Guest Post Responding to My Essay about “Relational Sovere

Roger E. Olson | 12/7/2019 | Staff
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Guest Post Responding to My Essay about “Relational Sovereignty”

I asked a friend if I could post his response to my blog essay about God’s “relational sovereignty” to my blog and he agreed. It’s a bit long, which is why it is not a comment to my blog. However, I find it such a valuable response that I want to share it with everyone. The author is my friend Warren Holley.

Post - Divine - Determinism - Relational - Theology

The post concerning Divine Determinism and Relational Theology, I thought, was — to put it simply — outstanding in both expression and scope. (Could you be building a book upon these assertions?) With your usual gentle and respectful touch, you explain the central issues pertaining to God’s sovereignty that sadly divide the Christian community into, what I take to be, competing camps.

Over the past few years, with your guidance and recommendations, I have become able to ‘see’ (what I now understand to be) a more coherent and comprehensive path to defining ‘God’s Being’ and ‘God-with-us’ (God’s relationship to reality). In the course of a few sentences, you succinctly elucidate ‘relational theology.’ (You once described your theology, generally, as ‘relational.’ Initially, I was puzzled by this term but with your help I am less so now.) This path of ‘understanding’ (though I readily admit that I never truly ‘grasp’ anything by cognitive means exclusively) seems best encapsulated in your composite phrase: non-process, narrative-based, relational view of God’s sovereignty. This approach, though not without its own pitfalls (horrendous and inexplicable suffering, for instance), has helped me avoid some of the frustrating dead-ends of “Classic Theism” with its conundrums over divine omnideterminism, presumed impassibility and, in particular, the (often overlooked) legacy of medieval voluntarism which still influences our theological debates today. {The long shadow of John Calvin looms in this regard, even stretching into...
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