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Process Theology – What is it?

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Process Theology is a type of theology that developed out of Process Philosophy developed by Alfred North Whitehead (1861—1947). Charles Hartshorne developed this concept theologically, emphasizing that one of God's attributes is to be fully involved in His creation and affected by it. In other words, rather than the traditional, biblical view of an unchanging God, Process Theology emphasizes a God who is affected by creation and can change in response to it.

Of further concern from a biblical perspective is the view of Jesus Christ in Process Theology. In contrast with the divine view of Jesus as part of the Triune Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Process Theology presents Jesus as a man who responded appropriately to God and was fully identified with Him throughout His life.

Both of these concepts plainly contradict the teachings of the Bible itself. First, the Bible is filled with statements regarding God's unchanging, perfect nature. For example, Isaiah 46:9b-10 notes, "I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.'" James 1:17 teaches, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." Deuteronomy 32:4 adds, "The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he." If God is perfect, He has no need to change and indeed does not change. The very idea of a perfect God includes a Being who is already all-knowing and unchanging.

As mentioned, Process Theology also does not view Jesus Christ as divine. This teaching is clearly inconsistent with Scripture. John 1:1, 14 say of Jesus "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." Colossians 1:16-17 speaks of Jesus, saying, "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

Process Theology is not a biblical form of theology and is to be rejected by those who affirm the teachings of Scripture. While the world may change, its Creator does not. God is perfect, unchanging, and calls us to change to conform to His image (Romans 12:1-2). It is through Jesus Christ alone we can come to faith in God and know Him personally (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10).

Related Truth:

Is God immutable? What is the significance of the immutability of God?

The attributes of God, what are they?

What is the academic field of Biblical Theology?

How does systematic theology work?

Why is sound doctrine so crucial?

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