Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Process Theology’ Category

Roger Olson recently posted a writing at Patheos under the title of “Why I am not a Process Theologian.”[1] However, if he would change his title like, “Why I talk with process theology, although I am not a process theologian,” it would elicit much productive discussion. In his writing, after summarizing ten “essentials of process theology,” Olson criticized in ten views that process theology is not Christian theology. First, Whitehead’s organic metaphysics is more important and valuable than divine revelation. Second, process theology’s Christology is adoptionistic. Third, Trinity is very weak. Fourth, it denies miracles. Fifth, it depends too much on modernity. Sixth, there is no real meaning of petitionary prayer. Seventh, it has “no realistic eschatology.” Eighth, God necessarily depends on the world, not voluntarily. Ninth, salvation is “actualization of God’s ‘initial aim.’” Tenth, it is too difficult to underand.

With regard to theodicy, Olson argued, process theology’s solution, that because God is not omnipotent and human beings have free will, God is not responsible for evil, cannot explain real evil. This kind of God is “enough to be admirable but not worshipful.” Olson suggested not metaphysically limited God but Moltmann’s self-limiting God and recommended Greg Boyd as an open theist.

Philip Clayton responed to Olson’s writing.[2] Instead of criticizing Olson’s description of process theology, Clayton pointed out his dualistic position or “in and out” attitude, “Christian or process.” As Clayton described, there are two types of process theology, i.e., “pure” (orthodox) versions and “impure” (neo-orthodox) verions. Among Olson’s list, Clatyon would accept some positions, because he is “impure” process theologian. Inter alia, self-limiting God is Clayton’s main topic. Olson needs to know multilayered verisons of process theology. He would need an umbrella of relational theology as a “continuum” between open theism and process theology. ‘Drawing a line in the sand’ to keep one’s own position, as Clayton maintained, blocks dialogue.

Rather Clayton actively suggests that “[D]raw on every resource you can find that helps show how Jesus’ message is relevant to today’s world. If a philosophy or theology helps you to live authentically as a Jesus follower, explore it. Let no authority figure tell you what may or may not count as a redemptive analogy.” Following Peter Heltzel’s prophetic spirit, Clayton suggests that “let’s do theology in the city streets… like jazz improvisation,” having open-ended communicative attitude. In both conservative and progressive, to draw lines in order to have pure position could make them lonely islands which cannot communicate each other. If so, what would it be good? We need open-ended dialogue.

To paraphrase an expression of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream,” open theism’s destiny is tied up with process theology’s destiny, so that they must “work together.” This is why I hope he changes the title as “Why I talk with process theology, although I am not a process theologian.” If so, we may joyfully join in his discussion.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

“The supernatural is real; but the supernatural is God, not humanity. In the supernatural reality of God, unbounded in space, unborn and undying, the bounded, fragmentary reality of each of us is imperishably included, a definite quantum in the Life which is all-in-all, or in which ‘we live and move and have our being’” (Acts of the Apostles: 17, 28). Hartshorne, “Omnipotence and other Theological Mistakes,” 49.

Read Full Post »

“In the inescapable flux, there is something that abides; in the overwhelming permanence, there is an element that escapes into flux. Permanence can be snatched only out of flux; and the passing moment can find its adequate intensity only by its submission to permanence. Those who would disjoin the two elements can find no interpretation of patent facts…. The perfect realization is not merely the exemplification of what in abstraction is timeless. It does more: it implants timelessness on what in its essence is passing. The perfect moment is fadeless in the lapse of time. Time has then lost its character of ‘perfectual perishing’; it becomes the ‘moving image of eternity.” Whitehead, “Process and Reality,” 338.

Read Full Post »

Youth

“The deepest definition of Youth is, Life as yet un-touched by tragedy.” (Whitehead)

Read Full Post »

“At the heart of the nature of things, there are always the dream of youth and the harvest of tragedy. The Adventure of the Universe starts with the dream and reaps tragic Beauty. This is the secret of the union of Zest with Peace: That the suffering attains its end in a Harmony of Harmonies. The immediate experience of this Final Fact, with its union of Youth and Tragedy, is the sense of Peace.” (Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas)

Read Full Post »

“Through the perishing occasions in the life of each temporal Creature, the inward source of distaste or of refreshment, the judge arising out of the very nature of things, redeemer or goddess of mischief, is the transformation of Itself, everlasting in the Being of God. In this ways, the insistent craving is justified—the insistent craving that zest for existence be refreshed by the ever-present, unfading importance of our immediate actions, which perish and yet live for evermore.” (PR, 351)

Read Full Post »

“A reflection in a mirror is at once a truthful appearance and a deceptive appearance. The smile of a hypocrite is deceptive, and that of philanthropist may be truthful. But both of them were truly smiling.” (AI, 241)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »