Creating A God In Our Image, The Neotheism of Harold Eberle

Neotheism is…

  1. the focus of God at the individual level, rather than the universe as a whole. A Neotheist believes by helping themselves they are helping others, for all are God and God is in all.
  2. the belief that God is temporal, changing, and complex (as opposed to simple in His being). God has potential to become and does not have infallible knowledge of future free choices.  God does not have absolute control of the world and is capable of learning.
  3. the belief that God does not have exhaustive knowledge, because of man’s freewill, although He may be able to predict with great accuracy the choices we will freely make.
  4. a combination of theism, panentheism, open theism, and process theology
  5. a modern assault on the nature of God
  6. a foundation for heresy

Harold Eberle just released a new book called Father-Son Theology.   Here are a few quotes from the book. Words in bold are my emphasis except where noted.  But first…..

On page vii Jonathan Welton says…

“Martin Luther changed the world with his 95 Thesis, John Calvin did it again with Institutes, and Harold Eberle will dramatically shift the cold distant view of God to the correct view of a loving Father bringing forth sons through his work, Father-Son Theology.”

On page 7, Eberle acknowledges the entire staff of Bethel Church in Redding, California.

And now some quotes

“Instead of identifying my use of the Bible with either inerrancy or infallibility, I will use terminology that has recently become popular among Bible teachers who hold to the validity of Scriptures.  I take the Bible seriously (Eberle’s emphasis not mine). Page 17

“Indeed, God fills the heavens and earth.  However, we must be careful as Western-minded people not to force biblical revelation into our Western framework.  If we are going to analyze Jeremiah 23:24 with critical thought as Socrates taught, we would question whether or not “heavens and earth” includes every realm.  Is hell in the heavens or earth ? We can also ask, “Is God in Satan’s heart ?” Both of these questions open to us the possibility that God is not omnipresent in the Western sense of the word.” pp 108,109

“If we insist that God is omnipresent, we are saying that God is incapable of removing Himself from any aspect of His creation.  If we insist that God is omniscient, then we are saying that God has to know everything, and He has no choice in the matter.  Since there is no Bible verse that says God is omnipresent or omniscient, maybe we should forget those attributes and cling to His sovereignty, which the Bible does say is one of His attributes.”  Page 110

“Of course, we all want to think God is perfect in every way.  Some would consider it sacrilegious to even question this attribute, but there is something to gain if we dare question it.  Truths are often revealed by considering the alternatives.” Page 113

“The Classical/Reformed idea that God is wholly other is not in the Bible.  The overall message of the Bible is not that God is different and unreachable to humanity.  The Bible actually emphasizes how humans are like God.  Adam and Eve were created in His image and likeness.  God breathed His own spirit (ruach, in Hebrew) into humanity (Gen 2:7).  In Acts 17:27, Paul explained that God is very near to every human being.  Of course, God is greater than humanity, but the Bible does not tell us that God is wholly other.” Page 118

“Immutable, impassable, perfect, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, self-sufficient, transcendent, wholly other, immanent, unknowable and incomprehensible…..

The only characteristic in the above list that can be supported by Scripture is God’s immanence.” Page 122

“The Bible reveals God as our Healer, our Peace, our Righteousness, and our Shepherd.  God is like Jesus.  He is our Father.  He is like honey.  These are Hebraic thoughts.  This is what the Bible reveals.” Page 123

“A second reason that God may limit Himself is because He desires relationship with His children.  If God existed throughout time within creation, He would know beforehand everything that His people do.  Therefore, it would be impossible for Him to respond to people or empathize with them.  If God filled all of time, He could never experience hope or the joy of watching His children grow.  Perhaps, then, God has chosen to limit Himself in time for the purpose of relationship with His children.” Page 158

“The disagreements concerning God’s knowledge are primarily focused on His knowledge about the future.  Classical/Reformed teachers believe that God knows the future perfectly.  In theological terms, God has exhaustive knowledge of everything, including the future, according to Classical/Reformed theology. Adherents of Father-Son theology and open theism question this.  They believe that the future does not yet exist and God cannot exist in something that does not exist.  Therefore, God does not fill the future.  Since God does not fill the future, it is possible that there are some things about the future that He does not know.” Page 169

Rather than totally rejecting the concept of evolution, Bible-believing Christians should, at the very least, note the God-given ability of plants and animals to adapt to their environment and change within their own kind. Note, however, the source of the power causing the change.  According to the theory of evolution, all changes that happen to plants and animals are due to chance mutations followed by natural selection.  It is believed that natural selection allows the beneficial mutations to continue and, therefore, be passed on to offspring.  This understanding does not recognize any force pushing living things in a positive direction.  Instead, only chance mutations, selected through the survival of the fittest are assumed to move organisms forward.

In contrast, all Christians who believe the Bible should recognize a God-created force moving living things in the direction of survival and advancement.  Not only is there the possibility of change through mutation and natural selection, but there is also a positive force predetermined by the word of God.  He commanded life to come forth, and He blessed all living things.  Life will do whatever it takes to fulfill God’s command.  Scientists may have identified a force and a direction for life, but they cannot tell us why this force exists or from whence it comes.  Only theology can give the answer: plants and animals evolve because God has spoken.” Page 238

End of quotes.

These quotes are a fraction of what I underlined in just the first 240 pages….the book is over 750 pages long.

Open theism, partial preterism, theistic evolution……Are these the teachings of a new Martin Luther or Calvin ?

Diminish the nature of God.

Dilute the Word of God

Delete the Cross.

Are these the tenets of a new Reformation ?

Or the foundation of another Jesus ?

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 1 Timothy 4