Re: Response to Howard on Tillich & Bultmann -- follow up

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 13:15:28 EDT

  • Next message: Rich Blinne: "RE: Response to Howard on Tillich & Bultmann"

    Thanks for your responses, they were very helpful.
    Here is an area where you can perhaps help me make a
    distinction that I am finding quite hard to make since
    much of this seems semantics.

    Kenotic views of God, as I understand them, view God
    as self-limiting. Griffin seems to take a step past
    this and say that God _cannot_ do X or Y rather than
    God chooses not to at a fundamental level because of
    the nature of Creation and His purposes.

    In the kenotic view, once choices are made at an
    ontological level, consistent limitations flow from
    those choices on how God interacts with the world --
    the interaction of which still may involve things that
    have been thought of as supernatural, but are really
    within the kenotic framework of the created order and
    thus not supernatural in the way the term is perhaps
    misunderstood (I think the use of the term
    supernatural seems primarily a semantic distinction
    and not really useful in any practical effect). It
    seems that one can have a kenotic view of God but not
    assume on the other hand that "God can do anything"
    given the limitations inherent in His choices. Of
    course this gets into theodicy questions about such a
    God, wherein I think one ultimately faces Liebniz's
    conclusion, albeit paraphrased, that this is the sort
    of world necessary to effectuate God's purposes for
    this world (and perhaps the best one in that sense).
    Again, that is a different view of God than a God who
    is incapable because of its limited nature or limited
    ontological relationship to Creation, rather than the
    kenotic relationship God has chosen as the perhaps
    only or best means to achieve His ends.

    What would compel one (you?) to go past that kenotic
    understanding to Griffin's? Ironically, it seems
    Griffin is making stronger claims about the nature of
    God than orthodox christianity generally does.

    Can you provide a good reference for his reasons for
    assuming that creation is not ex nihilio? I have
    taken him not to be a panentheist as such, although at
    least in panentheism you have a necessary relationship
    between the Universe and God that may also place
    limits on God.

    BTW, I am still interested in what your take on
    Griffin's stance re parapsychological phenomena is.

    Thanks for your indulgence.

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