• Process Theism and Open Theism and worship-worthiness of God

    Some theists state that god does not have the full gamut of traditional omnis, that he does not know the future of freely-made decisions since to know the counterfactuals of such decisions implies that they are deterministically defined (or some such similar reason). God, on some understandings of theism, which are used to get the theist out of certain binds (such as the Problem of Evil) leave this version of God being somewhat less than optimal.

    As the IEP entry on the Evidential Problem of Evil states:

    For example, would someone who is not wholly good and capable of evil be fit to be the object of our worship, total devotion and unconditional commitment? Similarly, why place complete trust in a God who is not all-powerful and hence not in full control of the world? (To be sure, even orthodox theists will place limits on God’s power, and such limits on divine power may go some way towards explaining the presence of evil in the world. But if God’s power, or lack thereof, is offered as the solution to the problem of evil – so that the reason why God allows evil is because he doesn’t have the power to prevent it from coming into being – then we are faced with a highly impotent God who, insofar as he is aware of the limitations in his power, may be considered reckless for proceeding with creation.)

    But to do so surely invalidates God’s godlike qualities so that God is definitely less than, well, a god should be, no? The key is that if God has no control over the future of the world through fundamental lack of knowledge, then why should we trust and worship him? Why should we have any trust or faith in prayer or any idea that God will eventualise something good for us or the world? Surely we are leaving things to blind chance?

    Essentially, these kinds of theologies present more problems than they answer. Neat for getting theists off certain hooks, not so neat for devoting one’s life to in any kind of practical sense.

    Category: God's CharacteristicsProblem of EvilTheology


    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce