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, June 3, 2013

Exploring Evolution Through Christian Scientists, Teachers, and Researchers

Here is a helpful site that has been exploring the integration of the Christian faith with scientific studies in evolution. As such, I wish to add its evolving links to the evolutionary discussions we have already posted to demonstrate the opening up of Christian theology to the science of evolution. That it is a natural discussion requiring the Christian faith to adjust its parochial ideas of instant, immediate creationism to that of a progressively unfolding universe towards biological life. And that our definitions of God, and doctrine, must likewise be adjusted in light of these scientific truths. And that the Christian faith in Jesus is richer for the admission and dynamic study of evolution - as versus the more popularly held misconception that the Christian faith must be abandoned in order to choose man's scientific observations of God's cosmos. An archaic belief that seems more absurd every time I hear it from sincere Christian brethren conflicted between their faith and the natural world around them. And yet, a belief that is unnecessarily opposed, and restrictive to, God's wondrous complex of imagination, creativity, power and wisdom.
For all these many reasons, and more, today's postmodern Christian must adjust yesteryear's "biblical" orthodoxies and traditions from its previous angular, boundary-based, arguments towards rectifying, orthogonal structures of debate and consideration, without feeling that the historic faith in Jesus is threatened, or even unnecessary. More simply said, it has been the Christian Church's misperception and purposeful ignorance that has artificially contributed to the biblical world of myth and lie rather than to the profound spiritual truth of God's diverse, creative, handiwork... marvelous to behold... and exquisitely centered around the atoning personage and work of Jesus.
And so, to our previous articles here at Relevancy22 tying in faith-and-doctrine to scientific findings-and-discovery, let us also reflect upon God's heart-and-mind through a dedicated group of Christian theologians and scientists, teachers and professors, that have adjusted their doctrines of God to allow for the more eminently satisfying idea of Evolutionary Creationism that sees God intricately involved in the process of evolution even now.... And all that that may mean to our further reflections of doctrine, relational theism, open theology, the gospel of Christ, the church, and even worship, each centered around our Creator-Redeemer. Who is Himself the God of love and forgiveness, hope and mercy... the Almighty God of mystery and majesty proclaimed to us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Thank you.
R.E. Slater
June 3, 2013
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John Cossel
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I fear that in following the great essays that have preceded mine, I will have little to offer.  But I take hope as I remember Sunday evening testimonies at the small country church I attended as a teenager.  I recall being moved and inspired by the various believers as they shared the same story but…read more.
Michael Lodahl
Monday, May 20, 2013
"I don't believe in evolution, I always want to be free; Ain't gonna let no anthropologist make a monkey out of me." The late Larry Norman is one of my favorite Christian musicians. But I always wince when I hear those lyrics. It's the sort of rhetoric we hear often. Not long ago one of my students…read more.
Bethany Hull Somers
Monday, May 13, 2013
In the beginning I was a Nazarene. And although according to statistics people my age are unlikely to continue to be a part of the church, I am still a Nazarene. I believe that it has something to do with the way the community of faith that formed me dealt with my doubts and questions. Not only am I…read more.
Thomas J. King
Monday, May 6, 2013
I have no doubt that the Lord God could easily provide humanity with a detailed scientific manual, which explains the creation of the universe and answers all the modern questions regarding evolution, fossils, age of the earth, dinosaurs, etc. However, that is not what we have in the case of Genesis…read more.
Alex Varughese
Monday, April 29, 2013
I confess that my method of reading and interpreting the Bible has evolved over the last forty-three years since I entered the field of Religion from the field of science. This shift was in response to a statement I heard in the setting of a theology class taught by Forrest Benner, professor of Theology…read more.
Dennis Williams
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
When it comes to thinking about God, creation and evolution, I had an advantage over many who grew up evangelical.  Growing up on a southern Great Plains farm, I observed evolution happening in all kinds of venues.  We grew both milo and cotton until the Russian Grain Embargo and the OPEC-induced Oil…read more.
Lowell Hall
Monday, April 22, 2013
"So, how could anyone believe the earth is more than 8,000 years old?" "Do you really believe that humans came from monkeys?" Perhaps questions like these come my way because I am a professional chemist and an Evangelical Christian. My family gave me a Christ-centered home and the love of Scripture;…read more.
Mark Quanstrom
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I am appreciative to those who recognize that there ought to be a place where serious conversation can take place regarding the relationship between evolutionary theory and Christianity's faith affirmations. I'm appreciative because I am not of the opinion that evolutionary theory poses no challenge…read more.
Jon Middendorf
Monday, April 15, 2013
I have the great honor of pastoring in a college town. With dozens of colleges, business schools, universities and technical schools around, there is no shortage of teachers and learners to season every conversation and challenge every assumption. Every week our pews are filled with chemists, physicists,…read more.
Henry Spaulding
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Living on a university campus requires a multi-lingual approach to intellectual discourse. The process of engendering a healthy conversation surrounding theology and evolution necessitates just such a capacity. Ludwig Wittgenstein provocatively writes, "A main cause of philosophical disease – a one-sided…read more.
Dianne Anderson
Monday, April 8, 2013
Permission to explore evolution. That is what I wanted deep down, but it is not what I heard from pastors, teachers, or my family. I remember being kept away from the human evolution section of natural history museums and being told that scientists were just out to prove that God didn't have anything…read more.
Steve Estep
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
In chemistry, litmus tests are used to determine pH, the level of acidity in different substances. Around 1300 A.D., Spanish alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova was credited with developing these strips of paper that quickly reveal levels of acidity so chemists know what kind of material with which they…read more.
Tim Crutcher
Monday, April 1, 2013
As a Wesleyan theologian, I'm passionately committed to two things. First and foremost, I'm committed to Scripture and the truth to which it testifies about who God is, who we are, and how we relate to God. In my mind, that book must be absolutely trustworthy because without it, we'd be in the dark.…read more.
Nancy Halliday
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
It was in a General Zoology course at Southern Nazarene University where I encountered a Christian perspective on evolution that I had never heard before. I was shocked and yet relieved when the professor declared, "There is no need for your faith to be in conflict with your understanding of science."…read more.
Mike Schutz
Monday, March 25, 2013
I am not sure. I am not sure if the Genesis account of creation should be taken literally. I am not sure how it was understood by those who first received it. I am not sure if they asked the same questions I ask today. I am not sure if they cared about the same issues as those who sit in my congregation…read more.
Marty Michelson
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Creator creates creation.1 This simple sentence encapsulates what every believer of Scripture discerns to be true about God. God is creator. As creator, God has acted and continues to act with creation to shape and mold and frame the manifold complexity and beauty of the world. Creation is the object…read more.
Steven M. Smith
Monday, March 18, 2013
False dilemma - a logical fallacy which involves presenting two opposing views, options or outcomes in such a way that they seem to be the only possibilities: that is, if one is true, the other must be false, or, more typically, if you do not accept one then the other must be accepted.1 Despite having…read more.
Randie Timpe
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Questions of human origins and humans' role in creation constituted a significant focus in my undergraduate study in theology at Southern Nazarene University in the late 1960s. These questions did not evaporate in my graduate study in psychology at state universities. Rather, they became more focused…read more.
Carl Leth
Monday, March 11, 2013
Charitable Discourse The first victim of many engaged conversations about evolution is charitable discourse. Conservative Christian fundamentalism marks out one position and scientific fundamentalism marks out an opposing position. Each makes an exclusive claim on the Truth (as piety or intellectual…read more.
Stephen Borger
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Let me share with you my personal story. I truly do not remember whether I was ever taught or personally believed what would be referred to as a "young earth, six day creationist" belief. I do know that I grew up in a very conservative and legalistic Iowa Nazarene parsonage. I don't think creation versus…read more.
Brent Strawn
Monday, March 4, 2013
Growing up in the Church of the Nazarene, when I did (born 1970) and where I did (Southern California), meant that I was somehow given a lot of what could be called run-of-the-mill, nondescript conservative evangelicalism—of the Wesleyan-Arminian variety, to be sure, but also of the general North American…read more.
Donald Yerxa
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Perhaps my experience is not the norm for a lifelong Nazarene, but evolution has never been terribly problematic for me. I cannot say the same, of course, for reductionistic naturalism. Not surprisingly, I have always viewed materialistic thinking as fundamentally incompatible with my Christian faith,…read more.
Shea Zellweger
Monday, February 25, 2013
"You don't take Scripture seriously." I was a junior in college when I heard those words spoken by my favorite professor in a class on some of my favorite books of the Bible, and I was instantly offended. I didn't take Scripture seriously? How anyone could say such a thing was beyond me. This man clearly…read more.
Mark Mann
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life.... And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory..." These…read more.
Bob Branson
Monday, February 18, 2013
At the age of nine, while attending a youth camp, I first understood the claims of the Gospel and yielded my life to God. That yielding was more than an emotional experience, for it also was the recognition that God had called me into professional ministry. During my teens, this call continued to be…read more.
Dan Boone
Monday, February 11, 2013
May I share an honest confession? I was initially hesitant to participate in this project because of my role as president of a Christian university. At Trevecca Nazarene University, we are willing to ask hard questions and converse with a maturing generation. However, I know that many people have already…read more.
Rob L. Staples
Monday, February 11, 2013
The Christian Faith has always had to adapt to the proven findings of science. For example, the biblical writers all reflected the "cosmological" view current in their day. They thought the world was flat. Above it was the blue dome of the sky, and above that lived God, the angels, and departed saints.…read more.
Jennifer Chase
Monday, February 11, 2013
Growing up, I never imagined there was a perceived incompatibility between faith in the Creator God and the biological descriptions of the mechanisms of evolution. Now, I am not so naive about these perspectives. Some people do feel that Creator God's sovereignty is threatened by treating evolutionary…read more.