Posts under "Open and Relational Theology"

God Doesn’t Punish

November 19th, 2019 / 12 Comments

I don’t think God ever punishes. But I do think there are natural negative consequences to sin and evil. I spell out what this means in my book, God Can’t: How to Believe in God and Love after Tragedy, Abuse, and Other Evils. Although the idea God punishes is largely absent in the New Testament, numerous […]

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The Shack is Right, But…

October 1st, 2019 / 4 Comments

Wm. Paul Young’s best-selling book, The Shack, tackles questions about God, love, and evil. Young weaves positive themes to offer helpful answers. The book (and movie) continues to spark helpful conversations. (Click the video photo for my theological review). The Plot The plot of Young’s fictional story revolves around the abduction and murder of young […]

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John Wesley Says God Can’t

September 1st, 2019 / 8 Comments

My recent book, God Can’t, makes the claim God can’t do some activities. Although this strikes some as unprecedented, John Wesley said it before I did. God Can’t in the Bible Biblical writers said “God can’t” before John Wesley and me. In various books and blogs, I’ve listed biblical passages that explicitly say God can’t […]

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Does God Relate by Choice or by Nature?

August 19th, 2019 / 6 Comments

A “Four Views” book has just been published exploring God’s im/passibility (IVP Academic). I wrote one of the four essays. Instead of “passible” or “impassible,” most people today use the words “relational” or “nonrelational” to talk about whether creatures influence God. Relational theologians like me wholeheartedly affirm the idea God engages in giving and receiving. Others makes a difference […]

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An Experiencing God Knows All that’s Knowable

August 1st, 2019 / No Comments

Open and relational theologies say God enjoys moment-by-moment experiences in relationship with others. This important idea affects how these theologies think about God’s knowledge. Open and relational theologies take seriously the reality of time’s forward flow. Not only is existence fundamentally in process, but God also experiences the process of time. God is timefull not […]

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Providence as Improv, Jazz, or Family

July 12th, 2019 / 7 Comments

Most Christian theologies assume God is essentially timeless. This timeless God foreordains or foreknows all that will ever occur. For these theologies, “divine providence” means God acting with the end already settled. Open and relational theology thinks God is timefull, not timeless. How we think about God’s relation to time makes a big difference in […]

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Who God Is: Essential Kenosis

April 15th, 2019 / 8 Comments

“Who is God?” Is there a question more difficult to answer? And is anyone more foolish than the one who thinks she can give a full and wholly accurate answer? In this brief essay, I will tread where angels fear to tread: I talk about God’s nature. I don’t pretend to offer a full or […]

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God’s Essence-Experience Binate

August 13th, 2018 / 6 Comments

Many thoughtful believers wonder how best to talk both about God’s steadfast stability and relational flexibility. Unfortunately, even some of the best thinkers end up sacrificing one to affirm the other. Unchangingly Perfect For much of  history, trained theologians in the Abrahamic faiths have sacrificed God’s relational flexibility in their desire to emphasize God’s stability. […]

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