The Process Perspective | John B. Cobb, Jr.

I’ve got to give them credit. Bo Sanders and Tripp Fuller over at Homebrewed Christianity have got me thinking about process theology. For a long time, all I knew about process theology came from one class in Bible College where I learned how mistaken Alfred North Whitehead was. After listening to a number of Homebrewed podcasts, I’ve started to think that the process people bring something valuable to the theological table. Thus, I’ve started to read Cobb, process theology’s chief modern evangelist.

This first of two volumes about The Process Perspective uses a question-and-answer format to engage the various implications of process theology, categorized roughly in five sections:

  1. God
  2. Christ
  3. The Church and the Bible
  4. Humankind
  5. Ethics and Society

These questions were curated by Jeanyne B. Slettom from processandfaith.org, a website where Cobb responds to a variety of questions.

While I’m no process theologian (or open theist, for that matter), I thought I’d point out a few areas highlighted in this book where other believers can learn from the process perspective:

  1. The decisions we make affect God. This affirmation from the process camp should be taken seriously be all theologians—at least if you’re going to take the OT language of divine repentance seriously.
  2. The church should accept truth and wisdom wherever they are found. If you believe that all truth is rooted in God, then this is an important perspective.
  3. “In every moment, we are being directed, called, or lured by God to that self-actualization that is best for that moment and also for future occasions in our own personal life and in the lives of other creatures, human and nonhuman. … What we need, of course, is to develop a habit of openness to God and readiness to respond even when this is somewhat costly in relation to our other appetites and desires” (100). I can’t think of a better description of what pentecostal spirituality should aim towards!
  4. When it comes to prayer, every event is connected to other events. We can not manipulate God by some strange magic into rewriting these events, naively viewing them in isolation from the whole.
  5. Patriotism is idolatry when we obey our government, “right or wrong.”

You don’t have to be a process thinker to benefit from a thoughtful reading of Cobb’s Process Perspective.

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