Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rob Bell - Conformation (1 John 3.11-18)


(Click on this link to hear or download the .mp3 file)

1 John 3.11-18 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+3&version=ESV)
Love One Another
11For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

12We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13Do not be surprised, brothers,[c] that the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

SPLANCHNON: Though a strange expression in our modern
cultures here is a recent example of its use -
"My Stomach is full of anger and I want to take my revenge"
                                                                                          - Andy Schlech

Andy Schleck comments on Alberto Contrador's
tactics of passing him when seeing his bike chain
come off on Stage 15 of the 2010 TDF

SPLANCHNON as a motivator months and months later -
2011 TDF Update: Andy Schleck takes his revenge on Stage 18 one year later:


The Great Emergence of Christianity

There has been a lot of discussion lately as to whether we are in a time that is a game changer described as the very early stages of postmodernism and its seeming correspondent form of Christianity known as Emergent Christianity. As said earlier, I'm not sure whether Emergent Christianity is real or not, whether it is a movement or not, or whether its is a separate branch of Christianity or not (hopefully not!).

But if I were to choose I would think of it as an ecumenical postmodernistic Christian movement composed of a wide variety of believers from many different walks of life and doctrine, theology and practice, who are investigating postmodernistic expressions (as well as responses) to their Christian faith, whether orthodox or not. The idea of a Great Emergence is an attempt by its author Phyllis Tickle to explain her understanding of the historical import of this introductory era that we seemed to have entered into - its creative expressions and recapture of the Christian faith, as well as the  frustrations of non-emergent believers resistant to change and movement within their traditional faith expressions, structures, beliefs and practices.

For myself, I come from the conservative side of orthodox Christianity that is looking for faith's life and breath again against all the quantified statements that have formed themselves into rigid theological structures within our modernistic era. Not that they aren't good, solid, acceptable expressions of God, his Word and our faith communities, but that they seemed to have lost the life of God, his Word and the essence of communal living. Some of this I attribute to the constant reparsing and redefining of the Christian tradition until it has become trapped in a dark tunnel unable to see the life and hope and beauty that God has intended for us. At other times because we fear change as unhealthy or unproductive and wish to prove and discern new movements before accepting their questionable foundations and philosophies.

Which is all well and good but my charge to my conservative friends is twofold - don't so over criticize what could be a legitimate God-sent movement so as to kill the thing itself and in the killing kill your own faith's hope for salvation and life. And secondly, if there is some remnant of fact or heartfelt experience that is attractive within this Emergent movement than get on board and allow faith to grow again. Do not try to capture it and re-work it backwards into a dying expression of faith. But through listening and discerning Emergent Christianity's heartbeat let it wash back over all the past into something cleansing, renewing, revitalizing and refreshings.

For without active orthodox acceptance and support this movement can become stillborn and left to less traditional proponents of Christianity which may then take generations to recapture and express again. But don't come to emergent Christianity seeking to only put on its new dress, new clothes and new shoes! For this movement requires a radical change of thinking, of re-orientation. It requires a change of heart and a change of spirit that is found underneath the new clothes and shoes.  And once that is done postmodernistic Christianity will be a thing of beauty unlike its older, modernistic self dressed in its dark grays and death-filled colours.

Overall, I am thankful to my past which contained enough kernels of faith and truth that it could be rebirthed into the freedom of investigating a larger, less restrictive paradigm to the Christian faith. But it took awhile to hear again God's word and Spirit partly because I was to blame and partly because what I was listening to was inconsistent and ill-defined - rough as it were in its early stages of expression. It took a long while to hear this new paradigm's heartbeat and for its message to be sorted out and better understood and streamlined by its proponents. But its message is one that the Belfast Irishman, Peter Rollins, (cf. the last four videos below) has summed up quite neatly and shows in postmodernistic fashion what real faith can mean again by allowing Christianity's traditional creedal and religious statements to live and breath and find expression like they once had had.

And with that said, let me say that this is the very reason why this web blog has been developed - to help elucidate the best of what Emergent Christianity could be, as it interacts with both the older and newer traditional beliefs and practices of Christianity. So then, let me place a charge of responsibility to every believer that each of us be involved with enhancing this conversation of our Lord and Savior to the best version of itself that we can express this side of humanity. This is my prayer, my hope, my desire for today's postmodern church in its communal witness, ministry, worship and spirit-filled life.

- skinhead

The Great Emergence, October 2008

In 2008, Phyllis Tickle and Peter Rollins discuss
the spirit and theology of the emerging church
movement and what is happening abroad.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

What Evangelicals think of Emergent Christians

I came across these older videos below made by well-respected evangelical leaders arguing against Emergent or Emerging Christianity back in the years 2007, 2008 and 2010. And whether young or old, each respondent made strong, assertive statements as to what they believed Emergent Christianity and Emergent Christians to be. Now, I'm not even sure whether Emergent Christianity is real or not, whether it is a movement or not, or whether its is a branch of Christianity or not (I'm thinking an ecumenical movement, as a descriptor, if I were to choose). But I am sure that its is composed of Christians from many walks of life and doctrine and theology who are investigating postmodernistic expressions (as well as responses) to their orthodox Christian faith.

And I am also confident that when all is said or done, that we will discover that this updated expression of orthodoxy will be both radically new and yet strangely familiar with its old-line predecessor. That Jesus will still be Redeemer, the Bible still God's word, its language still to be trusted, the church still God's faithful remnant witnessing and living for their Lord, and so on and so forth. And for all the criticism leveled at Emergent Christianity from several years ago until now in 2011 (sic, Love Wins), we will discover that our faith investigations, worship practices, and missional outreach will have provided to Christianity a much needed quantum expression to its previous classical forms that has been modified innumerable times over the past 500 years since the Reformation period.

And so, in light of this, rather than be hurt or mad or disappointed over what these videos present by popular evangelical preachers of the pulpit and graduate schools, let us learn to understand their critique of  a movement they believe they understand but yet by their very words show that they don't. For by Emergent Christianity's very nature, it will continue to modify itself from its originating and earlier self into a legitimate and dynamic reformulation of all things God, in a good way, and not in the bad ways that are being expressed in these videos here.

This is my belief. And this is our task. For what has been said in previous years by earlier Emergents will not be the last things said by their revisionists, their critics and friends. For Christianity has ever embraced, adapted and adopted the cultural era that it is in, and so will we in this new postmodernistic era that is still in its infancy and but hardly begun! 

At least that is my belief with the Emergents writers that we have been following here on this blog. I don't find these Emergent friends or institutions any less biblical, any less truthful or insightful; nor any more liberal or deceptive. They are respected men and women of God who have patiently endured evangelical mis-statements all the while praying for those believers in disagreement to not be alarmed or distrustful. To become patient listerners and discerners of Emergent engagements with contemporary global culture.  And so shall we, and so will do . Be at peace.


ps - please note that Mark Driscoll become despondent with Emergent Christianity (2005-2006?) and has since become one of its critics.


November 17, 2007
R.C. Sproul, Al Mohler, and Ravi Zacharias discuss
post-modernism, modernism, liberalism, and the emergent church.

August 15, 2008
The Albert Mohler Program, Part 1
with host Dr. Russell Moore and
guests Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck

August 15, 2008
The Albert Mohler Program, Part 2

August 15, 2008
The Albert Mohler Program, Part 3

John Piper, February 28, 2010

Phrases and Adjectives Describing Emergents
Emergents are motivated by "white guilt"
Come from upper-middle class whites
Are burned-out evangelicals
Attract trendy college kids
Portray a hip or cool image
Attract twenty-somethings
Espouse a postmodern ethic
Is a rebirth of liberalism
Known for coffee, candles and couches
Dislike systematic theology
Prefer narratives and stories
Are new-age Christians
Are Catholic mystics
Are wolves in sheep's clothing
Are heretics, false teachers, liberals
Are left-wing voters
Are gen-Y cynics
Are jaded and think the church stinks
Liked reading The Shack
Is a short-term fad
Don't believe in absolutes
Reject theological truths
Break down language
Teach relativism
Are socially conscious
Are not cognitive believers
Are non-critical and anti-doctrinal
Wish for peace-and-love over truth-and-justice
Are allergic to church traditions and creeds
Have abdicated Christian responsibility
Have abdicated Christian conviction
Have abdicated Christian courage
Are allergic to mega-churches
Have left orthodoxy

(Thankfully the list stops here)