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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Jul 30, 2006.
Has anyone ever heard of this? And does anyone agree with this?
I didn't know it had a name, but it's not unusual. Just disturbing (to me).
Dr. Robert Morey had a book on the subject about a dozen years ago called " The Battle Of The Gods " . It's a great read . It turns out that process theologians are just more consistent Arminians . They follow the logical extent of the Arminian system .
Yes, ,certainly have heard of Process Theology. But I doubt whether there are many who are devoted to its perspectives today. It had a following ca. 40-50 years ago in certain schools of thought related to the Wesleyan tradition. I think we can see that it was/is an attempt to focus on God-in-relationship more than what it characterized as "classic" ideas of the otherness of God. Not the sort of thing that would ever gain a popular following, I'd suspect.
I have a member in the apologetics class I teach at my church who is clearly panentheistic, and says so quite forcefully. But needless, perhaps, to say, he cannot succeed in persuading others to follow his point of view.
How can anyone believe this and call themselves Christians?
One common way for folks to do so is to say "but that's not what I mean." When the theology is nonsense to begin with, that is a built-in escape hatch. Hanging them for heresy is like trying to nail Jello to the wall.
Yes, I learned about it in seminary. I think Whitehead was one of the pioneers of this view, at least in articulating it. It is definitely neo-orthodox.
The part about reality being a series of experiences reminds me of Buddhism and of the New Age somewhat.
Although Process Theology as a school of thought may not exist that much anymore, parts of it show up in Open Theism (such as the view that God changes and is not totally in charge).
Also, panentheism is making a comeback, although some people who believe in it either don't know the word or don't use it. Many of the mystics were or sound panentheistic and they are being quoted more and more today as though they were authoritative about the Christian life. The New Age is both pantheistic and panentheistic and has permeated much of the culture and is getting into the church as well. Episcopal priest Matthew Fox (The Coming of the Cosmic Christ) does use the word panentheism to describe his views, and he's influenced quite a few people.
So I don't think we can kiss these views good-bye yet.
Process theology is certainly a thing of the past, however, panentheistic views of Christianity will certainly be around for a long time. For those interested in a concise primary work I recommend Cobb and Griffen's "Process Theology" (have a dictionary handy for that one), but really some good secondary sources will suffice for those merely curious about the subject. Grenz and Olsen's "20th Century Theology" covers process theology among many other things in a fair manner.
As to panentheism, the works of Jurgen Moltmann are very interesting. I suppose I should include the disclaimer that his views are unorthodox (unbaptistdox?).
You are right about Whitehead and about the attachments to New Age thought and to Buddhism. But I do not understand the label of "definitely neo-orthodox". Cannot imagine either Barth, with his thunder against all forms of idolatry and his profound Biblicism, or Brunner, with his Christocentric vision, espousing process theology.
Sorry, I meant unorthodox! Sorry about the confusion.:wavey:
Feels a whole lot better!!
Iin response to the person who wondered how anyone could hold panentheistic beliefs and call himself a Christian ... the member of my class who is in this category clearly says he does not consider himself a Christian, but believes he is a Jesus-follower (in terms of ethics). Sort of like Thomas Jefferson, who cut up his Bible to remove all the Christological references and just leave the ethical teachings of Jesus (as if they really can be separated).
Many of the "Christian" mystics were panentheistic and some of the postmoderns Christians sound panentheistic as well. But I need time to get info on that latter one.
Well, I guess the Process Theologians are still around! A prominent Process Theologian has just published a book alleging that the US is behind the 9/11 attacks!
I started a thread on it in the News And Current Evens Forum, so probably discussion should take place on it there, although I guess if anyone has insights on how process theology might have influenced the view, that might be a discussion for here?
I posted a larger excerpt in Current Events here
but here's a little bit of it:
Article is from Christianity Today:
The book is here:
Interesting, but sounds "wacky" to me. Conspiracy theory generally does ... but I guess we ought to reserve judgment until we read it. Do you think, however, that this has anything to do with his being a process theologian? At first blush, I don't see any connection.
The fact that it's wacky does not seem to bother the publishers. I guess they figure they can sell it.
No, I don't see how process theology connects with this, unless he's going to put the Process God somehow into the whole 9/11 thing. I don't have time to read the book, but wanted to post it here as this thread had just started and I found it rather amusing to come across this news item related to Process Theology. :smilewinkgrin:
Process theology is certainly a thing of the past,
Not really. "Open Theism" can be thought of, in a sense, as an "evangelical" version of process theology. In fact, I would say that some "openness of God" advocates, such as Clark Pinnock, are well on their way to full-blown process theology.
I agree, Ransom! I said this in an earlier post on this thread:
Although apparently there are still those who call themselves Process Theologians as evidenced by the article I posted about that professor.
But I think Open Theism may continue to have an impact in other ways, such as changing the view of the Bible since it is an attack on God's word, as well as changing the historic, orthodox view of God.
Both open theists and process theologians despise being lumped with the other. I believe there's a book full of essays from both sides on this, but I'm too lazy to look up the title. There are so few similarities between the two positions I must say I can't figure out why people claim that they're practically identical.