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

Friday, August 19, 2011

Of Calvin, Barth and Poetry

David Congdon issued a challenge to write of Calvin in Barthian terms earlier this year (http://fireandrose.blogspot.com/2007/05/as-barth-poetic-challenge.html). Here are some of the better entries below:

As Calvin
Make of me no Calvinist,
God of Calvin and of me,
Cause me not to follow him
Who would follow only Thee.

Make of me no Calvinist,
Swallowing each word he penned,
Make of me a thinker, God,
As was he, Thy intimate friend!

Make me, God, as Calvin was,
Now, while yet in days of youth,
Delving from the Depths of Thine,
Sovereign, soul-exalting truth.

Make me like the Christ, O God,
Give me not a Calvin's ire,
But withhold from me the spark
For a new Servetus-fire.

Make me like a Calvin, God,
Just as humble, just as brave,
Like a Calvin who refused
E'en a stone upon his grave.

 - Albert Piersma
published in The Calvin Forum II:2 (1936), p. 39

Barth & Rumi Advise the Theologian

"We and our existences are really non-existence;
thou art the absolute Being which manifests the perishable."

You can’t find Him in there, go ahead, look hard,
with all the commentaries you may buy - or write yourself.

His domain we cannot discover,
and this shore has no port.
Does one arrive only by shipwreck?
“Come and dwell with me and be my Beloved,” is His call.
His love gives birth to hurricanes,
takes everything,
and gives more than all things back in Him alone.

(You have caused this shipwreck.
My secret stores of comfort,
hidden rafts of self-reliance,
hidden even from myself,
you have utterly destroyed, dashed against
the rocky shore of your desire for me.)

"But when the eye is turned toward the Light of God
What thing could remain hidden under such a Light?"

- Ann Chapin, July 2011http://www.iconsexplained.com/iec/byz_ann_chapin.htm
Quotes at the beginning and end of the poem are from the Persian philosopher, Rumi

Bonhoeffer Argues with Barth Over Heaven and its Songs

Not the angels who skim across pins,
en familie to Mozart and his lighted love of the air

Not the robed wonders who trade their antiphonal orders,
the patterns of Palestrina from, first, the East, then West, the home of human sins

Nor the simplest common chorales, broken off
as the Psalters of Geneva, of Plymouth, of Jerusalem and its steps

We believe in the prison and its concrete, impermanent walls,
in the sermon for all those held captive

We revel in the God become flesh and the old world
of tangential dust gathered to touch, though not touch, the new

Bach rewrote the world from the ground, bowed down
where the back can receive a blessing or thrashing, God knows

When our mist burns away in the sun we will know
Deus non est in genere,

Praise will be made from the fugue of the earth,
all its broken voices silent at first

Then circling to intone Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit,
Amen, amen, erhore mich

- David Wright, July 2011

David teaches literature and writing at Wheaton College, and is an advocate for arts in the Mennonite church. He has two volumes of published poetry: A Liturgy for Stones (2003) and Lines from the Provinces (2000). He also has three poems in the most recent issue of the Princeton Theological Review.

Four Limericks on Karl Barth

A scholar of God who was Swiss,
whom some sods like me think is sheer bliss,
drives conservatives nuts
and burns liberals’ butts,
while God thinks, “Karl, they’re taking the piss!”

There once was a gourmet named Barth,
who had tasted Rousseau and Descartes,
and though Hegel bar none
was his haute cuisine Hun,
he dogmatically dined à la carte.

To Wilhelm Karl lifted his stein,
and old Søren was fine vintage wine,
but what Rudolf would brew,
made him hack, heave, and spew,
while to Emil he roared and cried, “Nein!

Now what was Karl’s favourite sweet
(as I end my poor prandial conceit)?
He thought Jürgen too tart,
while too stale was Wolfhart,
Eberhard, though, now there was a treat!

- Kim Fabricius, July 2011

Kim is a minister at Bethel United Reformed Church in Swansea, Wales, and also serves as a chaplain with the United Reformed Church at the University of Wales, Swansea. While Kim does not have a blog of his own, he hovers around the theo-blogosphere and is most well known for his always insightful and often brilliant series of ten propositions.

For Additional References

John Calvin - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calvin
Karl Barth - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Barth
Emil Brunner - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Brunner
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonhoeffer

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