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

Monday, September 3, 2012

An Ikonoclast - For Those Desiring Eden



by Peter Rollins
August 30, 2012
I remember a good friend calling me many years ago, having just read How (Not) to Speak of God. As the conversation went on he said, “Pete, those gatherings you write about in the second part of the book were so inspiring. I loved them! They were so much better than when I was at them!”
This can help us understand Immanuel Kant’s distinction between the harsh realities of the French Revolution (with its terror and violence) and the inspiration birthed by the French Revolution (inspiring far-reaching political and social upheaval). In short, his insight that a problematic material reality can provide the ground for the birth of an ideal that instigates wide-ranging transformation.
With the creation of ikon (along with The Last Supper, The Evangelism Project, The Omega Course and Atheism for Lent) a group of people in Belfast embarked on a grand and ridiculous project of rethinking the event of Christianity. In the course of setting up and running it, a new and inspiring vision of faith appeared to grow. Yet the on the ground reality was often difficult (lack of resources, equipment that failed, bad ideas, conflicts, misunderstandings etc. etc.) The dirt out of which the idea grew was, well… dirty.
Knowing all of this another friend recently asked me if I would be willing to put myself through it all again. Whether I would want to get my hands dirty with a new project that would no doubt be full of difficulties and conflicts. The answer was a simple one: absolutely!
I’m no gardener, but I guess that one of the best bits is the work of digging into the manure and planting seeds that might grow into something beautiful. The only thing holding me back has been the time it takes to find people to work with and the effort needed to really understand the landscape that will be worked on. But the time of preparing is over.
A small, but growing, band of people have come together. A group who are, in fear and trembling, embarking on a new one-year project with me starting on the 9th September in Brooklyn. I have no illusions that this will be a difficult journey as we strive to present a radically different vision of faith, one that overturns what is taken for granted by so much of the actually existing church. It will no doubt involve conflicts, boredom, confusion and annoyance at different times among different people. Some things will hopefully work beautifully and others will no doubt fall flat on their face. We will risk and we will fail… not once, but time and again.
So do I think that something wonderful will arise out of the dirt? I honestly don’t know, but we’ve got to try.
In truth, if you pack a few things and come along with us on this dissident journey there will be times when you’ll regret it and be disappointed. Because of that, if you want to be involved I would dissuade you from coming, there are other more brightly lit paths to walk. But if you need to come, if you feel that you must throw yourself in to this cauldron and see what happens, then do what you need to in order to be there.
Also sign up to the Pyrotheology facebook page to be kept up to date with future events.
Dystopia | Deity Nightclub | Brooklyn | 7pm | 9th September

"How Deep the Father's Love"

How Deep the Father's Love for Us (w/ on-screen lyrics)

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon the cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

The Story Behind the Song “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us”

To begin our time of response this week in Doxa, we will be singing the modern hymn, “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us”, a song which speaks of the great loss of God the Father (the sacrifice of His Son) so that we could be redeemed. Check out what the author, Stuart Townend, reveals as he tells us the story behind this great song:
Writing this song was an unusual experience for me. I’d already written quite a few songs for worship, but all in a more contemporary worship style, drawing from my own musical background. But I distinctly remember getting this feeling one day that I was going to write a hymn! Now, like most people, I am familiar with hymns – they form part of my church background, and I love the truth contained in many of them. But I don’t go home at the end of a busy day and put on a hymns album! So I don’t think of hymns as where I’m at musically at all!
Nevertheless, I’d been meditating on the cross, and in particular what it cost the Father to give up his beloved Son to a torturous death on a cross. And what was my part in it? Not only was it my sin that put him there, but if I’d lived at that time, it would probably have been me in that crowd, shouting with everyone else ‘crucify him’. It just makes his sacrifice all the more personal, all the more amazing, and all the more humbling.
As I was thinking through this, I just began to sing the melody, and it flowed in the sort of way that makes you think you’ve pinched it from somewhere! So the melody was pretty instant, but the words took quite a bit of time, reworking things, trying to make every line as strong as I could.
After it was finished, I remember playing it to Dave Fellingham a few minutes before a time of worship. I was worried it was perhaps too twee, too predictable. Dave, in his typical demonstrative and over-enthusiastic way, shrugged his shoulders and said, “yeah, it’s good”, and that was that. It was only when I began to use it in worship, and all sorts of people of different ages and backgrounds responded to it so positively, that I thought that it might be a useful resource to the church at large.
Now I’m finding it gets used all over the world, by all sorts of churches; it seems to be as accessible to a traditional church as it is to a house church, and I’m excited by that. But it has perhaps branded me as an old man before my time. It was fed back to me that at a conference a couple who loved the song were surprised to hear I was still alive…
Stuart Townend

October 2008
Background information
OriginWest Yorkshire, England
GenresContemporary Christian music, hymns, contemporary worship music
OccupationsSongwriter, worship leader, music publishing executive
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitar, banjo
LabelsKingsway Music
Stuart Townend is an English Christian worship leader and writer of hymns and contemporary worship music. His songs include "In Christ Alone", (2002, co-written with Keith Getty, Townend's first collaboration with any other songwriter),[1][2] "How Deep The Father's Love For Us", "Beautiful Saviour" and "The King of Love".[3] As of 2008, Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) lists "In Christ Alone" in its Top 25 CCLI Songs list.
(Not to be confused with Stuart Townsend.)
Stuart Townend - How Deep The Father's Love For Us (Story Behind the Song)