Posts under "Open and Relational Theology"

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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Relentless Love in the Afterlife

July 2nd, 2018 / 13 Comments

In the book I’m currently writing, I address the question of heaven, hell, annihilation, and the afterlife. I take the logic of uncontrolling love to its eschatological end. And this process has led me to coin a label for my view, Relentless Love. The Usual Afterlife Theories The logic of uncontrolling love changes the way […]

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Thank Goodness, God is Not in Control!

May 1st, 2018 / 6 Comments

In the book I’m currently writing, I’m dealing with the idea that God punishes. It’s a tricky issue. But I’m arguing that there are natural negative consequences to sin and evil. Although the idea God punishes is largely absent in the New Testament, numerous passages describe the pain, destruction, and confusion that sin and evil […]

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What Does God’s Love Do?

March 7th, 2018 / No Comments

If God’s love is uncontrolling, what does it actually do? Is God involved in our lives? Or is God like an object that inspires without directly affecting us? Something else? In a recent International Journal of Systematic Theology article, Kevin Vanhoozer offers a dialogue between John Webster’s views of love and my own. Kevin wonders […]

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