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
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
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)
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

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rob Bell Joins Oprah to Discuss Christianity and Religion

Some quick observations. I have noticed Rob's initial focus on the themes of faith v. doubt, and the idea of openness, to be the very themes we have been exploring here at Relevancy22 these past many years. Nice to know great minds think alike! LOL
Too, I quickly understood Oprah's confusion between pan-theism (God and creation are one) and pan-en-theism (God in creation, but separate from creation) in her descriptions of God as being "the All."  Rob graciously lets it go as a matter of convenience even as he was working out the larger dilemma as to how to bridge the missional distance between Christianity and societal evangelism. Basically, you don't go to these shows to correct, but to explain, in attempts to move the discussion along to a larger audience which may be intrigued and searching for hope.
R.E. Slater
November 4, 2013

"When Rob Bell — pastor, best-selling author, provocative thinker — recently joined me on the show, we talked for two and a half hours, and I could have kept going," wrote Winfrey. "The ideas Rob sets forth in his books Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God opened my heart and my mind. People like him are the reason I set out to build OWN in the first place: to be able to gather a global community of like-minded seekers."
The post titled, "What Oprah Knows for Sure About Spirituality," was accompanied by a picturesque photo of Bell and Winfrey deep in discussion with the media mogul grasping a copy of What We Talk About When We Talk About God.
Considered one of America's most influential and progressive Christian pastors, Rob Bell joins Oprah to explore his latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, and to discuss why more people are identifying with spirituality over religion. 
 'It's Not Crazy To Acknowledge That There's A God' (VIDEO)
October 30, 2013
Considered as one of America’s most influential, progressive -- and controversial -- Christian pastors, Rob Bell joins Oprah this week on "Super Soul Sunday" to explore his latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God.
"So let's begin where you begin in the book," Oprah says in the above video from the upcoming episode. "We first need to open."

"First and foremost, to all the really smart, studied people who have been to the TED conference and have iPhones: It's not crazy to acknowledge that there's a God," Bell says. "It may actually be the rational move, is simply to say, 'I've come to the end of my own logical powers and acknowledge there's too much that's beyond what we can sort through using these little brains that we have.'
"And for 300 years the water we've been swimming in, that we've been handed by the enlightenment tradition -- which has brought us medicines and hospitals and all sorts of wonderful things -- has also brought us, ultimately, if you cannot explain it ... I don't know. And yet we're fascinated as humans. We're wired for the mysterious. We love it. We're drawn to it. You can't stifle it."
"So you're saying just open to that," Oprah says.
"It's OK to be open," Bell says. "It's OK to be open."
Oprah's conversation with Bell on "Super Soul Sunday" airs Sunday, November 3 at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.

In Pastor Rob Bell's 2011 book, Love Wins, he pondered questions that are often considered taboo in traditional Christianity: What if heaven is open to all, rather than a select few? What if hell doesn't exist at all? Though the book became a New York Times bestseller, it also caused controversy among conservative Christians.
Now, Bell sits down with Oprah on "Super Soul Sunday" to discuss his latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, in which he explores why some people resist talking about and embracing God.
In the above video, Bell explains why he believes that faith and doubt are not opposites but instead really "excellent dance partners." He says we're all leaping, even if we don't all realize or acknowledge it.
'Everybody's really taking sort of fragments and the shrapnel you have of your experience and you're leaping into this story or this story. 'I'm going to make the leap that what I do matters, that I'm not an accident, that there is some call on my life,'" he says.
He says that people who believe in God aren't the only ones making a leap, though. "I think the people in the modern world with the most sort of, 'This is the rational scientific evidence why there is no God' -- that's just as much a leap."
"So that is what you mean by God being a reality known and felt but difficult to analyze," Oprah says.
Oprah also asks Bell about his description of a "lethal division between the science and the sacred."
"Well, I think it cuts people off from celebrating," Bell explains. "To me, the only kind of faith worth having is faith that can celebrate the good and the true and the beautiful, wherever you find it."
"Super Soul Sunday" airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.

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