Process thinkers reframe experience in ways that emphasize relational, flowing distinctions over absolute, fixed divisions. This need not imply relativism, however. In fact, many process thinkers insist that there are still statements, principles, etc., that are true always and everywhere, and if those aren’t absolutes I’m not sure what would be.

The obvious example here, of course, is process thought’s starting point: To be real is to be a way of newly interacting. That’s supposed to be true always and everywhere. But it’s crucial to recognize that, even if we accept that it’s somehow abstractly true always and everywhere, it tells us very little about how it’s concretely true here and now. Absolutely stated truths, if indeed true, are abstract, partial outlines of the relational, flowing distinctions we concretely experience. That doesn’t make them untrue, just incomplete.

I sometimes suggest that we think of such abstractions as rubber bands. You can stretch and twist them to fit all kinds of shapes, and they do have some pull on whatever they fit, but there’s no way to predict how they’ll fit or how much pull they’ll have.

One perhaps surprising consequence is that this way of reframing how we think of absolutes allows many process theists, like Schubert Ogden, to retain a few more traditional attributes of of God like immutability and eternity (though again these are radically reframed):

“There is a sense in which God may be appropriately characterized by the classical attributes. Since his sociality or relativity to others is itself relative to nothing, it is quite properly spoken of as absolute. God, one may say, is absolutely relative. Likewise, the one thing about God which is never-changing, and so in the strictest sense immutable, is that he never ceases to change in his real relations of love with his whole creation. Precisely as eminently temporal, God is also of necessity strictly eternal or everlasting. But, important as it is to acknowledge this continuity with the older theism, there is no mistaking the radical difference. Although all the classical attributes contain an element of truth, they are neither the whole truth about God’s nature nor the surest clue to discerning it. That clue, rather, is to be found in the ancient religious insight that the very principle of all being is love, in the sense of the mutual giving and receiving whereby each of us becomes himself only in genuine interdependence with his fellows. If to be even the least of things is somehow to be related to others and dependent on them, then the One ‘than whom none greater can be conceived’ can only be the supreme instance of such social relatedness, the One who as the unbounded love of others is the end no less than the beginning of all that either is or can ever be.” (This incidentally was written in 1966, when the use of male pronouns went mostly unquestioned. Ogden no longer writes that way.)