God

Where in the World is God?: God's Presence in Every Moment of Our Lives

Author:

Robert Brizee

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Word and Wordless Prayer

Question: 
Is process prayer with or without words?
Publication Month: 
December 2012
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Either and both. There are many important questions that are not decided by holding the process perspective. People from many different spiritual traditions can make use of process categories to clarify, deepen, and enrich their traditions. The process perspective allows us to honor this diversity. Difference does not lead directly to judgments of truth and falsity or to the need to rank the positions. Difference as such vastly enriches the world.

Beyond Literal Truth and Mere Metaphor

Question: 
Is there a middle path between seeing process theology as literal truth and mere metaphor?
Publication Month: 
September 2012
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

This question rightly points to the wide range of positions of process thinkers. In an earlier generation Charles Hartshorne sometimes said that some key terms apply literally to God and only metaphorically to human beings! An example is “knows.” When we say that God “knows,” we speak literally. When we say that we “know,” we do not. That is because the idea of knowing is such that what is known cannot be otherwise than as it is known. Human “knowing” does not guarantee that reality is as we “know” it. Only God’s “knowing” can do that.

Is Process Theology too Western?

Question: 
Is process theology a hopelessly Western endeavor?
Publication Month: 
April 2012
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

I think there is a sense in which theology as such is “hopelessly” Western if that means inescapably tied to Christianity. What we understand by theology brings together history and philosophy in a way that Christians cannot avoid. We have to discern universal meanings in particular historical events since we assert that particular historical events have importance for all people.

The Nature of Love: A Theology

Author:

Thomas Jay Oord

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How Are God and Evolution Related?

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Where is God Not in War?

Question: 
"Where is God and where is God not in war according to your panentheistic doctrine of God?"
Publication Month: 
August 2009
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

Process theologians generally emphasize where God is. First, God is everywhere in two ways. God is everywhere offering possibilities for the self-constitution of events and nudging them toward better possibilities. Second, God is everywhere absorbing into the divine life all that happens in the world. This is as true in war as it is at all other times and places.
But where is God not? In terms of the second way in which God is present, the answer is nowhere. Whatever the sin and suffering, God is the companion who suffers with the creatures.

Science Support Belief in God?

Question: 
Does science support belief in God?
Publication Month: 
September 2008
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

Is God Incomplete?

Question: 
If God is evolving and changing, is God incomplete?
Publication Month: 
July 2002
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

In one sense, the answer must certainly be Yes. To be complete, one might well argue, one must be completed, finished, unsusceptible of any change. In process theology, we teach that this is not the way to understand God.

But "complete" has other meanings. The first meaning listed in my dictionary is: "Having all necessary parts; entire; whole." By this meaning God is surely complete. God is lacking no "necessary part". God is entire and whole. Another meaning is "Thorough, consummate, perfect." In this sense too, God is complete.

Can We Be Confident of Progress?

Question: 
Must everyone always call God “God”?
Publication Month: 
January 2009
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Of course, the answer is “No.” It is obvious that those who speak German will say “Gott,” and those who speak French will say “Dieu.” In the Hebrew Old Testament, the word is “El.” In the Greek New Testament, it is “Theos.” It is equally obvious that in Arabic, the word is “Allah,” although there are those who seem to dispute that.

Belief in God

Question: 
Whitehead’s philosophy shows that a panentheistic view of God fits well into a richly developed cosmology. But this seems quite remote from immediate human experience. Are there aspects of common experience that support belief in God?
Publication Month: 
April 2010
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

One way of approaching this question is to bring again to the fore the ancient triad of the true, the good, and the beautiful. People everywhere make judgments about truth, goodness, and beauty. Obviously, such judgments are made by people who do not connect them to God, even by people who strongly deny the reality of God. For some, one of them serves as an alternative focus of commitment and devotion. Devotion to truth may lead one to emphatic atheism. Devotion to goodness may lead to harsh criticism of accepted religious teachings.

A Personal God

Question: 
Is God Personal?
Publication Month: 
May 1998
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

The answer to this, as to so many questions is Yes and No, but on the whole Yes is a better answer than No. Of course, everything depends on what is meant by "personal". For some people, the only way God can be personal is to be very much like a human being. In the extreme case this involves attributing a body to God that resembles a human body. Obviously, the answer must then be No. If we think of God having a body, that body is the universe as a whole.

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