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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rob Bell - Fit To Smash Ice Tour

The Fit To Smash Ice Tour
Fall 2011
with Rob Bell

Have I ever told you the story about
the smoke machine at the wedding?
Or the time I hit my head and had
to be told who I was? Or the one about
Eleazar and the elephant?

I didn't think so. Which means it's time
for a tour. Over the next year or so
I'll be out on the Fit to Smash Ice Tour
with the good chance I'll be somewhere
near where you live. As usual it's several
hours of entirely new content I haven't given
before, exploring all the exhilarating ways
we stumble and fumble and fail and bleed
and limp along and just how good and
sacred and thrilling it all is.

I'm hoping to break some new ground
on this tour, going places we haven't
gone before. I want you to be inspired,
provoked, challenged and moved in all
kinds of new ways throughout the
evening so that you leave Fit to Smash


A Year of Biblical Womanhood

A Year of Biblical Womanhood

by Rachel Held Evans
September 25, 2011

On October 1, 2010, I committed one year of my life to following all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible—from the Old Testament to the New Testament, from Genesis to Revelation, from the Levitical purity codes to the letters of Paul.

This meant, among other things, submitting to my husband (Colossians 3:18), growing out my hair (1 Corinthians 11:15), making my own clothes, (Proverbs 31:22), learning how to cook (Titus 2:3-5), praising my husband at the city gate (Proverbs 31:23), covering my head when in prayer (1 Corinthians 11:5), calling Dan “master” (1 Peter 3:5-6), caring for the poor (Proverbs 31:25), nurturing a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4), abstaining from gossip (Proverbs 20:19), and camping out in the front yard for the duration of my period (Leviticus 15:19-33).

The project brought me to Amish country in Pennsylvania, to a Benedictine monastery in Alabama, and to rural villages in Bolivia. I found myself making Thanksgiving dinner for eight, caring for a Baby-Think-It-Over, serving homemade matzah toffee at Passover, wrestling with some troubling passages of Scripture, perching on my rooftop, and sitting silently among the Quakers.

Each month I focused on a different virtue celebrated in the Bible: gentleness, domesticity, obedience, valor, beauty, modesty, purity, fertility, submission, charity, silence, and faith. Some practices I observed just once. Others I observed all year. Throughout the experiment, the Biblical Woman’s Ten Commandments served as a guide for daily living.

In addition to my own experiences, I interviewed modern-day women incorporating ancient practices into their own lives—a polygamist, an Orthodox Jew, an Amish family, a Quiverfull mom, and more. I’ve spent hours conducting research, combing through feminist, complementarian, and egalitarian commentaries, and actively seeking out Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant perspectives on each issue. And of course I’ve read the Bible, cover to cover, isolating and examining every verse I can find about mothers, daughters, sisters wives, widows, queens, and prophetesses.

My purpose in embarking on this project is not to belittle or make fun of the Bible, nor is it to glorify its patriarchal elements. It is simply to start a conversation about how we interpret and apply the Bible to our lives. (See Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.) In the end, I hope my misadventures inspire women to cut themselves and one another some slack…because the truth is, we all do a little “picking and choosing” when it comes to biblical womanhood!

(A book about the project will be published by Thomas Nelson in 2012, but you can keep up with my progress here on the blog as I post updates, photos, reflections, and videos.)



Biblical Womanhood: A Year Of Living By The Book

'Biblical Womanhood': A Year Of Living By The Book

by NPR Staff
September 25, 2011

In deference to Titus 2:3-5 and 1 Timothy 5:14, Rachel Held Evans tried to stay "busy in  the home," honing her cooking, cleaning and hospitality skills. She is seen here with homemade matzah toffee for Passover.
In deference to Titus 2:3-5 and 1 Timothy 5:14, Rachel Held Evans
tried to stay  "busy in the home," honing her cooking, cleaning and
 hospitality skills. She is seen here with homemade matzah toffee
for Passover.
As an evangelical Christian, Rachel Held Evans often heard about the importance of practicing "biblical womanhood," but she didn't quite know what that meant. Everyone she asked seemed to have a different definition.
Evans decided to embark on a quest to figure out how to be a woman by the Bible's standards. For one year, she has followed every rule in the Old and New Testaments. Her project will end next Saturday.
Throughout the year, she kept a blog about the experience; it's going to be made into a book that will be published in 2012.
One of Evans' tasks was to submit to her husband, Dan. The need for women to submit to their husbands is repeated multiple times in the letters of Paul and Peter, she tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.
"That was a challenge because my husband and I have a very egalitarian relationship," Evans says, "so it was kind of weird trying to impose a hierarchy onto that relationship."
Evans made a flow chart that had an arrow pointing from God to her husband and down to her; she posted it on their refrigerator.
"We tried to stick by that, and it would be little things like if I wanted to watch one movie from Netflix, but he wanted another one, we would defer to his," she says.
Proverbs 31:23 says that a virtuous woman's husband is "respected at the city  gate," so Evans made a poster that said "Dan is Awesome" and stood in front of  the "Welcome to Dayton" sign for 30 minutes one  afternoon.
Proverbs 31:23 says that a virtuous woman's husband is "respected at the city gate,"
so Evans  made a poster that said "Dan is Awesome" and stood in front of the
"Welcome to Dayton" sign for 30 minutes one afternoon.
In Proverbs 31, a husband is praised at the city gates. Evans attempted to do the equivalent by standing outside the "Welcome to Dayton" sign in Tennessee with a poster board that read, "Dan is Awesome."
"People thought I'd lost a bet," she says.
Evans says she'd hated Proverbs 31 for years "because in the evangelical culture, it's lifted up as sort of like the model for all women everywhere, and it talks about a woman who sews from morning till night and provides food for her family and clothing."
Her perspective shifted, however, after talking to a friend about the Jewish culture's interpretation of the passage. Her friend said men were the ones who memorized the passage as a way of praising women — her friend's husband sings it to his wife at every Sabbath meal.
"That whole passage got turned around for me when I started looking at it from a more Jewish perspective and seeing it less as something that God expects all women to do and more as a way of praising what women have already accomplished," she says.
Also as part of her project, Evans spent all year growing out her hair.
"Basically, Paul says that it is a woman's glory to have long hair, which basically, I'm guessing, he wouldn't have said that if he'd met me because my hair just doesn't really look good long. It's really frizzy and poufy, and right now it is just absolutely out of control," she says. "The first thing I'm going to do on Oct. 1 when the project is over is schedule a hair appointment."
With the project drawing to a close, Evans hasn't uncovered a singular way to practice biblical womanhood.
"We're all selective in how we interpret and apply the Bible to our lives — even evangelical Christians, whether they like to admit it or not," she says. "So what I have found is that any time you think you have found a sort of blueprint or standard for biblical womanhood, a woman in scripture comes along and is praised for breaking it."


 A Biblical Woman's Reading List
by Rachel Held Evans
September 25, 2011

(Note: Look for superlatives later this week.)

I have just one week left in my year of biblical womanhood, which means I am days away from a much-needed haircut and the ceremonial packing-away of my many head coverings. In the spirit of Rosh Hashanah, I plan to spend the week reflecting on the past year and the year to come while snacking on apples and honey and attempting to track down a shofar.

In addition to accumulating a stash of head coverings, I’ve amassed quite a few books over the past year. Occasionally people ask me what sort of resources I used during the project, so today I thought I’d share the list.

All Year:

The Bible (There are many translations available at biblegateway.com)

- Anchor Bible Commentary Series
- The Women’s Bible Commentary, Edited by Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe
- Living Judaism: The Guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition, and Practice by Wayne D. Dosick
- Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books, and the New Testament, Edited by Carol Meyers, Toni Cravien, and Ross Shepard Kraemer
- Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem
- Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy, Edited by Ronald W. Pierce, Rebecca Merrill Groothuis and Gordon D. Fee
- Women in the World of the Earliest Christians: Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life by Lynn Cohick
- God’s Word to Women by Katharine C. Bushnell
- Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned by Kenneth C. Davis
-"On The Dignity and Vocation of Women" by Pope John Paul II
- The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

October (Gentleness):

- Etiquette by Emily Post
- Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila
- The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux by John Beevers

November (Domesticity):

- Martha Stewart's Cooking School
- Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook
- The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and “Women’s Work” by Kathleen Norris
- The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
- Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald
- The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Shaeffer
- Next to Godliness: Finding the Sacred in Housekeeping by Alice Peck

December (Obedience):

- Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl
- Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce
- Quivering Daughters: Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy by Hillary McFarland
- Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives by Phyllis Trible

January (Valor - Proverbs 31):

- Sewing for Dummies by Janice Saunders Maresh
- The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
- Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs by Ellen F. Davis
- The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 15-31 by Bruce K. Waltke

February (Beauty):

- Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs by Ellen F. Davis
- Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire by Jennifer Wright Knust

March (Modesty):

- A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit
- Amish Society by John Andrew Hostetler

April (Purity):

- The Red Tent by Anita Diamat
- Inside the Red Tent by Sandra Hack Polaski
- Living Judaism: The Guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition, and Practice by Wayne D. Dosick
- Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner

May (Fertility):

- What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 4th Edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
- On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam
- The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by William Sears and Martha Sears
- Babyproofing Your Marriage by Stacie Cockrell, Cathy O'neill, Julia Stone and Rosario Camacho-koppel
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
- Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay: And Other Things I Had to Learn as a New Mom by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

June (Submission):

- Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
- Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire by Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat
- Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender by John Stackhouse

July (Charity):

- Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices by Julie Clawson
- Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDUnn
- The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

August (Silence):

- I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15 In Light of Ancient Evidence by Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger
- The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by Scot McKnight
- Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James
- Roman Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities by Bruce Winter
- The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
- A Quaker Book of Wisdom by Robert Lawrence Smith
- Let Nothing Disturb You (30 Days with A Great Spiritual Teacher) by Teresa of Avila, with John Kirvan and Caroline Myss
- All Will Be Well (30 Days with A Great Spiritual Teacher) by Julian of Norwich
- The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle

September (Faith):

-Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle
-Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
-No Greater Love by Mother Teresa
- Loaves and Fishes by Dorothy Day
- The Hospital By the River by Dr. Catherine Hamlin

…So what did I forget? :-)

Learn more about my year of biblical womanhood here.