John B. Cobb & David Ray Griffin "Process Theology, an Introductory Exposition"

Topics: God, Conceptions of God, Theology Pages: 3 (1011 words) Published: March 3, 2008
Christians strive to emulate the ‘perfect' life of Jesus, though they know that they will never truly achieve their goals. The idea of God is almost always boiled down to the "aspiration to participate in or be in harmony with perfection.1" But how does this perfection shape our conception of God? The nature of perfection is defined in theistic circles as love. There are two schools of thought addressed in the selection; traditional theism & process theism. Cobb & Griffin discuss the conflict between traditional theism and process theism's definition of divine love, the possibility of divine dependence, and the idea that God's love is more than a creative-impassive love.

Thomas Aquinas, a traditional theologian, makes a point that God-love is not like human-love. Human love is responsive in its nature: it is fueled by the object of that love. God-love is creative in nature, not fueled by the object, but merely by the creation. It is impassive, active goodwill devoid of empathy. God-love is then redefined by Cobb & Griffin who are advocating process theism. God-love possesses absoluteness, but is also sensitive to the subjective experience of his creations. It should be noted that this selection is not focused on the definition of process theology, but merely how process theology changes the way we look at divine love.

Process theism diverges from traditional theism's idea of divine simplicity and arrives at the new definition of God-love by recognizing the abstract essence of God (eternal/ absolute/transcendent) as well as the concrete actuality of God (temporal/dependant/ immanent). There is a type of absoluteness that is admirable, which is the crux of traditional theism. It is that absolutism that is the defining factor of God. He is the unmoved mover, the being with which no greater being can be conceived! If there is an absoluteness that is unqualifiedly admirable, it being the lynchpin in categorizing God, this means that there is divine...
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