God Did It!
After I published my blog post The Problem of Evil Resolved I had several people recommend that I check out Process Theology and the book God Can’t by Thomas Oord. After some initial explorations into Process Theology it seems clear that Process Theology seeks to resolve two Gigantic Theological Problems:
- The Problem of Evil – Process Theology asserts that God is not responsible for the evil in the Universe. According to Process Theology control/coercion is not possible for God due to God’s Moral Nature and/or God’s Non-Materiality. PT (abbreviating Process Theology from here on out) asserts that it is not God’s Moral Nature to coerce individuals even if that individual is a toddler running in front of an oncoming car. And/or God does not have the physical capability, i.e. God doesn’t have hands, feet, a body, or any material connection to the material world, that would enable God to save the toddler from the oncoming car. And apparently God’s ability to engage human consciousness is very limited and cannot be objectively detected. God cannot connect with the consciousness of the parents and communicate an urgent thought from God that their child is running into the street.
- The Un-Necessariness of God – We can trace the chain of cause and effect back to within a second or so of the Big Bang. Everything we analyze and examine has a place in this exploding web of cause and effect. There is simply no space for God in human history. PT remedies by saying that God is in everything and is able to call or lure all aspects of Universe. The higher the consciousness and intelligence of the various elements, organic systems, and life forms the higher the potential for collaborative work with the Divine.
The Problems with Process Theology:
- PT Wants to Process it’s Cake and Have It, Too
PT seeks to absolve God of the Problem of Evil by asserting God has no involvement in the evils of the day due to the limitations of a non-material and a non-coercive being. But if God is non-coercive how did everything get here in the first place? PT says that God and the Universe are Co-Eternal and inseparable. C. Robert Mesle says that, “It has taken God billions of years to draw the world through an evolutionary process capable of sustaining human beings.” Well this still makes God culpable as creator. Just because it takes a long time from a human perspective doesn’t make God less culpable. God is simply less efficient. Whether it is Ex Nihilo or Ex A Really Long Time, God is still culpable. God is the only variable outside of Natural Process exerting upon creation and life in a specific direction according to a concrete set of values. God is still the only Potter and the material world is the Clay.
2. If God and the Universe are Eternal all Processes completed an Eternity Ago
If God and the Universe are eternal all potential possibilities actualized an eternity ago Possibilities apparently infinite from a human perspective are not actually infinite. If God and the Universe are Eternal all possibilities have been resolved. The future is not open because all possibilities have been eternally exhausted.
3. The PT God looks suspiciously like a Universe Without God
Everything in the world can be explained by natural processes. God lures quarks in a way that is statistically identical to a world where God is not luring quarks. PT attempts to make a space for God in the natural world by saying God is the natural world. Yet the world that God is and inhabits functions independently of God and has no space for God.
Conclusion: The Process Theology God has No Explanatory Power
Because the PT God has no space in the material and lures the material world and its sentient life below the level of consciousness with undetectable efficacious effect there is absolutely no evidence of this God. Process Theology merely enables one to maintain a ‘belief’ in God at a semantic level but practically speaking directs people to live Ethically Naturalistic lives.
(Author’s note: My ideas of Process Theology come from reading C. Robert Mesle’s book Process Theology, listening to Thomas Oord being interviewed on Peter Enn’s The Bible for Normal People podcast, and from random Google-ish and Youtube-ish sources I cannot recall.)