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Paperback Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View Book

ISBN: 0880700246

ISBN13: 9780880700245

Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View

(Part of the Critical Concern Series)

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Book Overview

Does God have a perfect will for each Christian? Does it matter? Can you be absolutely sure of God's individual will for your life? In an easy-to-follow narrative style, Garry Friesen examines the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Game changing!

I truly appreciated the author's attention to detail in drawing out each point he made, which I believe is completely necessary to help Christians who are SO entrenched in the "traditional" way of thinking and doing God's will see and understand what exactly they have been living by and why it is wrong and NOT Biblical. If you are tired of feeling exasperated in wondering if you are in God's will and thinking that He's upset with you for not being precisely in that will for your life, then read this book! You'll come to realize, as I did, that you've been carrying a burden that you were never intended to carry. It's very difficult to filter through the sea of teachings today and be a good Berean, but this book is a breath of fresh air in helping guide believers in walking the Christian life. I've read other, shorter books on the subject, but after reading this, the shorter books seemed simplistic and lacking in depth. Maybe I'm just a details person, and honestly, the thickness of the book was intimidating until I started reading it. Also know there are reviews in the back on other books of the topic, a study guide for a small group, and other great info, so it's not as long as it seems. The author's approach was like having a Paul personally guide a Timothy on the subject. Absolutely recommend!!

Too much fluff.

Way too many words to explain something simple. Takes a while to get to the point. It’s really boring. In a nutshell just decide what you want make a plan and take action. Readjust along the way. Simple.

Fantastic! The traditional system is taken to task.

Having Dr. Friesen (Th.D and Ph.D) as a professor has, perhaps, made me biased to him. But if I am biased to him at all, it is because of his experience, wisdom, and scholarly acumen through which I have been persuaded to his position. The essential premise of Dr. Friesen's proposal is linked to an analysis of a triple-distinction of God's will: Sovereign (a hidden, absolute decree that ensures all events are ultimately finding their telos in God) Moral (God's will as outlined in the narratives of scripture) and God's individual will (that is, God's specific plan for each individual.) Dr. Friezen agrees with the first two while rejecting the third. This does not mean that God does not factor in individual life, have special responsibilities for individuals, or that the actions of individuals have no consequence. Rather he outlines several basic principles: Where God commands we obey, Where there is no command there is freedom, In all things wisdom should be applied. Essentially what Dr. Friezen is trying to refute is the notion that direct, apocalyptic or epiphanous revelation needs to occur for all specific decisions, e.g, "Should I go to this college...", or "Shall I eat toast?" In the traditional view (described as a dot at the center of God's moral, revealed will by Dr. Friezen) there is a singular, perfect action a person could take in any situation, one which needs to be discovered through (more thoroughly spoken of in the book) prayer, inner feelings, council, "open doors," etc... The problem with this method is that it breeds indecision and frustration. I myself have never received a theophany with divine commands pouring through tongues of fire, nor, indeed, have I ever received an unambiguous, direct response to a request for guidance by God. Friezen attributes this to the excessively subjective nature of the traditional methodology. Namely that council, even wise council, is subjective. Inner impressions, peace "from," the "Holy Spirit?" Subjective, and, under the scrutiny of an honest appraisal, "inner impressions," lead as often to failure as success. "Open doors?"...Subjective, and indeed, there is the question on perception of the so called door (what if there are two mutually viable options? What if this metaphorical door is only "half" open? Should we open it more? Close it? What if the perception of the "door," is really a "hallucination," by an immature Christian? What about instances of Paul rejecting what he saw as an open door because he saw other opportunity...) Nor indeed, (again, referenced from the book,) can we simply "add up," or cluster these so called "signposts," to see if they point in the same direction, for if the individual samples of a population set are subjective, the whole itself will be subjective. Moreover, we cannot take instances of direct divine command and persuasion in the bible as prescriptive or normative for today. Indeed, one of the basic mutilations Christians bring over the Biblical

True Principles Concerning the Will of God

This book is most relevant for all Christians who believe that the Bible truly is an accurate account of communication from the true and living God to all of humanity. The topic is quite important and very relevant in day-to-day living. It is difficult to give this book too high of a recommendation. I believe that it is the very best book, by far, written on the topic of "the will of God". The author, Garry Friesen, has written the entire book with an irenic spirit regarding those people who have a differing view. The book is lengthy, but that is a result of a detailed analysis of all of the relevant issues and passages of Scripture. I had read the original edition over 20 years ago. Although that book was excellent, this one is even better. As a young adult and a new Christian, I was taught the so-called "perfect or individual will of God" theory. Through the years, I have constantly read accounts and heard people use words and make decisions based on this (false) belief. All of the books and magazine articles which I've read, and sermons that I've heard, which advocate the "perfect or individual will of God" theory have all begun by assuming this view to be true, and then proceed to give directions about how to actually find God's will. None of them have ever begun with a detailed analysis of Scripture in an attempt to justify the original theory. In direct contrast, Friesen does begin with a careful analysis of the relevant passages of Scripture, and then bases his general principles upon them. He gives a detailed, clear and thorough refutation of the "perfect or individual will of God" theory and also briefly states that the theory is relatively new, not having been advocated or taught by anyone prior to around the year 1875. A very useful 45-page appendix gives book reviews of 15 books written on this topic, and more reviews are available from Friesen's internet website. One of the books reviewed is the very popular "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby. Almost ten years ago I read and studied that book, and I was dismayed by the very bad methodology used in it. The "critiques" given by Friesen further added to my strong conviction that the principles taught in Blackaby's book are bad and wrong, that is, they are simply not drawn from a careful analysis of Scripture. Throughout "Decision Making and the Will of God", there are various charts and diagrams which are quite helpful to remember the basic principles. The beneficial footnotes, which give further information of detailed discussions, exemplify the depth and breadth of the author's analysis of this topic. There is a lengthy Scripture index provided. A study guide gives helpful insights about how to use this book as the basis for a group study. Apart from the Word of God itself, no other book has been more beneficial to me in my Christian life. As I previously said, the book is long. However, for every Christian who sincerely desires to lead a li

This book may change your preconceived notions

I think discovering God's will is one of the most difficult tasks any Christian must experience, and there are always doubts whether or not we are in the "center" of this "nailing jello to the wall" will. This book might just change the way you view the way we can follow God in a godly manner. Friesen takes a view that God sometimes gives freedom in decisions. We might be given several possibilities, both of which God can work in our lives. He does not force the issue, but through circumstances and other criteria, we can make wise, biblical decisions and realize that we have made godly decisions. This book has been a great help in my life, as I am a Type A personality who too often tries to figure out every nuance of God and the way He works. Forget it, it just can't be done. By changing my persepective, it has helped me to be more free so that I can experience God completely and have the abundant life as so promised by Christ Himself. If nothing else, the book will make you think through your preconceived notions.

Excellent, Biblically sound look at making tough choices

You've heard it all before. You want to ask a girl out, but you don't know whether God wants you to ask that girl out. A friend wants to spend his summer on a mission trip, but after praying to know God's will in the situation he has received no clear response, so he lets the deadline for application pass. Another friend doesn't know whether God would have him go to university or Bible college. Conventional Christian wisdom says that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life; the secret to the victorious Christian life, you think, is discovering what God's ideal is for you and following it.Think again.At least, that is the message of Garry Friesen's Decision Making and the Will of God. This wonderf ul book is a critique of what Friesen calls the "traditional" view of decision making: that God has an "individual will" for each life, a sort of agenda. To be within the will of God is to discover (through, prayer, inner peace, seeking mature counsel, laying out "fleeces," and so forth) what that agenda is, and stick to it. Missing out on God's agenda isn't necessarily living in sin, but it is settling for God's second best.Friesen points out many of the serious deficiencies in this model. First, it is not to be found in the Bible. The proof-texts given by traditional-view proponents to defend God's individual will are often better interpreted as referring to God's moral will - that is, right and wrong. While the traditional view is stressed for the "biggie" decisions, such as marriage or vocation, it is ignored for the regular decisions we make every day, such as what to eat or wear. When faced with otherwise equal choices, the traditional view insists only one of them is God's will, causing indecision. Since subjective impressions are self-justifying, there is no basis for disputing an immature believer's impression of God's will for his life, even if that decision seems foolhardy. And subjective impressions are just that, subjective - the traditional view cannot allow for conflicting impressions amongst equally sincere believers.Instead, Friesen provides an alternative model for decision making that he calls "the way of wisdom." Truly, however, this is only an "alternative" because the "traditional" view is taken for granted. The way of wisdom goes like this: Apart from the circumstances of any individual decisions, all the tools needed to make those decisions are to be found in the Scriptures, which reflect the moral will of God. The Bible encourages believers to pursue certain values and attitudes, and to avoid others. Beyond these regulations, choices may be freely made. God does not micro-manage the life-paths of each believer, but like our earthly fathers do, he expects his children to mature and to learn to make wise decisions for themselves. The Bible admonishes its readers to seek not God's individual will, but the wisdom to make good decisions. Consequently the apostles rarely made any dec

Life Changing - a must read for any Christian

Growing up I was indoctrinated with year after year of "listen to the still small voice" and "God has a plan for your life". Of course there was also the "seek God's will" for any decision. As the writer so clearly lays out, this constant search for God's will when making any and all decisions leads to tremendous frustration and even eventual apathy. That is why this book is so essential for Christians to read. It lays out a framework for not only understanding the elements of God's will but how to use it to make decisions. The concepts presented are almost scary to some christians - they will challenge you to review scriptures and concepts that you learned long ago and now take for granted. If you read it with an open mind, your concept of decision making within the context of God's will will be forever changed. The freedom and release from anxiety are the real benefits from digesting this material.
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