Trinity

Trinity, Substance, and Process

Question: 
What can be done to bridge the gap between process thinkers and the orthodox Trinitarians who base their thought on substance categories?
Publication Month: 
June 2014
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Reducing the gap with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity is an important issue, but I do not believe that the problem lies in the distinction between substance and process thinking. Actually, substance thought posed more extreme problems to those who developed the doctrine of the Trinity than do process categories. Whitehead himself commented that in order to develop both Trinitarian and incarnational doctrines, theologians in Alexandria made a great metaphysical advance. He considered this a development that his own process-relational philosophy generalizes.

Process Christians and the Nicene Creed

Question: 
Should process Christians affirm the Nicene Creed?
Publication Month: 
November 2013
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

If “to affirm” means to agree with everything in it, then the answer with regard to the Nicene Creed must surely be No. But that would apply to virtually anything. In that sense I do not affirm the Bible or Luther or even Whitehead. I assume that is not the meaning of the question.

Trinity Sunday

May 26, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Reading 2: 
Psalm 8
Reading 3: 
Romans 5:1-5
Reading 4: 
John 16:12-15
By Ignacio Castuera

Christopher Bryant tells a story about C. G. Jung that ought to inform the way preachers deal with the subject of the Trinity:

Trinity Sunday

June 19, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Reading 2: 
Psalm 8
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Reading 4: 
Matthew 28:16-20
By Paul S. Nancarrow

 

The Body of God: An Ecological Theology

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Sallie McFague

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Trinity II

Question: 
How can process theologians best think of the Trinity?
Publication Month: 
September 2006
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

I need to begin by saying that I believe that the fixation on the Trinity as the distinctively Christian way of thinking of God has done a great deal more harm than good. I stand in the tradition of John Wesley. While he was content with orthodoxy for himself, he did not require acceptance of creedal Trinitarianism by his followers. I appreciate this freedom.

Trinity

Question: 
If process theology rejects the idea of substance, what implications does that have for such doctrines as the Trinity?
Publication Month: 
July 2005
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

This question calls attention to the fact that much of traditional Christian theology has been shaped by classical ideas of substance. When, as a process thinker, one denies that there are any substances, this clearly means that traditional formulations cannot be affirmed. What then happens to the doctrines?

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