A Vivid Illustration

Recently i have been in touch with a couple of the major thinkers from two different movements, the Barthian movement and the Open Theism movement.  I have been discussing with the proponents of each system whether or not there are similarities in the two systems.  I am hoping to do my master’s thesis on exploring the commonalities between th two schools of thought.

I need to get the scholar’s permission to blog about their views of the other system, but i wanted to point out an interesting point each person made.  Both the Barthian and the Open Theist accused the other system of being stuck in classical theism, particularly in classical metaphysics.

I find this fascinating.  Each person is sympathetic to the intentions of the other; in fact the Barthian thinks that Openness thinkers ask the right questions, but simply don’t go far enough to answer them.  Yet while sympathetic to the intentions of each other, each think the the other system doesn’t actually move the discussion past prior thinking, unless of course they are talking about their own thought!

I think that this is a vivid illustration regarding the need to define terms.  Each person i believe is right in their critique, so i would say that in a way they are both “guilty as charged.”  The problem is that metaphysics encompasses quite a bit of stuff (man that was precise verbage), so in some ways they are both stuck in the past, and yet they are many ways they are moving the discussion forward.  I think that we can take the best of both schools of thought and possibly build a hybrid.  I need to do a lot more work on this thought before i can be sure that it is possible.

I know that this post has been very vague, so my apologies.  However, i just want to make sure i have each person’s permission to post their thoughts.  As soon as i do, i will, and this post will make more sense.

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One response to “A Vivid Illustration

  1. If you want to work on the relation of process theology to Barth, be sure to check out Donna Bowman’s “The Divine Decision: A Process Doctrine of Election” (WJK, 2002). I happen to think that there are very fundamental divergences between these two methodologies, but it is certainly worth the study!

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