' i.e. within the bounds of Evangelical Historic Christian Faith.
Right off the bat, Boyd (a Bapt. Gen'l Conference pastor of Woodland Hills Church and Theol. Prof. at Bethel College) denies his own denomination's Affirmation of Faith regarding Bible Inerrancy. BGC used to require all pastors/professors to uphold and abide by its Affirmation of Faith in all matters.(Will BGC Pres. Sheveland and upcoming Annual Convention enforce their Affirmation by requiring a retraction or resignation from the wayward false-teacher??) But Boyd for upwards of a decade has not only jettisoned much of his denomination's Doctrinal Statements,(see his first book Trinity & PROCESS, liberal,unbiblical non-evangelical philosophtheology that is the fountainhead for all his beliefs/books) but publicly teaches and authors books promoting clearly heterodox, aberrant and liberal (Princeton/Yale variety)neo-Processism theories about God's attributes no longer being literally OMNI in nature; theo-repentism, God 'changing as it is beneficial to change' including the Divine Mind/Will; 'the future doesn't exist until free agents create it for God to know as fact';etc.
Where does Boyd get all these ideas? Not from an Inerrant Bible. He believes in 'Limited Infallibility' which is theo-speak for the Bible is error-ridden in matters of science, history, nature, philosophy, biology, geology, etc. It is only 'infallible in matters of faith and practice' according to Boyd (see his Woodland Hills Doctrinal Statement re the Bible). Of course, Boyd does not address in his essay in the book how the Bible can err in matters not relating to faith/practice (things we can see, taste, test, verify), but not err in areas we can't verify. Evangelicals historically have believed the entire Bible relates in one way or another to 'faith & practice', even history, science, nature, etc. If the Word of God can't get the one motif right, how can it get the other one 'without fail'???
If God can author the universe by saying, 'Let there be Light!'
Can't the same Author author a flawless Book and get it right?
Another problem is Boyd's dismissal of a literal, real, eternal hell for the lost. He speculatively advocates a form of annihilationism or reprieve or some other neutralizing of the full force of the Biblical description. (Why he doesn't advocate making similar neutralizing adjustments to the language for the 'Heaven side of Eternity's coin' makes his position even more dubious and lopsidedly inconsistent.) Boyd claims that the Bible's language for hell is contradictory: 'flames of fire' and 'outer darkness' are "mutually exclusive". Boyd can't envision how darkness and flames of fire can co-exist simultaneously.
But genuine Evangelicals can. Look at aerial news footage of a volcano lava flow or forest fire at night. Pitch dark atmosphere, but glow of deadly, devastating fire in the damage path. Dark and fiery at the same time. Boyd cavalierly dismisses the metaphoric language of Jesus Himself in describing the horrors of a real, literal, burning, outer darkness eternal punishment. That's his privilege. But to call his contrived 'non-literal,non-eternal' hell an evangelical belief is Beyond the Bounds of Christian and academic integrity. Revelation says, "They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever", "will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb", "the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever". If anything, the real darkness,literal fire, endless conscious torment of hell vastly exceeds the limits of inerrant Biblical language to convey. The Bible understates the facts, where Boyd would have us believe it overstates/exaggerates the literal truth.
Sorry, Gregory Boyd. We'll stick with Revelation, and what Jesus, John, Peter, Paul, Jude, Isaiah and the Word of God inerrantly declare as fact about eternal conscious punishment.
This book is helpful to see just how far some Christians will go to stretch the tent ropes to include all sorts of contra-Biblical modern theories and presuppositions under the label
'evangelical'. But calling a sterile mule or diseased donkey by the name of Stallion does not make it so.
If this book is compared to "Beyond the Bounds", "God's Lesser Glory", "God Under Fire", "Bound Only Once", "Battle for God" and the forthcoming "God's Greater Glory", Boyd's aberrancy can be clearly documented in detail for the concerned Evangelical.
It is dismaying to see how Boyd's processist philosophy lens has blurred his theological teachings into myopic heterodox nearsightedness. He needs a new Optometrist: the Holy Spirit and a Large Print Bible.
While posing as a 'devil's advocate' of the opposing side on many issues of contemporary Christian Theology, Boyd unwittingly goes too far in his essays revealing his antipathy for the Evangelical position in many cases, especially Inerrancy. He couldn't be more patronizing to true Evangelicals.
Cleverly calling his position 'Infallibilist', he violates his own BGC Affirmation of faith at Bethel College (where he is a professor) and his own church Woodland Hills. BGC clearly states in Affirmation of Faith: Bible is INERRANT. But Boyd slyly and short of intellectual integrity writes the essay refuting Inerrancy in favor of an ERRANT BIBLE. He leaves the reader hanging about apparent discrepancies in the account of the "70(sic) missionaries" in the Gospels. 'Staff or no staff?'
Embarrassingly, not only is Boyd himself ironically ERRANT (it was the 12, not 70!), he fails as a serious scholar to admit this issue has been chewed on and resolved satisfactorily by the Reformers and recent real Evangelical scholars like Geisler (When Critics Ask)and John MacArthur's Study Bible (Luke 9:3). Mark says 'take nothing except a staff'; Matt./Luke say 'do not acquire/go get a staff'. Boyd cries, Aha! Mistake! Gotcha!
Sorry, Gregory. All Jesus is saying without contradiction is basically, "Take along only what you have in hand; if you have your staff, fine. If not, don't go get/buy/procure one. Don't bring anything extra but the sandals on your feet and the clothes on your back." The accounts are most likely composite of several trips or likely Mark is one specific representative trip. All are excerpts. We don't have full transcripts or the whole packing list. Boyd is looking for errors/conflicts when they can readily, plausibly be explained(since Church Fathers).
Why not give the eyewitnesses who were actually there - and the Holy Spirit Himself - the benefit of the doubt?? Fair enough??
Since he rejects his own BGC denomination's Affirmation on Inerrancy, his presuppositions are showing in his 'devil's advocate' essay.
Why his own denomination President Jerry Sheveland or Bethel trustees don't resolve the matter by Boyd's public, repentant retraction or resignation is not Across the Spectrum, but Beyond the Bounds.
This book is Boyd's 'coming out' as clearly NON-Evangelical, aberrant, heterodox, false doctrine, pseudo-theology.
However the book is recommended to see how far some who claim Evangelical status have strayed from the Inerrant Word of God.
Its excellence is not so much in the contents discussed but by the fact that the differences within Evangelicalism are finally laid open for all to examine. In the spirit of Zondervan's "views" books "Across the Spectrum" will only serve to improve academic, intellectual, theological, and philosophical reflection.
Differences in theological issues are many. However, they need not divide but make up the richness of what Roger Olsen calls the Mosaic of Christian belief.
Those who attribute to Boyd malicious ulterior motives are misguided. "Across the Spectrum" to anyone who reads it is not meant as a defense of any particular view. Opposing views are each fairly represented and easy to understand.
Rather than labeling our brethren as heretics for holding diverse viewpoints (within the pale of orthodoxy) and accusing some of attacking God I wish others would look beyond their own insecurities, biases and presuppositions and enter into humble dialog with opposing views.