1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1.1-10 ESV
Author's Note (Feb 2014)
"Directly below are my earliest thoughts on Process Thought as it was still unknown to me. Many of my initial comments below can be seen to be modified over the years ahead..." - r.e. slater
As I am able this week I will include some notes to each short discussion below. Here are my initial thoughts ahead of my reviews (and therefore subject to further review afterwards!):
- Classic Theism's epistemology draws upon an "open system" view of a God beyond our imaginings. Hence, process theism's arguments for God as part of His creation appear more as a "closed system" view.
- Accordingly, God is independent and beyond His creation who self limits Himself in some aspect to be inter-related to His creation (a word I prefer over the process term of "inter-dependent"). In this respect then, both classic theism and process theism are "correct" philosophically as well as materially.
- Overall, I would predispose classicism's "open system" over-and-above process' "closed system" in preference and general rule.
- This means that within process' "closed system" interpretation of ex nihilo creation there is no creative void as such. Only a particle-based void that is undetected, unknown, perhaps beyond dimensionality, latent with potential and possibility.
- However, as understood within classic theism's "open system" interpretation, ex nihilo creation can refer to a non-particle based creative void that is part of, or within, the Godhead... even if it were reduced to mean mere thought or expression. Difficult as it may be to comprehend. And even more difficult to allow if using as explanation the materialistic cosmogonous structure of matter-based physics.
- Consequently, I am allowing for God to be incredible, and unrealistic as framed within particle quantum physics, but very credible, and very realistic, when framed in non-materialistic, non-quantum, epistemological terms.
Lastly, I am interested in knowing if classic theism can be upgraded into process-like terminology using postmodernism's post-structuralism as interpretive guide and instructor. But by doing so will this attempt be a limiting factor in the eras ahead or one that establishes a baseline that can widen and deepen our apprehension of the Divine depending upon the prevailing epistemological system present?
Thought another way, will process theology limit the supremacy of God while closing the gap between man and creation? Rather the reverse of classicism's declaration of the supremacy of God while distancing Him at the same time from man and creation. Whereas process focuses on the problem of man, sin, evil, creation chaos and harm, classicism focuses on the problem of God's holiness, righteousness, the shalom of order and blessedness, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence. Each area as paradoxical as the other.
Hence, eclectically, I'm hoping for the best of both worlds. And am especially stating henceforth that as pertaining to the study of the Godhead, eclecticism is a most proper tool of usage. And so, let us assume that process theology may have some elements that can be helpful to the study of man and creation in relation to God, as classic theology is helpful to the study of God in relation to man and creation. So that whether when discerning the problem of man, sin, evil, creational chaos and harm (process), or when discerning the problem of the supremacy of God (classicism), we must proceed forward in some kind of syncretistic and eclectic form of discovery until a better, more mitigating system can be better proposed.
November 27, 2011
*part of the above dilemma of differing viewpoints is explained as instances of phenomenological "blik" - please refer to this post here for further discusion - http://relevancy22.blogspot.com/2011/11/seeming-incorrigible-perspective-of.html.
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Update: The Ongoing Discussions re
Update: The Ongoing Discussions re
"Creatio Ex Nihilo" between Process Theologians
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AAR - Open and Relational Theologies Session
Creatio ex Nihilo: Arguments For and Against
The Open and Relational Theologies session at AAR included a panel and conversation on Creatio ex Nihilo: Arguments For and Against. The panel included: Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont Lincoln University; Monica A. Coleman, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont Lincoln University; Catherine Keller, Drew University; Michael Lodahl, Point Loma Nazarene University; Richard Rice, Loma Linda University, and Marit Trelstad, Pacific Lutheran University.
- Catherine Keller, Drew University view/download paper
- Michael Lodahl, Point Loma Nazarene University view/download paper
- Richard Rice, Loma Linda University view/download paper
- Marit Trelstad, Pacific Lutheran University
Date Recorded: Nov. 20, 2011
Location: Claremont School of Theology
Date Added: November 2011