Bruce G. This is an introductory guide to Process Theology for undergraduates. As part of Contiuum's 'Guide for the Perplexed' series, this text provides an accessible introduction to process theology, aimed at nurturing the theological imagination of undergraduates, pastors and interested laypersons.
It describes the major themes of process theology and relates them to the everyday lives and spiritual commitments of people today. In addition to addressing traditional theological issues, Epperly addresses cutting edge issues in theology and ethics such as pluralism and postmodernism, matters of life and death, science technology and genetics , and emerging forms of Christianity. This text is designed for seminary and university classes as well as congregational study. It will help readers to overcome the obstacles created by the technical language often employed by process theologians.
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Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. A really great book for anyone interested in understanding Process Theology. Process Theologians have researched as to how this enables Christians to have a deeper and more coherant understanding of God and the unfolding of God's work in our lives. Sherbu A really great book for anyone interested in understanding Process Theology. The style of the book is informational and very practical. Jul 04, Renee Goodwin rated it it was amazing.
Process theology fills that gap, and this book is an excellent introduction. I was a philosophy major, though, and regularly read philosophy and theology just for my enjoyment. I would not recommend this to someone unfamiliar with reading that type of work. View 1 comment.
Jun 17, Robert D. Cornwall rated it it was amazing Shelves: church-and-ministry , religion , social-justice , bible , spirituality , theology. Process Theology has been for many of us a rather complex and often incomprehensible theological system. It seeks to offer a theological perspective that speaks to and is conversant with the modern age, especially bringing into the discussion science and religious pluralism, but it too often one has had to almost learn a new theological language to make sense of the ideas. Bruce Epperly has done a nice job in helping us understand the basic principles of Process Theology by doing some "translati Process Theology has been for many of us a rather complex and often incomprehensible theological system.
Bruce Epperly has done a nice job in helping us understand the basic principles of Process Theology by doing some "translating" and explaining. That doesn't mean that this is an easy read or simplistic. Proces Theology remains complex, but now it's less incomprehensible. If you're looking for traditional theology, especially one with a narrow vision of what that means, Proces isn't you thing.
But if you're open to a new vision of how God might be present to us, well you might find Bruce's presentation very attractive. To suppose that an entity A in this case, God , can always successfully control any other entity B is to say, in effect, that B does not exist as a free and individual being in any meaningful sense, since there is no possibility of its resisting A if A should decide to press the issue. Mindful of this, process theology makes several important distinctions between different kinds of power.
The first distinction is between "coercive" power and "persuasive" power.
Process theology - Wikipedia
Lifeless bodies such as the billiard balls cannot resist such applications of physical force at all, and even living bodies like arms can only resist so far, and can be coercively overpowered. While finite, physical creatures can exert coercive power over one another in this way, God—lacking a physical body— cannot not merely will not exert coercive control over the world.
But process theologians argue that coercive power is actually a secondary or derivative form of power, while persuasion is the primary form.
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The arm may not perform in the way a person wishes it to—it may be broken, or asleep, or otherwise unable to perform the desired action. It is only after the persuasive act of self-motion is successful that an entity can even begin to exercise coercive control over other finite physical bodies.
But no amount of coercive control can alter the free decisions of other entities; only persuasion can do so. For example, a child is told by his parent that he must go to bed. The child, as a self-conscious, decision-making individual, can always make the decision to not go to bed. The parent may then respond by picking up the child bodily and carrying him to his room, but nothing can force the child to alter his decision to resist the parent's directive.
It is only the body of the child that can be coercively controlled by the body of the physically stronger parent; the child's free will remains intact. One classic exchange over the issue of divine power is between philosophers Frederick Sontag and John K. Roth and process theologian David Ray Griffin.
Process Theology Whitehead
Griffin's response was as follows:. One of the stronger complaints from Sontag and Roth is that, given the enormity of evil in the world, a deity that is [merely] doing its best is not worthy of worship. The implication is that a deity that is not doing its best is worthy of worship. This illustrates how much people can differ in what they consider worthy of worship. For Roth, it is clearly brute power that evokes worship.
The question is: is this what should evoke worship? To refer back to the point about revelation: is this kind of power worship consistent with the Christian claim that divinity is decisively revealed in Jesus? Roth finds my God too small to evoke worship; I find his too gross. The process argument, then, is that those who cling to the idea of God's coercive omnipotence are defending power for power's sake, which would seem to be inconsistent with the life of Jesus, who Christians believe died for humanity's sins rather than overthrow the Roman empire.
Griffin argues that it is actually the God whose omnipotence is defined in the "traditional" way that is not worshipful. One other distinction process theologians make is between the idea of "unilateral" power versus "relational" power. Robert Mesle puts it:. Relational power takes great strength.
Process Theology Whitehead
In stark contrast to unilateral power, the radical manifestations of relational power are found in people like Martin Luther King, Jr. It requires the willingness to endure tremendous suffering while refusing to hate. It demands that we keep our hearts open to those who wish to slam them shut. It means offering to open up a relationship with people who hate us, despise us, and wish to destroy us. Rather than see God as one who unilaterally coerces other beings, judges and punishes them, and is completely unaffected by the joys and sorrows of others, process theologians see God as the one who persuades the universe to love and peace, is supremely affected by even the tiniest of joys and the smallest of sorrows, and is able to love all beings despite the most heinous acts they may commit.
God is, as Whitehead says, "the fellow sufferer who understands.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Process Church. Religious concepts. Ethical egoism Euthyphro dilemma Logical positivism Religious language Verificationism eschatological Problem of evil Theodicy Augustinian Irenaean Best of all possible worlds Inconsistent triad Natural evil.