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Clark H. Pinnock (Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker, February 3, 1937—) is a Christian theologian, apologist and author. He is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at McMaster Divinity Collegemarker.

Education and Career

Pinnock was born in Torontomarker, Canadamarker on February 3, 1937. He grew up in a liberal Baptist congregation. Pinnock recounts that as a child he had little interest in the church. Even though he was brought up in Liberal Christianity, he later became part of the broad Evangelical tradition, and has explored Reformed, Arminian and Pentecostal streams of thought.

Pinnock describes his shifts in thought as a pilgrimage:"So I do not apologize for admitting to being on a pilgrimage in theology, as if it were in itself some kind of weakness of intelligence or character. Feeling our way toward the truth is the nature of theological work even with the help of Scripture, tradition and community …. A pilgrimage, therefore, far from being unusual or slightly dishonorable, is what we would expect theologians who are properly aware of their limitations to experience."

Pinnock studied in the Ancient Near Eastern Studies program at the University of Torontomarker and in 1960 he was graduated. Because he was very outstanding, he then was awarded both a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to Harvardmarker and a British Commonwealth Scholarship to Englandmarker. Pinnock decided to go to England to study under F.F. Bruce at Manchester Universitymarker. The dissertation for his Ph.D was “The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in St. Paul”. Several years later, in 1965, he joined the faculty of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. From 1969 to 1974 Pinnock taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, and from 1974 to 1977 at Regent College in Vancouver. He taught at McMaster Divinity College from 1977 until his retirement in 2002.


Three controversial elements of Pinnock's evolving theology in recent years have been his affirmation of open theism; whether God may be somehow embodied so as to be able to adequately relate to bodied creatures; and God's love being His dominant attribute necessitates lovingly obliterating Gospel-rejecters. This is the annihilationist view of hell that says that unsaved persons will experience extinction rather than eternal conscious torment. Norman Geisler and Roger Nicole questioned whether Pinnock's views are compatible with the Evangelical Theological Society's affirmation of biblical inerrancy. The issue of whether Pinnock, along with John E. Sanders, should be removed from the membership of that organization was brought to a vote in November 2003. Pinnock maintained that he did affirm the Society's doctrinal statement. After clarifying his views to the satisfaction of Nicole, the motion to remove Pinnock failed to reach the two-thirds majority for his removal (67.1% voted to retain him in the Society; Sanders was retained on a close vote).

See also

External links

Critical Assessments

  • Rex Koivisto, "Clark Pinnock and Inerrancy: A Change in Truth Theory?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 24 (1981)pp. 138–151.
  • Gannon Murphy, "A Critical Analysis of the Openness Theology of Clark H. Pinnock Toward A Reformed Reconstruction of Divine-Human Relationality" Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Wales, Lampeter, 2006. Published, with a foreword by Pinnock, as Consuming Glory: A Classical Defense of Divine-Human Relationality Against Open Theism, Gannon Murphy, Wipf & Stock, 2006, ISBN 1-59752-843-9
  • Robert M. Price, "Clark H. Pinnock: Conservative and Contemporary," Evangelical Quarterly 60 (1988) pp. 157–183.
  • Robert V. Rakestraw, "Clark H. Pinnock" in Baptist Theologians, edited by Timothy George and David S. Dockery, Broadman Press, Nashville, 1990, pp. 660–684.
  • Ray C. W. Roennfeldt, "Clark H. Pinnock on Biblical Authority" Ph.D. Dissertation: Andrews University, Berrien Springs, 1993. Published with a foreword by Pinnock, Andrews University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-943872-70-7
  • Bruce A. Ware, "Defining Evangelicalism's Boundaries Theologically: Is Open Theism Evangelical?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 45 (2) (June 2002) pp. 193–212. [122539]
And Pinnock's reply essay to Ware -- "There Is Room For Us: A Reply to Bruce Ware" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 45 (2) (June 2002) pp. 213–220. [122540]
  • Nicholas Wolterstorff, "Is Reason Enough? A Review Essay," Reformed Review (April 1981)pp. 20–24.
  • Tony Gray and Christopher Sinkinson, eds. Reconstructing Theology: A Critical Assessment of the Theology of Clark Pinnock. Carlisle, Cumbria: Paternoster Press, 2000.
  • Ronald H. Nash, "Is Jesus the Only Savior?" Part Two: INCLUSIVISM (1994) pp. 103-175. ISBN 0-310-44391-1


  • A Defense of Biblical Infallibility, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, Philadelphia, 1967.
  • Set Forth Your Case, Craig Press, Nutley, New Jersey, 1968.
  • Biblical Revelation: The Foundation of Christian Theology, Moody Press, Chicago, 1971.
  • and David F. Wells (eds), Toward a Theology for the Future, Creation House, Carol Stream, Illinois, 1971.
  • Live Now, Brother, Moody Press, Chicago, 1972.
  • Truth on Fire: The Message of Galatians, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1972.
  • (ed), Grace Unlimited, Bethany Fellwoship, Minneapolis, 1975.
  • Reason Enough: A Case for the Christian Faith, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, 1980.
  • The Scripture Principle, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1984; revised with Barry L. Callen, Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, 2006.
  • Three Keys to Spiritual Renewal, Bethany House, Minneapolis, 1985.
  • (ed), The Grace of God, The Will of Man: A Case For Arminianism, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1989.
  • Tracking the Maze: An Evangelical Perspective on Modern Theology, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1990.
  • and Delwin Brown, Theological Crossfire: An Evangelical-Liberal Dialogue, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1990.
  • A Wideness in God's Mercy: The Finality of Jesus Christ in a World of Religions, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1992.
  • The Openness of God, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, 1994.
  • and Robert C. Brow, Unbounded Love: A good news theology for the twenty-first century, Paternoster, Carlisle UK/InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, 1994.
  • Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, 1996.
  • and John B. Cobb, Searching for an Adequate God: A Dialogue Between Process and Free Will Theists, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2000.
  • Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God's Openness, Paternoster, Carlisle UK/Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2001.

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