Free Will in Philosophical Theology

Free Will in Philosophical Theology

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  • Published: November 21, 2013
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Page count: 192
  • ISBN: 9781441123312
  • eBook ISBN: 1501308688
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Free Will in Philosophical Theology

Free Will in Philosophical Theology takes the most recent philosophical work on free will and uses it to elucidate and explore theological doctrines involving free will. Rather than being a work of natural theology, it is a work in what has been called clarification-using philosophy to understand, develop, systematize, and explain theological claims without first raising the justification for holding the theological claims that one is working with. Timpe's aim is to show how a particular philosophical account of the nature of free will-an account known as source incompatibilism-can help us understand a range of theological doctrines.


“This is a splendid contribution to the literature on free will. Set in the borderlands between philosophy and theology, Timpe's work shows how a substantial vision of free will can be integrated into a robust account of sin and grace. The concepts deployed are clear, the arguments articulated are felicitous, and the overall result is a book worthy of our closest attention.” –  William J. Abraham, Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University,

“Kevin Timpe applies the insights of his previous excellent work on the nature of free will to a number of central topics in the Biblical drama, from the fall to heaven and hell. The result is a first rate contribution to philosophical theology that is as theologically rich and illuminating as it is philosophically rigorous.” –  Jerry L. Walls, Scholar in Residence, Houston Baptist University, USA,

“In this volume Kevin Timpe sets out to “tell a theological story philosophically.” This story concerns the place occupied by discussion of free will in Christian theology. It is a story told from a certain perspective, what he calls “philosophical Arminianism,” a version of libertarianism. By attending to some of the most fundamental difficulties in the Christian tradition -- problems such as the origin of sin, human freedom in relation to salvation by divine grace, the freedom of those in heaven and and those in hell, and God's freedom -- Timpe offers his readers a rich and powerful case for thinking about contemporary theological concerns in a philosophical key. Clearly written and carefully argued, this is analytic theology at its best.” –  Oliver Crisp, Professor of Systematic Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA,

“Philosophy of religion and questions concerning free will constitute two of the most vibrant areas in philosophy today. In Free Will and Philosophical Theology Kevin Timpe combines the two. He proposes a version of source incompatibilism – free will means that you, the agent, are the ultimate cause of your choices – and then, with this brand of libertarianism in place, attempts to analyze issues, problems, and puzzles involving free will and traditional Christian doctrine. His topics include the primal sin, grace, the freedom of the damned and the beatified, and divine freedom. These issues are perennial for the Christian thinker, but, to my knowledge, Timpe's is the first contemporary work to bring them all together in a single analytic volume. The volume makes a real contribution to contemporary analytic philosophy of religion.” –  Katherin A. Rogers, Professor of Philosophy, University of Delaware, USA,

“There is much to admire in Kevin Timpe's book. It brings philosophers and Christian theologians into deeper conversation about such issues of shared interest as autonomy, responsibility, meaning, and value. […] We look forward to further discussion of the issues that Timpe has so boldly and brilliantly taken. Even if one disagrees with some of the views he defends, this book is highly valuable since it sets out a coherent and attractive position with clarity and skill.” –  Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (reviewed by Derk Pereboom, Cornell University, and Leigh Vicens, Augustana College)

“[T]houghtful, well-researched and well-argued ...That is not to say, of course, that [Timpe] lays the topics to rest; they will continue to be controversial, just as the very existence of free will remains controversial. But anyone concerned with one or more of these questions will find Timpe's thoughts about them well worth considering ... Disagreements of this sort in no way detract from the excellence of Timpe's accomplishment in his book; rather, they underscore that excellence by showing how the book provides fodder for further reflection. The work deserves careful consideration by all theologians and philosophers who are engaged with the important problems it addresses.” –  Journal of Analytic Theology



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