Originally posted in Rabyd Theologian 2.0 on March 26th, 2011
Process theology is a school of thought that is connected to two men — Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne although others are still developing the concepts involved. Basically, process theology is the product of metaphysical concepts developed by the above two men and using those concepts to look at theology.
The big thing in process theology is that process theologians do not look at God’s power in terms of God being coercive, that is dominating others. Instead God’s power is persuasive. God uses his power in a way that brings people about wilfully not forcing anyone to do anything. God is not about control.
Other key concepts are that reality is more about experiences that material substance, self-determination of all persons, and God is changeable because he interacts with a changing universe.
If there is a distinct difference between this and other theologies is their view of the Bible. Because revelation is an ongoing process and a changeable one that means the Bible while helpful to understanding God is not authoritative as much as other Christians would see it.
For myself, I have found reading process theologians to be helpful in looking at things another way, however their view of Scripture turns me off. This is actually probably the dividing line between open theism and process theology. The open theist (such as myself) is going to hold Scripture dear because they believe their case is biblical, but the process theologian will go against Scripture if they feel that God has changed in his relationship to the universe from where the Bible was in the process of revelation.