Its rejection of structure leaves no room for fixed doctrines.
For better or worse, today’s theological climate is similar to that of a generation ago. Unsettled by the increasingly evident bankruptcy of theological liberalism, young theologians of the 1930s found in dialectical theology—popularly called neoorthodoxy—a source of relief and a challenge for new hope. Similarly, process theology seems to offer contemporary thinkers a “way out” of the antimetaphysical morass in which the thought world in general and the world of theology in particular have been entrapped since midcentury.
Process theology takes on great charm and becomes a major challenge to many disillusioned twentieth-century theologians. But no evangelical ought to be fooled into thinking we have gained an ally in our witness to biblical faith. Is process theology compatible with classical Christianity? Are its basic principles, centering in the alleged primacy of process, capable of being harmonized with the biblical understanding of God, man, and the external world?
No thinking person today can deny that process or change is pervasive in both nature and human existence. What is questionable is whether change is ultimate, and as a result, whether structure is merely “read into” our world. At its roots, process theology rests upon the philosophical system of Alfred North Whitehead, articulated in his 1927–28 Gifford Lectures (Process and Reality [Free Press, 1978]; see also Delwin Brown, ed., Process Philosophy and Christian Thought [Dobbs-Merrill, 1971]).
Central to Whitehead’s system is the view that the visible universe consists not of an ordered structure of real and enduring objects and living organisms reflecting createdness, but of a series of “events.” ...1
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