Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mercurial God

As process theologians say, God’s very being is enriched or impoverished by what happens in the world. But the difference is that, for me, this openness of God to the world is voluntary.

How does God change? Not in his character but only in his experience. Does this make God dependent on the world? Only in his experiential life and only voluntarily.

I cannot read the prophetic book Hosea without coming to this conclusion, namely that God actually, inwardly experiences the pain and suffering of humanity’s idolatrous rejection of him and the joy and relief of humanity’s repentance and turning away from idolatry back to unconditional love and loyalty to him.

Olson pulls back from the implications of his position by artificially partitioning God's experience from God's character, yet experience, such as the experience of betrayal (Hosea's God), can dramatically impact the innocent party's character. Betrayal typically provokes bitter resentment, hatred, and sometimes violent revenge. 

1 comment:

  1. Additionally, isn't it quite arbitrary for Olson to say that the book of Hosea forces him to such and such a view? Doesn't he regularly reject the OT?