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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Select Videos by Stanley Hauerwas

Wikipedia: Stanley Hauerwas (born July 24, 1940) is a Christian theologian and ethicist. He has taught at the University of Notre Dame and is currently the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School with a joint appointment at the Duke University School of Law.

The System vs. The Kingdom

"Being a Christian should scare the hell out of us"

Prayer is part of the training, part of the preparation for the afterlife. As is being together in community on a regular basis. Going to church is a good place to go to. To worship God with other people. It is essential to helping us live as a Christian. It makes us part of an ongoing history that we cannot make up. Christianity is received. It cannot be done alone but only with others. Having a faith cannot be a private thing. It is all public. And must be shared with others. “Jesus as Lord” makes our lives quite dysfunctional. Being a Christian must make us rush together for protection to discover that, “Oh, I’m not crazy! God IS real!” “God in Christ reconciling the world” makes our lives really weird and gathering together on Sunday pulls us back into the reality of God’s Kingdom lest we lose sight of it. Through baptism, through proclamation of the Word, through communion (Eucharistic celebration), through fellowship.

Stanley Hauerwas on Prayer

Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, a widely acclaimed Christian theologian, discusses his understanding of prayer.

If prayer has taught me anything it has taught me to wait. The world’s sense of time is based upon speed. Efficiency. The ability to get things done quickly. But God’s sense of time is based upon patience. Faithfulness. Dependence. Prayer has also taught me a sense of humor. That it all doesn’t depend on me which is a deep truth that gives to me a perspective that gets around my foibles and frailties. That God is God and I am not. A truth that gives me both humor and patience and allows me to rest in God’s time.

Stanley Hauerwas On His Evangelical Audience

Considering that Evangelicals have produced some of the realities that Dr. Hauerwas has spent a career resisting (pietism, 'personal relationships with Jesus, church growth, etc.), he discusses his Evangelical audience with Wunderkammer Magazine.

Evangelicals bring to us “Jesus and energy” both of which I admire greatly insofar as Evangelicals keep a high regard of Scripture, a Christological center, and a great desire to tell people of Jesus as the great joy of their lives. However, the church is not a secondary reality to the Christian’s immediate relationship to God. It is a necessary part of a Christian’s reality because the Church’s function in the Christian life is one of mediating God to the world. The Christian faith is not done alone through pietism and a private relationship with Jesus. Church growth does not mean that we make God up, or that we make Christianity up. It is received through the gifts of 2000 years of Church history. Tradition matters. One of the reasons it matters is because it teaches us of error. And one of the ways that we know error is through remembering and studying the Christian tradition through historical event and occurrence.

Stanley Hauerwas: What only the whole church can do

Theologian Stanley Hauerwas discusses the term leadership and how he prepares his students to provide it. Leadership cannot be abstracted from the communities that make it possible, says Stanley Hauerwas, a Duke Divinity School professor considered to be one of the nations most influential theologians.

What is Leadership? It’s always persuasion. All the time. All the way through. So much of the time real, creative, authority works through articulating to one’s community what needs to be done in a way that defies limits. Their limits. Your limits. The limits of the system. Leadership reframes issues so that we may discover ways of who and where we are in terms that do not reproduce the necessities of the past. That circumvents them and gives newer methods of formation to one’s present.

Sadly, leadership can be perverted and subverted. We know what leadership is abstracted from communities that make leadership possible. Part of the issue is the usage of power. A gift that God has given us for the formation of community. A gift that makes it necessary for us to discuss amongst ourselves those individuals who give can lead ethically, benevolently, fairly. But this is also the language of leadership that can be perverted. These are matters that must be discussed within communities for the correct apprehension and usage of “power” lest it go awry and is misused and abused.

What do you teach students so that they may make a difference in the world? Don’t lie. Be honest. If you do not know what the truth is then discuss it. Don’t make it up and say that you do. Politics is people. Any person who works with people in a leadership position must be involved with people and be honest with people through their involvements.

How do institutions make space for innovation? One of the elements of producing creativity is the process of “habit” in the sense that creativity is carried through habit. Though we think we are doing the same thing over and over again, in reality we are not. We just think we are. Why? Because we change day-to-day. As does the world. As do events in-and-around our lives. As example, the church’s history of liturgy is constantly evolving through innovation to society. But in a way that we recognize continuities through time. “Habits” evolve. They are familiar. They are repetitive. They are helpful in placing us with others in the larger communal sense of event and time participation. This is how institutions make space for innovation.

People who are called to administrative development have to undergo a deep, aesthetical discipline to help you emotionally deal with people who you recognize as having both possibilities and limitations. Each of which can drive you crazy if these are taken personally. This type of personal discipline will then provides space for communities to develop the diversities of their gifts with one another which is the administrator's charge to discover, and encourage, for community utilization. This is part of the responsibility of an administrator - the gift of recognition and encouragement to the goal of community development.

Overall, leadership recognizes how fragile the gift of power is. A quality that you wouldn’t have be otherwise. A quality that gives to the leader a confidence that you do not need to win all the time. It is a true ascetic discipline in that it disciplines the ego to accept, and promote, the occurrence of consensus among others without the necessity of the leader's will injected into all matters of the community at all times. And that when one wins we all win. But it cannot be limited simply to one person in the dictates of their own spirit over others. For it is absolutely necessary that the leader disciplines his will, his determinations, and his guidance. It is a personal quality that is absolutely crucial to allowing any organization to grow within itself, within its dictates and formations, so that once the leader is no longer there the organization may function independently. And continue  to grow in a healthy relationship to itself, its community and to others. This kind of quality, or structure, makes the community want to serve one another with their gifts, their abilities, their contributions and will. It is a quality that can encourage aspirations and goals.

What’s remarkable is not what the community should be, but that there is community at all! This is the remarkability of the organization of men and women to an entity. And in the church’s case, to the Person of the Living Lord Jesus Christ to whom the Church follows after in obedience to His will, His authority, His desires and example. It is definitely a great work of God through the Holy Spirit to form men and women unto the Lordship of Jesus Christ. And into community with one another. A community that serves both one another as well as the world around itself.

Hauerwas on Language and Ethics

Taken from a Q&A after a lecture at Azusa Pacific University, this clip is Prof. Stanley Hauerwas, renowned ethicist from Duke University, discussing how DESCRIPTIONS are more determinitive than DECISIONS. "You can only act in a world you see...and you learn to see by learning to say."

Stanley Hauerwas Resources from Jesus Radicals.flv

On Christians and the State

Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School's Bricklaying Theologian

Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School, on bricklaying, teaching and the satisfaction of completing one's work. Stanley is the author of numerous books, including the recent memoir, "Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir." In 2001 Time magazine named "America's Best Theologian." Stanley responded by saying, "'Best' is not a theological category."

Stanley Hauerwas On Jürgen Moltmann

Dr. Hauerwas discusses German theologian Jürgen Moltmann with Wunderkammer Magazine. www.wunderkammermag.com.

Insight from Stanley Hauerwas

Stanley Hauerwas talks about "becoming a friend of time."

The Legacy of Reinhold Niebuhr and the Future of Christian Realism

Dr. Hauerwas discusses American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr with Wunderkammer Magazine. www.wunderkammermag.com. January 29, 2009 | This video has been excerpted from the Berkley Center's event Brooks, Dionne, and Tippett Discuss the Legacy of Reinhold Niebuhr and the Future of Christian Realism.

Hauerwas on War, American History & the Christian

Stanley Hauerwas-- the famed ethicist from Duke whom Time magazine called "America's Best Theologian" in 2001-- discusses the confusion between the "American 'We'" and the "Christian 'We'". Included topics are the Christian call to peace-making, the modern context of war and violence, American history, and the need for honesty about our national sins.

Stanley Hauerwas - A Theologian's Memoir

Exclusive interview with Stanley Hauerwas, named 'America's best theologian' by Time Magazine. Here, he discusses current issues facing Christian communities around the world, along with his new book, Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir.

Stanley Hauerwas On Hannah's Child

Dr. Hauerwas discusses his recently published book Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir with Wunderkammer Magazine. www.wunderkammermag.com.

Burke Lecture: Stanley Martin Hauerwas

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is well known for his heroic opposition to the Nazis. Martin Hauerwas examines Bonhoeffer's understanding of lying and why it's appropriate to hold politics to a higher standard of truthful speech. This relationship between truth and politics is a particular challenge for democratic regimes. Series: Burke Lectureship on Religion & Society [4/2004] [Humanities] [Show ID: 8498]

Office Hours with Stanley Hauerwas on the Life of a Theologian

Duke University Professor Stanley Hauerwas discusses his new memoir "Hannah's Child" and answers questions from online viewers in an "Office Hours" webcast interview, May 7, 2010. Learn more at http://www.dukeofficehours.com