GOD, POWER, AND EVIL: A Process Theodicy by David Ray Griffin

GOD, POWER, AND EVIL: A Process Theodicy

Email this review


David Griffin, who recently published A Process Christology (1973) and collaborated with his mentor John Cobb on an introductory exposition of process theology, seems embarked on a systematic reinterpretation of the whole of theology from the perspective of the process thought inspired by Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. Here he tackles the long-intractable problem of evil: if there is a providential God, perfect in both power and goodness, why is there evil in the world? First, he outlines the central influences on the issue from the Biblical tradidition and Greek philosophy and highlights notions discounted by traditional theists. In Part II, he examines in considerable detail the way the problem was handled in mainstream Christian theology--from Augustine and Aquinas to contemporaries John Hick and James Ross--to demonstrate the impossibility of a solution, given the standard conception of God as omnipotent controller of all events. Finally, he presents his process theodicy based on the nontraditional notion of God as temporally conditioned and really involved in the world; basically, he argues that God eternally causes to exist conditions which allow for greater good, but necessarily also for greater evil and suffering, and that man is called to work with the divine creativity in overcoming evil in the creation of good. Many will find the rigor of Griffin's logic intimidatingly computer-like, but he has written a philosophical study that is as important as it is difficult.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1976
ISBN: 0664229069
Publisher: Westminster