clark h. pinnock (1937-)

some basic information

collected by Robert Brow   (web site -

(October 1998. Corrections and additions would be welcome.)


Pinnock's interest in the Wycliffe Bible Translators led him to study Hebrew and Greek for an Honours BA at the University of Toronto. (Most of the above is extracted from "An Interview with Clark Pinnock" by John Stackhouse, Canadian Evangelical Review, Number 15, Fall 1997)

some publications by clark pinnock

a note on the theology of clark pinnock

In all his books Pinnock has been careful to point out his debt to many other twentieth century writers. The Social Trinity was argued for example by Leonard Hodgson, Cornelius Plantinga, Wolfhart Pannenberg, and many others. Theiosis is celebrated by Madeleine L'Engle. Philip Yancey wrote Disappointment with God (Zondervan, 1988). Hell as a free choice was set out by C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce (1945). The Church as charismatic body of gifted members was argued by Arnold Bittlinger in Gifts and Ministries (Eerdmans, 1967), and by Robert Brow, The Church: An Organic Picture of Is Life and Missions (Eerdmans, 1968).

The ten components of Creative Love Theism unite into one theological stream the Greek Orthodox vision of theiosis, the Wesleyan emphasis on God's intention to perfect us in love, the theological renewal in the Roman Catholic Church begun by Pope John XXIII, and the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement. But as Pinnock points out, in terms of human experience our first contact with God is by the creativity of the Holy Spirit, and other components of this model are understood later.

In this century of the Holy Spirit more and more Evangelicals are expressing one or more of the ten components of Creative Love Theism in their songs and liturgies and popular writing. It is time for us to recognize the work of Clark Pinnock in giving us the theological tools needed to recognize, and attempt an explanatory model, of what God is doing.

Beginning with Grace Unlimited (1975) and The Grace of God and the Will of Man (1989), followed by A Wideness in God's Mercy (1992) and The Openness of God (1994), Clark Pinnock has systematically worked at a twentieth century model of Creative Love Theism (defined in Unbounded Love: A Good News Theology for the 21st Century, InterVarsity/Paternoster Press, 1994, p.8). The model has at least ten components:

  1. God as a Social Trinity
  2. Theiosis and God's Love for all people
  3. The consequent Openness of God
  4. The Cross as a subsection of the Love of God
  5. Hell as a free choice of eternal death
  6. A Family Model of the Atonement
  7. The Cross as the outcome of God's sacrificial love.
  8. The Creativity of the Holy Spirit
  9. The Church as a Charismatic Body
  10. Ethics as an expression of the love, joy, dance, play and celebration of the heart of God

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