Persuasive God

According to Dan Wotherspoon (2006), the coercive image of God (Old Testament) has been a detriment to our society.  A more New Testament approach, aligned with process theology, may be what needed to improve the human condition:

A Coercive Old Testament God?

Process theology is very much like Mormonism in paying far more explicit attention than most every other tradition to the “imitatio dei” urge, the innate attraction humans have to align their behavior after their conception of Godly ways of being.  Accordingly, it is reasonable to posit that this tendency when operating in concert with ideas about God taught in traditional theism could have helped shape some of the most negative features of our current society.  For instance, the idea that God can bring worlds in and out of existence “ex nihilo”–from nothing–rather than through working with other existents, and the notion that God can act by divine fiat and the exercise of coercive power, might be understood as subtle or not-so-subtle contributors to the nuclearism and militarism that threaten us all.  If the alternative conceptions about God and the nature of power held by process thought and Mormonism can be internalized to the depth that traditional theistic notions have been, perhaps these negative tendencies can and will become less pronounced.

Source:  Dan Wotherspoon, “Process Theology and Mormonism–Connections and Challenges,” UVSC Conference, Mormonism and the Christian Tradition, 30 March 2006.

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