Proof of God or Presence of God?

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Waco1947
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Frederick Buechner is a theologian, but he does not structure his thoughts or writing like a typical theologian. He does not put forth a series of propositional truths, and he deals more in doubt than in certainty. What matters most is the experience of God's presence, not the objective proof of God's existence; Buechner contends in several places that presence, not proof, is the miracle we're after. This is a cornerstone of his theology. Revelation is personal: if God speaks at all, he speaks into our personal lives, and all systems of theology start first as personal experience.' (p.11-12)

-Jeffrey Munroe on Buechner's first memoir, The Sacred Journey (1982).
Waco1947
SSadler1
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I really like Buechner. Though, yes, he is considered a theologian by discipline, he writes for the laity rather than as dialogue with other Systematic Theologians.

Though I used to be one of those "professional theologians" (but I would never call myself "systematic") I am quite certain we need MORE Buechners and FEWER systematics. You ever tried to preach from Schleiermacher, Tillich, Gonzales or Whitehead?

(After all, who really knows what "asiety" means in the context of God's existence; and, what difference does it make--provable or not--when in awe at the birth of a child or in angsty at the deathbed of a friend?)

Good stuff, 47. Thanks for the post.
Waco1947
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SSadler1 said:

I really like Buechner. Though, yes, he is considered a theologian by discipline, he writes for the laity rather than as dialogue with other Systematic Theologians.

Though I used to be one of those "professional theologians" (but I would never call myself "systematic") I am quite certain we need MORE Buechners and FEWER systematics. You ever tried to preach from Schleiermacher, Tillich, Gonzales or Whitehead?

(After all, who really knows what "asiety" means in the context of God's existence; and, what difference does it make--provable or not--when in awe at the birth of a child or in angsty at the deathbed of a friend?)

Good stuff, 47. Thanks for the post.

Thank you. I would like your reflections on my personal process theology. Coming out of seminary I thought that I could preach Tillich or Whitehead but alas no. I preached the Bible with a process foundation. It worked but stayed close to the text
Here's my personal theological
Reflections

"I live in two cosmologies as you and all of us do. It's not a dualism where I switch back and forth. There is a basic unity. As I live in the physical cosmology of gravity, science, etc but my heart and soul and interior life, live in a Sacred Cosmology of love and grace and forgiveness and justice.
The problem for us secular (physical Cosmology) /sacred Christians is blending the two as if the sacred acts on the physical forces of our shared Cosmology.
But in reality God is powerless over the physical cosmology. So my faith is that God is active in love, grace, etc. in the Sacred Cosmology. I have come to believe that physical forces - weather, wind, rain, earthquakes, etc. are beyond ours and God's control. And if they are beyond our control then how do I "respond" as a Christian with a sacred Cosmology?
It was a difficult task given my orthodox and fundamentalist background which taught God is all powerful in a physics way but I came to believe in an all powerful God of love as in I John "God is love." It's soinds absurd and "unchristian" to the conservative/orthodox/fundamentalist/evangelical folk but to those of my faith it is the power of the cross. In the weakness of the cross is the power of God for love and new life in Christ. Surely I sound foolish to my more conservative brothers and sisters but God's saving power is in the weakness of the cross. My faith in an all powerful God of love (I Corinthians 1) as seen on the cross.
My God's love and presence go with me through this physical Cosmology. The cross reassures me. My task is to hold fast in faith to this God. That faith is wavering but God forgives and I launch myself again into this world. I believe my Sacred Cosmology wins the day for love, grace, etc. The Sacred God of my faith is my final hope. Faith, hope, love abide in this physical Cosmology but the greatest of these is love.
Waco1947
SSadler1
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47, I enjoyed that, though not many will follow you once you get to the "God has no control over nature" part of it. When in reality, God has ALL control of nature's essence (ie. God created it). And, my own take is, the greatest "gift" God gives to creation is "freedom"--from the freedom of each cell to divide according to genetic identity or to divided aberrantly (such as a cancer cell)--all the way to the highest form of cells dividing and "becoming" --the human mind.

(But it's been a long, long time since I dabbled (?) in Process Thought.

Wally Christian (deceased faculty) at Baylor had a real fondness for Process Thought. But the whole mechanism of Whitehead's philosophy was so challenging, I think there was only one "Process" dissertation written under him.

Some fool phd student got enamored with how to bridge the metaphysic of Process with the life of the church and in 1990, under Wally Christian's Direction, "A Theology of Worship Drawn from the Process Thought of Alfred North Whitehead, Norman A. Pitttenger, and Daniel Day Williams" somehow got defended and the phd granted.

I doubt this post/thread gets much attention other than to scan thru. Fadskier will come up with something inane to say once he Googles "Process Theology" and decides he's "agin" since after reading Google he considers himself qualified to opine here.

Keep up your good thinking. Theologies which will last are ALWAYS carried on the mental backs of those uninterested in simply believing what someone else gives them without independently thinking, and creating, something new to add to the mix.
Mothra
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Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?
BellCountyBear
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Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?
47 is an educated idiot. That's all you need to know.
LIB,MR BEARS
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Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?


Both the Old and New Testament speak to God's power over nature. As for process theology, I've no idea what it is and not enough curiosity to check it out.

Psalm 107:28b-29
So that the waves of the sea were hushed. In Psalm 107 we see that the Lord "spoke and raised up a stormy wind" (v. 25a), here we see Jesus rebuking the windand notably in Mark we see that Jesus also speaks to the sea, commanding it to be quiet and still.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.(B) There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"(C)

41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

tommie
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BellCountyBear said:

Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?
47 is an educated idiot. That's all you need to know.


Although I've never met 47, I think the world of that dude. I hope to meet him in the fall.
LIB,MR BEARS
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tommie said:

BellCountyBear said:

Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?
47 is an educated idiot. That's all you need to know.


Although I've never met 47, I think the world of that dude. I hope to meet him in the fall.
you mean the season, I hope.

(it's a joke triggered people)
SSadler1
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In an "open" theology (such as Process) the question is not CAN God control nature (and all things), but does God CHOOSE TO CONTROL nature (and all things).

(and default is that God CAN but, in love, gives freedom to Divine creation so that creation can "work out it's own . . . " As no point in such a construct is God any LESS God; just a loving God who builds into a perfect creation the perfect prospect of freedom._

A God who CAN control all things but in certain instances CHOOSES NOT TO is a complete, sovereign God.
LIB,MR BEARS
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SSadler1 said:

In an "open" theology (such as Process) the question is not CAN God control nature (and all things), but does God CHOOSE TO CONTROL nature (and all things).

(and default is that God CAN but, in love, gives freedom to Divine creation so that creation can "work out it's own . . . " As no point in such a construct is God any LESS God; just a loving God who builds into a perfect creation the perfect prospect of freedom._

A God who CAN control all things but in certain instances CHOOSES NOT TO is a complete, sovereign God.
I've no issue with this.

I think in many instances, he allows His creation to run its course. If I eat tons of processed sugar and lots of fried food for years and years, I can expect to have medical issues as a result. If I don't have medical issues as a result of abusing my body for most of my life than, it is because God stepped in.

If God chose to have a Burr Oak grow from the acorn of a Live Oak, I suppose He could do that. I'm not aware of a situation where He has done so. Now a fish, large enough to eat a man and regurgitate him 3 days later, He could certainly create at His will.

edit: after doing a bit more reading, I've no issue with the portion above that SSadler posted. However, there is much more to process theology that I do not agree with. At first blush, it seems to reduce God's power and/or ability and I'm confused as to how it views Jesus within the Godhead.
drahthaar
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SSadler1 said:

In an "open" theology (such as Process) the question is not CAN God control nature (and all things), but does God CHOOSE TO CONTROL nature (and all things).

(and default is that God CAN but, in love, gives freedom to Divine creation so that creation can "work out it's own . . . " As no point in such a construct is God any LESS God; just a loving God who builds into a perfect creation the perfect prospect of freedom._

A God who CAN control all things but in certain instances CHOOSES NOT TO is a complete, sovereign God.


Enjoyed your discussion with 47 and figuredthat he, in the ultimate final analysis, would conclude God's sovereignty/control over the physical universe despite his word useage.

47 DID hit on the distinctive of personal experience as the proof of God to an individual. That our faith is relationship and not religion is a difference with huge distinctions for life, a tenet too often missed by the 20th century church and the one current churches must incorporate. There is a reason the first century believers went into the deserts to live.
JXL
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An excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on process theology:

Relationship to the doctrine of the incarnation Edit

Further information: Incarnation (Christianity)
Contrary to Christian orthodoxy, the Christ of mainstream process theology is not the mystical and historically exclusive union of divine and human natures in one hypostasis, the eternal Logos of God uniquely enfleshed in and identifiable as the man Jesus. Rather God is incarnate in the lives of all people when they act according to a call from God. Jesus fully and in every way responded to God's call, thus the person of Jesus is theologically understood as "the divine Word in human form." Jesus is not singularly or essentially God, but he was perfectly synchronized to God at all moments of life.[17] Cobb expressed the Incarnation in process terms that link it to his understanding of actualization of human potential: "'Christ' refers to the Logos as incarnate hence as the process of creative transformation in and of the world".

Debate about process theology's conception of God's power Edit

A criticism of process theology is that it offers a too severely diminished conception of God's power. Process theologians argue that God does not have unilateral, coercive control over everything in the universe. In process theology, God cannot override a person's freedom, nor perform miracles that violate the laws of nature, nor perform physical actions such as causing or halting a flood or an avalanche. Critics argue that this conception diminishes divine power to such a degree that God is no longer worshipful.[5][18][19][20][21]
BusyTarpDuster2017
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SSadler1 said:

47, I enjoyed that, though not many will follow you once you get to the "God has no control over nature" part of it. When in reality, God has ALL control of nature's essence (ie. God created it). And, my own take is, the greatest "gift" God gives to creation is "freedom"--from the freedom of each cell to divide according to genetic identity or to divided aberrantly (such as a cancer cell)--all the way to the highest form of cells dividing and "becoming" --the human mind.

(But it's been a long, long time since I dabbled (?) in Process Thought.

Wally Christian (deceased faculty) at Baylor had a real fondness for Process Thought. But the whole mechanism of Whitehead's philosophy was so challenging, I think there was only one "Process" dissertation written under him.

Some fool phd student got enamored with how to bridge the metaphysic of Process with the life of the church and in 1990, under Wally Christian's Direction, "A Theology of Worship Drawn from the Process Thought of Alfred North Whitehead, Norman A. Pitttenger, and Daniel Day Williams" somehow got defended and the phd granted.

I doubt this post/thread gets much attention other than to scan thru. Fadskier will come up with something inane to say once he Googles "Process Theology" and decides he's "agin" since after reading Google he considers himself qualified to opine here.

Keep up your good thinking. Theologies which will last are ALWAYS carried on the mental backs of those uninterested in simply believing what someone else gives them without independently thinking, and creating, something new to add to the mix.
"Keep up your good thinking."

This person is on record saying that God did NOT create the heavens and the earth.

Pretty hard to call yourself a Christian if you can't even get past the first sentence of the bible.
SSadler1
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Haven't read that far back in the thread.

The strength of Process Theology is it's foundational "Becoming" and "Community" I.e Reality is never static nor isolated from all other realities and, in fact, depends on some ONE other than Self to BECOME (constantly or die).

Lots of practical applications in on sense, but there are reasons it never caught on within Trinitarian Christianity--Process metaphysics will always be found wanting with what Trinitarians consider "miracle."

That said, in all fairness, Whitehead (Godfather of the school) NEVER set out to write theology. He was a metaphysician attempting to DESCRIBE REALITY rather than account for it's origins or biblical miracles. Thus, those such as PIttenger and Williams found applications where they could, and with complete candor, did not attempt Systematics.
Waco1947
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Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?
You beg the question. Is God in control of physics?
Waco1947
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JXL said:

An excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on process theology:

Relationship to the doctrine of the incarnation Edit

Further information: Incarnation (Christianity)
Contrary to Christian orthodoxy, the Christ of mainstream process theology is not the mystical and historically exclusive union of divine and human natures in one hypostasis, the eternal Logos of God uniquely enfleshed in and identifiable as the man Jesus. Rather God is incarnate in the lives of all people when they act according to a call from God. Jesus fully and in every way responded to God's call, thus the person of Jesus is theologically understood as "the divine Word in human form." Jesus is not singularly or essentially God, but he was perfectly synchronized to God at all moments of life.[17] Cobb expressed the Incarnation in process terms that link it to his understanding of actualization of human potential: "'Christ' refers to the Logos as incarnate hence as the process of creative transformation in and of the world".

Debate about process theology's conception of God's power Edit

A criticism of process theology is that it offers a too severely diminished conception of God's power. Process theologians argue that God does not have unilateral, coercive control over everything in the universe. In process theology, God cannot override a person's freedom, nor perform miracles that violate the laws of nature, nor perform physical actions such as causing or halting a flood or an avalanche. Critics argue that this conception diminishes divine power to such a degree that God is no longer worshipful.[5][18][19][20][21]
This a fair synopsis of of what I believe. Is their a question?
LIB,MR BEARS
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'47, what do you make of the following verses?


35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.(B) There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"(C)

41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

Waco1947
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LIB,MR BEARS said:

Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?


Both the Old and New Testament speak to God's power over nature. As for process theology, I've no idea what it is and not enough curiosity to check it out.

Psalm 107:28b-29
So that the waves of the sea were hushed. In Psalm 107 we see that the Lord "spoke and raised up a stormy wind" (v. 25a), here we see Jesus rebuking the windand notably in Mark we see that Jesus also speaks to the sea, commanding it to be quiet and still.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.(B) There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"(C)

41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"


Good stuff. Thank you for the Biblical perspective. That perspective is unarguably present in the Scripture. Time and again God acts physically all powerful ways such as , the Red Sea or as another poster put it "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
If I am correct in my understanding of your perspective then I would suggest a different perspective.
As I live in the physical cosmology of gravity, science, etc but my heart and soul and interior life, live in a Sacred Cosmology of love and grace and forgiveness and justice.
So I raise a question for myself and maybe for you: Is God's basic nature and relationship to humankind love or an all powerful.
I came to faith in God through the Jesus of Jesus for me, not because he pulled off a miracle.
My perspective, then, is twofold -- living in a physical universe and a spiritual universe at the same time and my life is ever directed by the love command of God as revealed in Jesus and lived out in a physical world.
Waco1947
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LIB,MR BEARS said:

'47, what do you make of the following verses?


35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.(B) There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"(C)

41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"


I believe I just answered this question but this Biblical perspective that you bring up is from the New Testament and Jesus is in the actor and mover over the physical world -- that is a raging Sea.
This passage is in the Gospel of Mark. I will teach on it next Sunday on a ZOOM presentation and can email you the link for the class at 10:00 am.

Mark's perspective on the the storm at sea is different from Matthew and Luke.

In Mark's passage the disciples say, ""Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" We are 4 chapters into Mark and the disciples ask, "Whether Jesus cares or not?" The answer is "Of course, Jesus cares. He acts in caring ways throughout the first 3 chapters of Mark." To the reader it is an incredulous question.



Jesus stills the storm and then says, "."Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?""
It is a question for the disciples to answer. They witness a miracle and their response is what?
"Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" This is not a statement of faith.
Their response is the feeling of awe not faith.
So the miracle produces nothing.

So maybe Mark is talking about faith and the questions that are asked in the text. Maybe the questions are directed at the reader of the Bible.
1) The first question -- "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" For we, present day disciples, we are hit with tough times like Covid and a Polar Freeze and people suffer and die. We put aside in our fear all the caring acts of Jesus in our lives and ask "Jesus, do you not care?"

2) Jesus addresses our fear and our faith "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" In our Covid and Freeze crises --- are we afraid? Do we have faith?

I, certainly, questioned Jesus caring as I heard of people without water or electricity. Why are we being hit so hard again?" But then I saw the miracles of people caring in the name of Jesus and seeking to help in countless ways.

My point is that text does not emphasis the miracle, but Jesus' caring, our fear, and our faith. In fact the miracle has no impact the disciples' faith but simply a feeling of awe.
So my approach to scripture is the underlying faith event of the story (Jesus cares, we are afraid, our faith is questioned by Jesus) I preach the faith events of the Bible.
And the invitation to Sunday School still stands.
JXL
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Waco1947 said:

JXL said:

An excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on process theology:

Relationship to the doctrine of the incarnation Edit

Further information: Incarnation (Christianity)
Contrary to Christian orthodoxy, the Christ of mainstream process theology is not the mystical and historically exclusive union of divine and human natures in one hypostasis, the eternal Logos of God uniquely enfleshed in and identifiable as the man Jesus. Rather God is incarnate in the lives of all people when they act according to a call from God. Jesus fully and in every way responded to God's call, thus the person of Jesus is theologically understood as "the divine Word in human form." Jesus is not singularly or essentially God, but he was perfectly synchronized to God at all moments of life.[17] Cobb expressed the Incarnation in process terms that link it to his understanding of actualization of human potential: "'Christ' refers to the Logos as incarnate hence as the process of creative transformation in and of the world".

Debate about process theology's conception of God's power Edit

A criticism of process theology is that it offers a too severely diminished conception of God's power. Process theologians argue that God does not have unilateral, coercive control over everything in the universe. In process theology, God cannot override a person's freedom, nor perform miracles that violate the laws of nature, nor perform physical actions such as causing or halting a flood or an avalanche. Critics argue that this conception diminishes divine power to such a degree that God is no longer worshipful.[5][18][19][20][21]
This a fair synopsis of of what I believe. Is their a question?


My post was actually a response to Lib's statement that he did not have enough curiosity to check out process theology. I don't believe in process theology but I wanted to post a fair summary.
Waco1947
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JXL said:

Waco1947 said:

JXL said:

An excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on process theology:

Relationship to the doctrine of the incarnation Edit

Further information: Incarnation (Christianity)
Contrary to Christian orthodoxy, the Christ of mainstream process theology is not the mystical and historically exclusive union of divine and human natures in one hypostasis, the eternal Logos of God uniquely enfleshed in and identifiable as the man Jesus. Rather God is incarnate in the lives of all people when they act according to a call from God. Jesus fully and in every way responded to God's call, thus the person of Jesus is theologically understood as "the divine Word in human form." Jesus is not singularly or essentially God, but he was perfectly synchronized to God at all moments of life.[17] Cobb expressed the Incarnation in process terms that link it to his understanding of actualization of human potential: "'Christ' refers to the Logos as incarnate hence as the process of creative transformation in and of the world".

Debate about process theology's conception of God's power Edit

A criticism of process theology is that it offers a too severely diminished conception of God's power. Process theologians argue that God does not have unilateral, coercive control over everything in the universe. In process theology, God cannot override a person's freedom, nor perform miracles that violate the laws of nature, nor perform physical actions such as causing or halting a flood or an avalanche. Critics argue that this conception diminishes divine power to such a degree that God is no longer worshipful.[5][18][19][20][21]
This a fair synopsis of of what I believe. Is their a question?


My post was actually a response to Lib's statement that he did not have enough curiosity to check out process theology. I don't believe in process theology but I wanted to post a fair summary.
Thank you
Waco1947
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Did I meet you a shuttle bus at a Baylor game?
LIB,MR BEARS
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JXL said:

Waco1947 said:

JXL said:

An excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on process theology:

Relationship to the doctrine of the incarnation Edit

Further information: Incarnation (Christianity)
Contrary to Christian orthodoxy, the Christ of mainstream process theology is not the mystical and historically exclusive union of divine and human natures in one hypostasis, the eternal Logos of God uniquely enfleshed in and identifiable as the man Jesus. Rather God is incarnate in the lives of all people when they act according to a call from God. Jesus fully and in every way responded to God's call, thus the person of Jesus is theologically understood as "the divine Word in human form." Jesus is not singularly or essentially God, but he was perfectly synchronized to God at all moments of life.[17] Cobb expressed the Incarnation in process terms that link it to his understanding of actualization of human potential: "'Christ' refers to the Logos as incarnate hence as the process of creative transformation in and of the world".

Debate about process theology's conception of God's power Edit

A criticism of process theology is that it offers a too severely diminished conception of God's power. Process theologians argue that God does not have unilateral, coercive control over everything in the universe. In process theology, God cannot override a person's freedom, nor perform miracles that violate the laws of nature, nor perform physical actions such as causing or halting a flood or an avalanche. Critics argue that this conception diminishes divine power to such a degree that God is no longer worshipful.[5][18][19][20][21]
This a fair synopsis of of what I believe. Is their a question?


My post was actually a response to Lib's statement that he did not have enough curiosity to check out process theology. I don't believe in process theology but I wanted to post a fair summary.
I got it. Thanks. I also went back and made an edit to the post you responded to. You probably didn't see it as I should have made a separate post.
LIB,MR BEARS
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Waco1947 said:

LIB,MR BEARS said:

'47, what do you make of the following verses?


35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.(B) There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"(C)

41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"


I believe I just answered this question but this Biblical perspective that you bring up is from the New Testament and Jesus is in the actor and mover over the physical world -- that is a raging Sea.
This passage is in the Gospel of Mark. I will teach on it next Sunday on a ZOOM presentation and can email you the link for the class at 10:00 am.

Mark's perspective on the the storm at sea is different from Matthew and Luke.

In Mark's passage the disciples say, ""Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" We are 4 chapters into Mark and the disciples ask, "Whether Jesus cares or not?" The answer is "Of course, Jesus cares. He acts in caring ways throughout the first 3 chapters of Mark." To the reader it is an incredulous question.



Jesus stills the storm and then says, "."Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?""
It is a question for the disciples to answer. They witness a miracle and their response is what?
"Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" This is not a statement of faith.
Their response is the feeling of awe not faith.
So the miracle produces nothing.

So maybe Mark is talking about faith and the questions that are asked in the text. Maybe the questions are directed at the reader of the Bible.
1) The first question -- "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" For we, present day disciples, we are hit with tough times like Covid and a Polar Freeze and people suffer and die. We put aside in our fear all the caring acts of Jesus in our lives and ask "Jesus, do you not care?"

2) Jesus addresses our fear and our faith "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" In our Covid and Freeze crises --- are we afraid? Do we have faith?

I, certainly, questioned Jesus caring as I heard of people without water or electricity. Why are we being hit so hard again?" But then I saw the miracles of people caring in the name of Jesus and seeking to help in countless ways.

My point is that text does not emphasis the miracle, but Jesus' caring, our fear, and our faith. In fact the miracle has no impact the disciples' faith but simply a feeling of awe.
So my approach to scripture is the underlying faith event of the story (Jesus cares, we are afraid, our faith is questioned by Jesus) I preach the faith events of the Bible.
And the invitation to Sunday School still stands.
Does "awe" not have value?

The final verse in John reads " Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."
John 21:25 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=John%2021:25&version=NIV

Are the miracles of Christ not "awe"-inspiring? Do they not show us and demonstrate to us that our faith is in a BIG GOD?
Mothra
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Waco1947 said:

Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?
You beg the question. Is God in control of physics?


Once again, if he does not, how is he God? If he lacks the ability to create then does he even exist? I would argue logic dictates that the answer is unequivocally "no." Without supernatural abilities he certainly does not fall into the commonly understood definition of a "god." Thus, the OT stories are fabricated and Christ, if he even existed, was merely a man - a good man that we can learn from certainly like Gandhi or MLK - but a mere mortal nonetheless and certainly not someone worthy of worship.
Waco1947
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Mothra said:

Waco1947 said:

Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?
You beg the question. Is God in control of physics?


Once again, if he does not, how is he God? If he lacks the ability to create then does he even exist? I would argue logic dictates that the answer is unequivocally "no." Without supernatural abilities he certainly does not fall into the commonly understood definition of a "god." Thus, the OT stories are fabricated and Christ, if he even existed, was merely a man - a good man that we can learn from certainly like Gandhi or MLK - but a mere mortal nonetheless and certainly not someone worthy of worship.
Again you beg the question. Does God control physics? The Biblical witness is that God does control physics but scientifically does God control it? Is the Bible a science book or a faith book?
Mothra
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Waco1947 said:

Mothra said:

Waco1947 said:

Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?
You beg the question. Is God in control of physics?


Once again, if he does not, how is he God? If he lacks the ability to create then does he even exist? I would argue logic dictates that the answer is unequivocally "no." Without supernatural abilities he certainly does not fall into the commonly understood definition of a "god." Thus, the OT stories are fabricated and Christ, if he even existed, was merely a man - a good man that we can learn from certainly like Gandhi or MLK - but a mere mortal nonetheless and certainly not someone worthy of worship.
Again you beg the question. Does God control physics? The Biblical witness is that God does control physics but scientifically does God control it? Is the Bible a science book or a faith book?
Per my initial inquiry, I am more interested in your answer to this question. And if the answer is: God does not control physics, then I am curious why we call him God? Isn't a god by its very nature a being which possesses divine attributes? If the God of the bible is confined by physics and time, then what makes him divine? How is Christ any different from good mortal men like Gandhi? We can learn from his teachings, but why label him "God"?
LIB,MR BEARS
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Waco1947 said:

Mothra said:

Waco1947 said:

Mothra said:

Is a god that has no control over nature really god at all?
You beg the question. Is God in control of physics?


Once again, if he does not, how is he God? If he lacks the ability to create then does he even exist? I would argue logic dictates that the answer is unequivocally "no." Without supernatural abilities he certainly does not fall into the commonly understood definition of a "god." Thus, the OT stories are fabricated and Christ, if he even existed, was merely a man - a good man that we can learn from certainly like Gandhi or MLK - but a mere mortal nonetheless and certainly not someone worthy of worship.
Again you beg the question. Does God control physics? The Biblical witness is that God does control physics but scientifically does God control it? Is the Bible a science book or a faith book?
the question wasn't directed to me but, it is the word of God.

It's not a comic book but there is some humor in it.

It's not a history book but there is history in it.

It is not a poetry book but there is poetry in it.

It's not an astronomy book but there is astronomy in it.

How far do you want to go with this?

In your view, is the word of God lacking something you believe should be there or does it contain something you believe shouldn't be there?
Waco1947
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" Does "awe" not have value?

The final verse in John reads " Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."
John 21:25 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=John%2021:25&version=NIV

Are the miracles of Christ not "awe"-inspiring? Do they not show us and demonstrate to us that our faith is in a BIG GOD?"
Yes, the miracles are awe inspiring but again awe is not faith.
We know the miracles are awe inspiring because the Biblical text tells us so.
Premise # 1 "Awe" is not faith.
Premise #2 The text and Jesus tells us that the disciples have no faith
Premise #3 The text and Jesus makes it clear that 'fear' is the central concern
Conclusion The text and Jesus address our fear and calms us and asks us to to trust Jesus and the calming of the sea is secondary.

(PS the John passage is another issue. I want to clear with you about my belief on this Mark text)
Mothra
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Waco1947 said:

" Does "awe" not have value?

The final verse in John reads " Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."
John 21:25 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=John%2021:25&version=NIV

Are the miracles of Christ not "awe"-inspiring? Do they not show us and demonstrate to us that our faith is in a BIG GOD?"
Yes, the miracles are awe inspiring but again awe is not faith.
We know the miracles are awe inspiring because the Biblical text tells us so.
Premise # 1 "Awe" is not faith.
Premise #2 The text and Jesus tells us that the disciples have no faith
Premise #3 The text and Jesus makes it clear that 'fear' is the central concern
Conclusion The text and Jesus address our fear and calms us and asks us to to trust Jesus and the calming of the sea is secondary.

(PS the John passage is another issue. I want to clear with you about my belief on this Mark text)
I am curious: why would we put faith in someone that is possesses no divine attributes? For me at least, faith is reserved for a higher power. If Jesus and the God of the bible have no higher power, then what is the point of putting faith in them?
LIB,MR BEARS
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I have faith in the pilot of my flight, in the driver in the oncoming lane, in the pharmacy techs. I have faith in my wife, my kids and to a certain extent, my employer. I also know that all those I described are flawed and subject to make mistakes, change their priorities or become distracted. They are not big enough, knowledgeable enough, loving enough, powerful enough to be worthy of my worship.

A Christian must have faith, no doubt. But isn't it great that we can have faith in a Father and Savior worthy of that faith?
Waco1947
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LIB,MR BEARS said:

I have faith in the pilot of my flight, in the driver in the oncoming lane, in the pharmacy techs. I have faith in my wife, my kids and to a certain extent, my employer. I also know that all those I described are flawed and subject to make mistakes, change their priorities or become distracted. They are not big enough, knowledgeable enough, loving enough, powerful enough to be worthy of my worship.

A Christian must have faith, no doubt. But isn't it great that we can have faith in a Father and Savior worthy of that faith?
God's love makes God worthy. That is enough.
LIB,MR BEARS
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Waco1947 said:

LIB,MR BEARS said:

I have faith in the pilot of my flight, in the driver in the oncoming lane, in the pharmacy techs. I have faith in my wife, my kids and to a certain extent, my employer. I also know that all those I described are flawed and subject to make mistakes, change their priorities or become distracted. They are not big enough, knowledgeable enough, loving enough, powerful enough to be worthy of my worship.

A Christian must have faith, no doubt. But isn't it great that we can have faith in a Father and Savior worthy of that faith?
God's love makes God worthy. That is enough.
prior to sending out the twelve, did Jesus give them information on faith or did He give the the power to perform miracles, to heal?

Sunday morning, you're telling the lost to have faith in who, in what and why?
Mothra
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Waco1947 said:

LIB,MR BEARS said:

I have faith in the pilot of my flight, in the driver in the oncoming lane, in the pharmacy techs. I have faith in my wife, my kids and to a certain extent, my employer. I also know that all those I described are flawed and subject to make mistakes, change their priorities or become distracted. They are not big enough, knowledgeable enough, loving enough, powerful enough to be worthy of my worship.

A Christian must have faith, no doubt. But isn't it great that we can have faith in a Father and Savior worthy of that faith?
God's love makes God worthy. That is enough.
But what makes God, God?
 
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