The Marriage of Time & Eternity
However, it is nevertheless "in serious tension, if not incompatibility, with traditional Christian theism on several key points..."
This is consistent with what I've said in the past -- that while Whitehead was one of my biggest influences, I could never be a "Whiteheadian" per se. You could say that certain aspects of process philosophy help me get past certain personal impasses in Christianity, while certain doctrines of Christianity help me get past the dodgier aspects of process philosophy.
Whitehead is probably more compatible with, say, Buddhism than Christianity, for like Buddhism he posits a world of pure process with no substantial reality underneath. But to jump ahead a bit, I am personal where he is impersonal, and trinitarian where he is... uni-processual, or something. I suppose that makes us Trinitarian Personalists, which about sums up the Secret Raccoon Doctrine.
By the way, I am still laboring under this manflu, so I'm hoping that much of this post can just consist of playgiarizing with Clarke instead of having to think for myself.
Here is a nice passage that clears up that whole predestination problem, which comes down to the nature of God's omnipotence:
"The actual carrying out of divine providence (and predestination) can take place... by persuasion, by luring to the good, not by coercion.....
"God determines the general set of goals He wishes to achieve, the goals at which he aims the universe, and knows that in general he will be able to achieve by His suasive power, but does not determine ahead of time in detail just whether or how each particular creature will achieve its share or not in this overall goal."
In keeping with the spirit of jazz, "Divine providence unfolds by constant instantaneous 'improvisation' of the divine mind and will -- from His always contemporaneous eternal now -- precisely to fit the actual ongoing activities, especially the free ones, of the creaturely players in the world drama" (or cosmic jazz combo).
One big issue is whether God changes. Process philosophy says Yes, of course, while orthodox Christianity says No Way. But the latter makes no sense to a Trinitarian Personalist, since God is not only related, but is relationship as such. And to be "in relationship" means to be relative to someone else.
Even so, the process philosophers are, in my opinion, a little too facile in positing a God of constant change.
For Clarke, "our metaphysics of God must certainly allow us to say that in some real and genuine way God is affected positively by what we do, that He receives love from us and experiences joy precisely because of our responses..."
However, "God does not become a more or less perfect being because of the love we return to him and the joy He experiences" therefrom.
As I've said before, if we can change but God can't, it means that we have a capacity that is denied God. Which can't be right.
God is Person, and "to receive love as a person... is not at all an imperfection, but precisely a dimension of the perfection of personal being as lovingly responsive." God never stops being "infinite perfection," it's just that the perfection of personal being is love and all it implies.
In a trinitarian perspective, the Father never stops sharing and receiving his love. If the cosmos is a fractal of God -- in that every wee part will be a reflection of the Whole We -- then this would explain how "God's 'receiving' from us, being delighted at our response to His love," equates to "His original delight in sharing with us in His eternal now His own original power of loving and infinite goodness which has come back to him in return."
Or as Blake said, eternity is in love with the productions of time.