Re: Process Theology

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2001 - 13:55:41 EDT

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    >>Dear friends: Will someone please explain for this benighted
    individual what "Process
    Theology" entails, and how it differs from "Biblical Theology" ?

    The easiest way to understand this is do what I did, do a Google search
    on the term and read rather thoroughly the first 6 or 8 citations. I
    don't wish to "put you off," but it was not until I did this, and the
    process too several weeks (May-June of this year) that I finally was able
    to get my head around the concept. Even now, I don't think I'm really
    able to do more than point out a few attributes of how it differs from --
    say -- Presbyterianism.

    1. Creation ex-Nihilo is denied, as non-biblical is one reason given.
    That doctrine is "blamed" for all the problems of theodicy. Just why, I
    have not (yet) figured out.

    2. God's actions in the universe are "persuasive," rather than
    "Coercive." I like this part of the theology, for it explains free will
    much better than orthodox Christianity.

    3. God is perceived a having the universe as "part of him." Pantheism is
    the doctrine that the two are the same; process theology uses the term
    "PanENtheism." ("EN" is my emphasis).

    4. I have a review (still in draft form and pretty rough) of Griffin's
    book on my web site (page 2) and some of the attributes of process
    theology are discussed there.

    5. God is in process, as is His universe. He is not omnipotent, and there
    are things that happen in the universe about which he is powerless to

    6. There is no certain hope that God and righteousness will prevail in
    the end.

    7. There is much in common between process theology and open theism, but
    I have difficulty separating the two of them yet. They appear to come
    from different disciplines. A Google search on open theism was helpful
    in getting at least some idea of the concept, but most citations were
    people arguing furiously, usually with more heat than light, against the

    Hope that helps.

    John Burgeson (Burgy)
           (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
            humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)

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