Divine freedom and creaturely suffering in process theology: A critical appraisal

Sophia 39 (2):56-69 (2000)
Abstract
: The suffering of creatures experienced throughout evolutionary history provides some conceptual difficulties for theists who maintain that God is an all-good loving creator who chose to employ the processes associated with evolution to bring about life on this planet. Some theists vexed by this and other problems posed by the interface between religion and science have turned to process theology which provides a picture of a God who is dependent upon creation and unable to unilaterally intervene in the affairs of the world and avert suffering. In the present paper I seek to critique process theism, focusing on divine action and the aforementioned problem posed by evolutionary suffering. I show that the promise of a more compelling account of a loving God who suffers with creation advanced by the process theist is illusory. Rather, the process God is less dynamic than promised. And on such an account the freedom of both God and the world are significantly more circumscribed than one may find in other forms of theism.
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