A Critique of Process-Theology—First of Two Parts

Influences governing religious thought in the mid-twentieth century have dealt rather scurrilously with theological metaphysics.

For quite different reasons, both recent Continental theology and English positivism have repudiated philosophical theology. While the one, the dialectical-existential school, has espoused personal non-propositional decision over against external revelation and objective reason, the other, logical positivism, has dismissed metaphysical assertions as meaningless nonsense because unverifiable by empirical scientific method.

All the while evangelical Protestant theologians have been busying themselves largely with matters other than the metaphysical implications of biblical belief. And the few significant contributions that have appeared in evangelical circles have been overlooked in ecumenical theological dialogue.

Under these circumstances, the task of descriptive metaphysics has gone by default, as it were, to the neo-Thomists and to the Marxists.

Indications are growing, however, that both English positivists and Continental existentialists have failed to clamp a permanent “veto” on metaphysics; their influence in contemporary theology seems to be waning.

Process-metaphysicians already are aggressively jockeying for position in the philosophical race; a number of American liberal theologians energetically support process-theory as the framework for expounding Christian beliefs. At the same time, Jürgen Moltmann and Wolf-hart Pannenberg in Germany, by their breakaway from the dialectical-existential repudiation of external divine revelation in nature and history, suggest fresh promise for theistic metaphysics. And a number of evangelical Protestant scholars ...

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