One traditional alternative to this process view about theodicy is to say that God has all the power and that anything that happens is predetermined by God – and therefore good since God wills it. This is what Calvinists generally affirm, but it results in having to deny real human freedom. As Mesle points out, Luther also came to this conclusion by affirming God’s absolute omnipotence. Another problem this position raises is that we lose contact with the words good and love, since what is good and loving for God seems to be an absolute mystery to human understandings of these words. They become meaningless if God's goodness and love are so different from what we mean about them. If God permits the Holocaust to occur despite the power to stop such evils, then what is good and loving for God is clearly nothing like what is good and loving for humans. To assert otherwise is, to be blunt,
|Rabbi Harold Kushner|
Another traditional alternative, popularly argued for by C.S. Lewis, to the process view is to say that God is omnipotent but does not cause our decisions. God only foreknows our supposedly free decisions since God sees time like a pre-written book or vinyl record that is merely playing out before a God who exists outside of time, unaffected by change (note how this assumption is rooted in the dangerous logic of omnipotence!). But Mesle rightly argues that this would not allow for true human freedom: “perfect divine foreknowledge means that real freedom is impossible” because genuine alternatives are ultimately illusory. Instead, “God’s knowledge is constantly changing."
If we take the process perspective, we are able to affirm that God is genuinely loving, good, and also the most powerful entity in existence. God is the ultimate model of persuasive power and the most-moved mover. God does not know the future except as possibilities but knows the past exhaustively in addition to everything happening in the present. In this sense, God is omniscient since the future does not exist as actuality yet but as mere possibility. God knows everything there is to know. Moving beyond the logic of omnipotence also allows us to genuinely affirm that God is affected and even changes – that is, God is neither impassible nor immutable. This is precisely what we would expect from a God who is essentially love.