[The following review is by Bob Cornwall, author of Energion titles Ultimate Allegiance: The Subversive Nature of the Lord’s Prayer and Ephesians: A Participatory Study Guide. The book reviewed is by Bruce Epperly, author of Philippians: A Participatory Study Guide.]
PROCESS THEOLOGY: A Guide for the Perplexed. New York: T&T Clark, 2011. Ix +177 pages.
Christianity is one of the more complex faith traditions, with its embrace of doctrines such as the Trinity and the divinity of Christ, so even on a good day enquirers can be left perplexed. Process Theology, which takes much of its inspiration from the philosophical musings of a British mathematician/physicist, can leave even those acquainted with and comfortable with basic Christian doctrines perplexed and confused. Thus, a primer that would translate and explain for the uninitiated the intricacies of this theological system is most welcome. This is especially true at a time when many Christians are looking for a system that makes sense of the world of the 21st century, especially concerning the relationship of faith and science. Although many people continue to embrace premodern religious beliefs, many others find these beliefs, especially relating to a divine being that supernaturally sweeps in and adjusts things from outside the universe to be incompatible with reality as they know it. Of course, it’s not only science that poses challenges; it’s the problem of evil as well. Process Theology, with its sense of openness to the future and its rejection of an all powerful divinity seems to offer a more compelling vision – if only we understood the vocabulary!