What is Process Theology?
Process theology is based on the philosophy that the only absolute which exists in the world is change. Therefore, God, too, is constantly changing. The Bible clearly states that this view is false. Isaiah 46:10 is unequivocal regarding God’s sovereignty and unchanging nature: “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.’” Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, is equally unchanging: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The Bible is clear that His plans do not change according to the whims of mere men (Psalm 33:11). He “does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). But process theology does not consider the Bible to be inspired or to be our final authority.
The Bible expresses many attributes, qualities, and characteristics of God. These include His holiness (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8); sovereignty (1 Chronicles 29:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 37:20); unity (Deuteronomy 6:4); omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10); omniscience (Job 28:24; Psalm 147:4-5); omnipotence (Job 42:1-2); self-existence (Exodus 3:14; Psalm 36:9); eternality (Psalm 90:2; Habakkuk 1:12); immutability (Psalm 33:11; James 1:17); perfection (Deuteronomy 32:3-4); infiniteness (Job 5:9; 9:10); truth (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 86:15); love (1 John 4:8, 16); righteousness (Psalm 11:7; 119:137); faithfulness (Deuteronomy 7:9; Ps. 89:33); mercy (Psalm 102:17); graciousness (Exodus 22:27; Nehemiah 9:17, 31; Psalm 86:15; 145:17); justice (Psalm 111:7; Isaiah 45:21); and freedom (Job 23:13; Proverbs 21:1). God uses these in the world and actively exercises all of these today. God transcends all of His creation, yet He is personal and knowable.
Process theology denies the deity of Jesus Christ, saying that Jesus has no intrinsic difference from any other man. Additionally, the humanistic philosophy of Process Theology teaches that mankind does not require salvation, while the Bible is clear that without Christ, man is hopelessly lost and doomed to hell for eternity. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is God (Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1, 2, 14; 20:28; Acts 16:31, 34; Philippians 2:5-6; Colossians 2:9; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1) and that without His death on the behalf of sinners (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21) no one could ever be saved (John 1:12; 3:18; 3:36; 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; 16:30-31).
Thanks for adding this to your site as I often have been studying quite a bit to nail down emergent Christianity, as I saw it based on a philosophy as if it was something brand new when it has been something always around but never claimed by name. A good example that brought me into understanding this is always seeing this spiritual formation related “future ancient” how much was dispelled by Christian churches in the past before it caught hold. Knowing a bit but not an expert on anything by any means I have to scratch my head a bit to figure out who and what was changed.
In a totally different context I spoke how many Gnostics and oneness pentecostal believers use the same exact evidence against the Trinity and most times are not able to define how this happens, or even what it means when many call Christianity a Neo Platonic understanding which Gnosticism was going around in that day that, is about the time the alarm bells started going off about “ancient future” and emergent thought and Gnosticism walk hand in hand. I would also mention both Process theology, Process philosophy, and Existentialism, modernism, and Universal Unitarianism is also what is often taught.
I certainly am not a Methodist to my dad’s dismay, but a Calvinist Baptist and just as Methodists yoked together with dispensationalists, Baptists, Calvinists, and other reformational groups to birth fundamentalism and think we should be doing this again as the reason for this uniting of fundamentalist faith groups is once again standing to destroy those who believe truth starts with the bible.
Am not exactly sure just yet but have been told what I teach on sanctification is from a Weslayan thought of sanctification. Not really sure and have been concentrating on studying this, but if it does-I do not care much one way or the other-the bible is the bible and tell me that fruit loops teach something-is it biblical? Does not matter who taught what as often I want to believe the bible.
Hi – I just started a site with a description and biblical response to process theology. I’d appreciate you input and / or linking as well:
Thanks for the link! Forgive me, I had to spend a little time reading it first, but I think it is a great idea. Obviously I would not link it if I did not agree with your thinking, which I believe is sound and biblical. I’ll post a link to it later, and also on our Concerned Nazarene and Concerned Christians Facebook sites.
I will spend more time on it, But I have read some of the sections already. Perhaps I will send this to Dr. Tom Oord and others who are promoting these views. Thanks.
Is this really a problem in the COTN? I have been a Nazarene all my life, was educated at MVNU & NTS, and have been a pastor for over twenty years. I don’t believe I have ever heard this view expressed by anyone in any type of leadership in the COTN.
Yes it is a problem. It is primarily taught and promoted by Tom Oord, professor of theology at Northwest Nazarene University, who also promotes open theism, and is a leader in the group called Nazarenes Exploring Evolution, promoting the godless teaching of theistic evolution.