Book review: Process Theology: Embracing Adventure with God
by Bruce Epperly
Process Theology looks at God as not immutable and eternal, but as temporal and affect-able. It describes a God who is personal, who we can share a relationship with, and who cares about all living things. These are my own words, gleaned from the feelings Epperly’s work left me with.
I confess to feeling ungrounded through half of the book. I had not heard of Process Theology before, and it was ambiguous and difficult for me to pin down. Epperly’s approach is to prance around it in circles, poking it open here and there with a stick. Consequently, though I developed a sense for Process Theology, I could never nail down a definition … and when I went in search of a definition through Google, I felt just as discombobulated. Had I trusted Epperly and let him continue his dance around the outside, I would have been better off. I would have slowly begun to grasp the point: that God is a partner with us in healing the world. God and the world are profoundly interdependent.
The result of this way of interacting with God is a vibrant, living faith that never turns stale. Process theology affirms that God still speaks to us today, that our understanding and growth continues with new revelation. Christians are not alone in sharing in the Divine. Wherever truth and healing are present, God is its source, and through respect for other religions, we can grow in spiritual wisdom. Epperly finds no contradiction here with John 14:6, which states that “no one comes to the father except through [Jesus].” Epperly’s revelation of “Christ” as a life-giving reality permeating multiple belief systems is refreshing, affirming pluralism and goodness.
I really enjoyed this book, and was left hungering for more. This is another Topical Line Drive booklet by Energion Publications, short and sweet–just 40 pages. I noted on the back cover that Epperly had previously authored a book titled Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed. If I can get my hands on a copy, I’ll let you all know what I learn.
Bruce Epperly is Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Continuing Education at Lancaster Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania, USA.
Energion Publications, © 2014, 40 pages