Sad news on Clark Pinnock

He has informed people he is in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s.   In a personal note to friends he wrote:

Dear Tom and John:

I want to inform you that I am now middle stage Alzheimer’s. I will not be able to do my writing etc. I am 73 years now, and I’ve enjoyed my biblical three score and ten. I am not bitter. I have had a good life. I’ll meet you over Jordan if not before.

You are free to make this news known.

With love,

Clark

Pinnock is a theological giant who has contributed much to Christian Theology.  In particular, he contributed to the development of Open Theism or the Openness of God theology, which he considered most faithful to Scripture.

In part:

Open theology rejects traditional theologies that portray God as an aloof monarch. Influential theologians of yesteryear often portrayed God as completely unchangeable, ultimately all determining, and irresistible. By contrast, Pinnock says the biblical vision presents a loving God who seeks relationship with free creatures. “The Christian life involves a genuine interaction between God and human beings,” he says. “We respond to God’s gracious initiatives and God responds to our responses . . . and on it goes.”

The future is not entirely settled, according to Open theology. This means that while God knows all possibilities, God does not know with certainty what free creatures will actually do until creatures act. Classic views of God’s foreknowledge are incompatible with creaturely freedom, says Pinnock. “If choices are real and freedom significant,” he argues, “future decisions cannot be exhaustively known.”

Open theology does affirm that God is all knowing. God knows all things knowable. Believers should not understand divine omniscience as the idea God possesses exhaustive foreknowledge of all future events, says Pinnock. After all, future possible events are not yet actual.

So sad to hear of this – Alzheimer’s is such a hard and difficult sickness for both the one who has it and for family and caregivers.  Usually one of two things tends to happen: either the person gets violent because they do not know what is going on or they become totally incapacitated.  So it is sad to hear of this happening to someone of Pinnock’s stature.

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8 responses to “Sad news on Clark Pinnock

  1. Thank you for sharing this about Clark Pinnock. I was nearly taken to tears reading (and had trouble telling my wife). He is a brilliant theologian and prolific writer. I disagree with SO many things and find him to be a theologian that I completely reject (though I still read his books), but to hear such a thing of someone so influential is quite sad. I pray the Lord be gracious to him and his family in this time.

  2. Thank you Clark for disagreeing with tradition and yet exhibiting the greatest gift, which is love. Although I find myself more in the “traditional” camp, I’m finding it more true the older I get that love seems to be a missing quality in those who hold the Christian traditional view. Maranatha…the day we can put all the Armenian, Calvinist, Catholic, fundemetalists, and on and on….labels, aside. The heaviest “burden” I look forward to laying down.

  3. Clark and Dorothy were spared many months, perhaps years of suffering. God called home this Giant of a Man this afternoon and it is a loss that will be felt in our community for a very long time.

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