The world is not scripted


John Haught describes how the process of evolution serves as the basis of a much more interesting theology than the simplistic dogma of creationism, because evolution reveals to theologians a vision of God who "wills, but does not force, truly interesting outcomes to emerge in surprising new ways."

I believe that Haught generally has denied being a process theologian, but it is clear that his views are deeply influenced by it. This business of "willing but not forcing" expresses the notion that God has not scripted the history of the universe, but rather is a non-omnipotent co-participant in its creative processes.

This point is crucial, I think, to understanding what Haught is saying. Jerry Coyne, in his atheist blog, claimed sarcastically in response to this that Haught believed that "God is just a big playwright, directing a big script that none of us will ever be able to see to its end." This seems to be actually almost exactly the opposite of what Haught was in fact saying. Scripting is one thing, Haught argues, that God does not do.


Joe Harris said...

I would say God is a composer who writes down his music (laws of nature) and then directs (will of God) the orchestra (reality) in a co-creative process to create the actual music (evolving existence) that everyone can experience.

LOSER PAUL said...

Hello! :)

Honesty said...

Haught at times seemed to have merged kenotic theology with process theology. But you are absolutely right, whitehead suggested that the initial aim is also changing along with the self-actualization of the actual occasion. God never determines or scripts the future, but is the source of all novel possibilities.
I am very fond of Haught's writings.

But this image often comes into conflict with the materialist-deterministic worldview. That is why it is so unattractive to a significant amount of atheists.