Clark Pinnock

Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), professor Emeritus of Christian Interpretation, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, is an evangelical theologian and primary proponent of the Openness of God movement.

Pinnock received his PhD in New Testament at Manchester University in 1963 under F.F. Bruce. Originally a Calvinist, Pinnock migrated to a generally Arminian theology. 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.

He has authored numerous books including, A Wideness in God's Mercy (1992), co-edited The Openness of God (1994), and Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God's Openness (2001). In addition to his controversial open theism, Pinnock has argued for annihilationism versus an eternal Hell and an inclusivism wherein Christianity is uniquely true but people of other faiths can be saved without explicit belief in Jesus Christ.

Controversial theology

The two most controversial elements of Pinnock's theology in recent years has been his affirmation of Open Theism and his affirmation of an annihilationist view of hell that says that the unsaved 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. As a result Pinnock, along with John Sanders, on the issue of whether they 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 required two-thirds majority by a sizable margin (Sanders was also retained albeit on a close vote). It is fair to say that Pinnock remains a controversial figure among evangelical theologians. ^[1]^

Selected publications

  • The Scripture Principle: Reclaiming the Full Authority of the Bible, 2nd ed. Baker Academic, 2006.
  • Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God's Openness. Baker Academic, 2001.
  • Grace Unlimited. Wipf & Stock, 1999.
  • Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit. IVP, 1996.
  • A Wideness in God's Mercy. Zondervan, 1992.
  • Tracking the Maze: Finding Our Way Through Modern Theology from an Evangelical Perspective. HarperCollins, 1990.


  1. ? Closing the door on open theists? ETS to examine whether Clark Pinnock and John Sanders can remain members, _Christianity Today_

See also

Online writings