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, November 4, 2013

The Science Behind "Creatio Continua" versus "Creatio Ex Nihilo" (Process v. Classical Thought)

Multiverse Timeline

Introductory Questions

  • Can humans manufacture matter from nothing?
  • Can light be turned into matter?
  • What Does the First Law of ThermoDynamics have to do with all this?


The First Law of ThermoDynamics says, "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed."

Then Albert Einstein came along and theorized that "Energy" and "Matter" can be interchangeable.

E = M   or   M = E

Atoms, of course, is matter on a quantumtative scale. A molecule is made up of many atoms.

What is light? Light consists as quantum units of energy called "photons." Thus light is composed of photons which we call light (another term for this energy is "radiation").

When two photons are smashed together they produce "quarks" and "gluons." A quark is a unit of quantum matter; and a gluon is a unit of quantum energy. Thus, smashing two photons together produces both matter and energy.

2 Photons --->  Smashed Together


Quark(s) + Gluon(s)   =   Matter + Energy

Nothing is created. Nothing is destroyed. What is changed are the matter/energy states. Thus retaining the First Law of ThermoDynamics (in theological terms this is known as creation ex continua in Latin, meaning "creation from something").

Big Band Timeline

This event was massively demonstrated in the early history of the primordial universe when it consisted entirely of primordial quantum energy. Within this intense energy a quantum state existed in which "time" was liquefied into a spatial mass giving a maximum of 3 dimensions, and more probably, 2 dimensions - not the 4 or more dimensions that we live in today (sic, string theory requires at least 11 dimensions). And since only space existed, and not time, there existed an infinity of time without reference to itself until released in the Big Bang explosion. At this moment, in the merest fraction of a second, energy violently expanded outward, time was released, and the universe was birthed. And as the universe expanded (known as inflation) it rapidly cooled over an intervening period of several hundreds of thousands of years. And as it cooled it formed into units of quantumtative matter which created the universe we now live in today leaving behind "time islands" of hot mass (stars, galaxies, etc.) amid a much larger lattice of massless cold and darkness known as dark matter and dark energy. Taken together, all the stars and galaxies form 5% of the visible universe. Leaving 27% of it as dark matter which cannot be explained. And a remaining 68% as dark energy (cf. link here) which also cannot be explained.

We can express this event in a simple formula:

Light   --->   Matter

Now what is matter? Matter consists of a paired combination of quantum particles arranged as "matter and anti-matter."

By smashing matter particles with anti-matter particles we may reverse the process and produce light.

2 paired particles   --->   Matter + Anti-Matter  --->  Light

And, as discussed, light consists as a pair of quantum energy particles known as photons.

Light = 2 photons

Thus, from light we may produce matter by smashing two photons together. And, from matter we may produce light by smashing a unit of matter with a unit of anti-matter to get light.

"Can we manufacture matter?" - Epic Science

Published on Oct 18, 2013
Is it possible to make matter out of nothing? What about matter out of energy?
Learn more about matter/energy in this video from Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

Quantum Conclusions

So, yes, humans can manufacture matter from light; and turn light into subatomic matter particles. But this process is not creatio ex nihilo but creatio continua. We have neither created something from nothing nor made that something disappear to nothingness. According to the First Law of ThermoDynamics, all energy must be retained, and can neither be created nor destroyed. It is simply transferred between quantum states of energy, or matter, according to Einstein's theory of General Relativity. More simply, energy and matter may be interchanged, exchanged, or rearranged, as transitional quantum states between one another.

Theological Conclusions

From the outset, "creatio ex nihilo" (sic, Latin for "creation from nothing") becomes a moot point to the scientific discoveries of quantum physics.... Meaning there is no "creatio ex nihilo" to be created from because the universe has already been shown by quantum physics to have a beginningless mass where time was non-existent because of (infinitely) dense gravitational forces (for more on this see, The Quantum Evolution of the Universe, amongst other articles).

If anything, we might more accurately describe creation as "creatio ex continua" (creation from something that always was) as Wolfhart Pannenberg did in his theologic writings many years earlier. (You may find this argument here on a previous article I wrote, Christian Apologetics in a Postmodern, Quantum Age, in the third section down under the title "My Postmodern, Quantum Response: to Craig's Modern Epistemic Apologetics").

Thus answering how God created. And if we go with a multiverse state of physics than God created from something... not nothing. This is the Process Model of Theism. However, as a matter of philosophical argument, we might suppose that "God would not be God if He couldn't create from nothing" as Classical Theists posit. And in the long run of things, given the nature of each theistic system, it has been demonstrated that the process model holds the upper hand re scientific proof, but that the classical model may be retained without demoting our idea of God being God based upon philosophic arguments one way or another.

"[In Process Theology] it is an essential attribute of God to be fully involved in, and affected by, temporal processes, an idea that conflicts with traditional forms of theism that hold God to be in all respects non-temporal (eternal), unchanging (immutable), and unaffected by the world (impassible). Process theology does not deny that God is in some respects eternal, immutable, and impassible, but it contradicts the classical view by insisting that God is in other respects temporal, mutable, and passible."  - Wikipedia

"... process philosophical thought paved the way for open theism, which sits more comfortably in the [progressive] Evangelical Christian camp." - Wikipedia

More simply said, let us move on from our favorite predilections and learn to see relevant, newer theologic systems as more helpful than we first thought. Process wants a God who is here... One who is with us, who is experiencing our experiences. However, Christian classicism saw a God who was out there, away from us, up in the heavens, who was sometimes with us, but more generally removed from our human experiences as a heavenly being, speaking to us as He would a Job, unmoved and unfeeling. This is the Greek-Hellenistic side of Medieval Christianity which the church has inherited through its traditions and cultures.

All rhetoric aside, the argument becomes moot in Jesus as classicism must now adjust its dogmas by virtue of God's incarnation. Who, in His holy Being, doeth now bear mankind's humanity with us. More specifically, God can no longer stand wholly apart from our humanity, nor remain dispassionately unmoved (or stoical) from our physical sufferings and ethical dilemmas, by reason of His experience as a man (even though the philosophical argument could be made that God was never dispassionate even in His eternal state regardless of classicism's speculated need for His incarnation by some, God being God and all). Even so, by Jesus' incarnation all philosophies may drop away as to whether God was impassive, or passionate, towards man's humanity with the historical occurrence in time and space of His incarnation as fully God and fully man (cf. hypostasis). And because of God's incarnation amongst mankind, He passionately understands us now as our Creator-Redeemer (though we suspect that He knew this subject intimately even before His incarnation). Which is what process theology is plainly stating.

As to the charges of panentheism, they are true. God and the cosmos are one. But not ontologically, as some process theologians would state, for God is the Creator of the cosmos, and not the created of the cosmos.

Nor is God "the All" so popularized by Oprah Winfrey, whose philosophy wanders into pantheism (not pan-en-theism, as stated above) where God and the universe are an ontological oneness. Yes, God is "the All" but He is also greater than "the All." Even distinguished from "the All" as separate from "the All" as its Creator-Redeemer.

Nor is God dependent upon His creation even though He has intricately (and mysteriously) bound Himself to it by decree, by incarnation, by His death, and redemption of it. Each phase of this process should be necessarily understood as relational processes whereby God is creation's Creator, Sustainer, Nurturer, Provider, Savior, and Redeemer. As such, God is shown to be deeply involved with His creation (even as ancient Judaism proclaimed, though it now denies God's incarnation in Christ Jesus). Nor is God impassively separated from His experience of creation's groans and sufferings against the early claims of the church's more classical doctrines erroneously based upon the predominant philosophies of Greek Hellenism.

This then is the position of Relational Theism, which is the halfway-house between the two competing positions of process theology v. classical Christian thought (or theism). The idea of Relational Theism (which we have worked on here quite a bit at Relevancy22) would meld both systems into one synthetic soup, making the waters even murkier than they were before... but hopefully clearer as well. As purists, neither side likes a synthesis of their positions, do they not? But then again, the extremes of any position are fraught with their own special dilemmas when not taking into account the other's arguments and observations.

For myself, the process model bears relevancy over the classic model for the postmodern age that the church now lives within. Even as we have developed it here as a synthesis between two competing positions, which have been described as relational-process theism. A theism that is neither fully classical, nor fully process. That stumbles over each other when trying to assert (or deny) ex nihilo creation. Where in the end we mince about words rather than seeing the reasonableness of either view.

Life is messy. And so is doctrine. Let us learn to open our spirits to believing that we are not alone in this world. Nor this wide, and amazingly complex (multi)universe. No. Within it, around it, about it, is our Creator-Redeemer God who is truly with us in all that He is and was and will be. Whose everywhere-bound-presence should be our comfort and help, our hope and deep knowledge that we are not abandoned. Nor alone. Nor left to ourselves, whatever trials and tribulations come. To know that God is there as He has always been there. That He is - and has become - our Titanium. Amen.

(For more discussion on these matters, simply go to the sidebars to the right under "theism." Thank you.)

R.E. Slater
November 4, 2013

continue to -

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5 Cheat Sheets with Michio Kaku | Mysteries of The Universe

Michio Kaku Explains String Theory

Michio Kaku: Is God a Mathematician?

"How does a mathematician read the mind of God? The Mind of God is read through cosmic music.
It is the music of strings, resonating through eleven dimensional hyperspace of supersymmetry. The
latest renaissance of mathematics." - Dr. Michio Kaku

From Universe to Multiverse

* * * * * * * * *

Light Changed to Matter, Then Stopped and Moved
Also reported at PHY.org - http://phys.org/news90077438.html

 CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 8, 2007 -- By converting light into matter and then back again, physicists have for the first time stopped a light pulse and then restarted it a small distance away. This "quantum mechanical magic trick" provides unprecedented control over light and could have applications in fiber-optic communication and quantum information processing.

Harvard University professor Lene Hau explains how she stops light in one place then retrieves and speeds it up in a completely separate place. (Photo: Justin Ide/Harvard News Office)

In quantum networks, information optically transmitted over the network is converted into matter, processed, and then converted back into light. The physicists at Harvard University hope that their discovery could provide a possible way to do this, since matter, unlike light, can easily be manipulated. Their findings were published this week in the journal Nature.

"We demonstrate that we can stop a light pulse in a supercooled sodium cloud, store the data contained within it, and totally extinguish it, only to reincarnate the pulse in another cloud two-tenths of a millimeter away," said Lene Vestergaard Hau, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

In a "quantum mechanical magic trick" devised by Harvard University physicists, a light pulse is extinguished in one ultracold atom cloud (purple), converted to matter and then revived in another before being allowed to exit the second cloud in its original state. (Image courtesy of Sean R. Garner)

This marks another milestone for Hau in light manipulation. In 1998, she slowed light, which travels in free space at a speed of 186,000 miles a second, to just 38 miles per hour in a cloud of ultracold atoms. Einstein and others have theorized that the speed of light in free space can't be changed. Two years later, she stopped light completely in a similar cloud, then restarted it without changing its characteristics. She received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (so-called "genius grant") for these experiments.

In her latest work, Hau and her co-authors, Naomi S. Ginsberg and Sean R. Garner, found that the light pulse can be revived, and its information transferred between the two clouds of sodium atoms, by converting the original optical pulse into a traveling matter wave which is an exact matter copy of the original pulse, traveling at a molasses-like pace of 200 m (600 ft) per hour. The matter pulse is readily converted back into light when it enters the second of the supercooled clouds -- known as Bose-Einstein condensates -- and is illuminated with a control laser.

"The Bose-Einstein condensates are very important to this work because within these clouds atoms become phase-locked, losing their individuality and independence," Hau said. "The lock-step nature of atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate makes it possible for the information in the initial light pulse to be replicated exactly within the second cloud of sodium atoms, where the atoms collaborate to revive the light pulse."

Within a Bose-Einstein condensate -- a cloud of sodium atoms cooled to just billionths of a degree above absolute zero -- a light pulse is compressed by a factor of 50 million, without losing any of the information stored within it. The light drives some of the cloud's roughly 1.8 million sodium atoms to enter into "quantum superposition" states, with a lower-energy component that stays put and a higher-energy component that travels between the two clouds.

Diagram showing the time line for the Harvard research. (Image courtesy of Naomi S. Ginsberg, Sean R. Garner and Lena V. Hau)

The amplitude and phase of the light pulse stopped and extinguished in the first cloud are imprinted in this traveling component and transferred to the second cloud, where the recaptured information can recreate the original light pulse.
The period of time when the light pulse becomes matter, and the matter pulse is isolated in space between the condensate clouds, could offer scientists and engineers a tantalizing new window for controlling and manipulating optical information; researchers cannot now readily control optical information during its journey, except to amplify the signal to avoid fading. The new work by Hau and her colleagues marks the first successful manipulation of coherent optical information.

"This work could provide a missing link in the control of optical information," Hau said. "While the matter is traveling between the two Bose-Einstein condensates, we can trap it, potentially for minutes, and reshape it -- change it -- in whatever way we want. This novel form of quantum control could also have applications in the developing fields of quantum information processing and quantum cryptography."

This research was supported by the Air Force Office of Sponsored Research, the National Science Foundation and NASA.

For more information, visit: www.harvard.edu

Evolutionary Theory and Moral Development

Bio - Mark A. Maddix
Northwest Nazarene University
Professor of Practical Theology and Discipleship

Mark A. Maddix is Professor of Practical Theology and Discipleship, and Dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry at Northwest Nazarene University. Before coming to NNU he served in pastoral ministry for twelve years. He has published several articles and co-authored books including Discovering Discipleship, Spiritual Formation: A Wesleyan Paradigm, and Missional Discipleship: Partners in God's Redemptive Mission.

Evolutionary Theory and Moral Development
November 4, 2013

Growing up in a Christian home, evolution was only referred with negative connotations. I was taught that evolution was an atheistic theory which undermined the authority of Scripture in general and specifically Genesis 1 and 2. If a person believed in evolution he or she could not be a Christian. This view was substantiated during my first biology class at a nearby state college. The professor supported evolution and took great pride in degrading uneducated and ignorant Bible-believing Christians who denied evolution. The professor, teaching in the Bible Belt, enjoyed arguing with students who opposed his views. This experience confirmed the assumptions of my upbringing that evolution was from the "pit of hell."

A year later I sensed God calling me to be a pastor so I enrolled as a Bible major in a Christian liberal arts university, rooted in the Wesleyan tradition. During my first semester I took Introduction to the Old Testament. I was eager for the professor to support my view of the creation accounts and to deny a humanistic view of evolution. In my amazement, the professor said nothing about the creation-evolution debate. Rather, he began to explain that the creation story in Genesis 1 & 2 was a hymn that was theological and had nothing to do with proving or disproving creation from a scientific perspective. He said the author of Genesis, probably not Moses, (that created another anxiety) had no understanding of modern science and was writing to show God's relationship with God's creation. His explanation changed the course of my understanding of the creation-evolution debate and helped me understand Genesis 1 and 2 as theological not scientific.

I was convinced that Genesis 1 & 2 had a different purpose and meaning, until I took a course in the natural sciences, taught by a young earth, seven day creationist (YEC). He argued that the creation accounts in Genesis could be scientifically traced, and the world was only 6,000 years old. He talked about dispensations of time and used the Bible to support his views. Now I was really confused.

I continued to wrestle with what I believed until I took Introduction to Biology, a course I had taken at the state university and had to take again because of a poor grade. In class the professor affirmed his belief in evolution by stating that Darwin's theory was the best way to explain how God created the universe. He affirmed what my Bible professor had articulated about Scripture. He also indicated that many scientists, who were Christian, see connections between science and the Bible. After class I asked the professor to explain how he could hold to evolution and creation. He responded by stating, "Believing in evolution does not reject Scripture, since Scripture was not written for such purposes."

My Christian liberal arts education provided me with a clearer understanding of a Wesleyan view of Scripture, particularly as it related to the creation accounts and a view of creation that could include evolution. As a pastor, and now as a professor, this theological understanding of the creation accounts are foundational in discussing creation and science with parishioners, students, and constituencies. Many of them think that the more recent focus on evolution among evangelicals in general, and Nazarenes in particular, is something new. I often remind them that it was something I learned in college over twenty-five years ago.

Evolution and Moral Development

Since I am not a scientist, I cannot speak about the details of evolutionary theory. I can only rely on the vast amount of research that supports evolution as a viable option in explaining how God may have created the universe. I can speak, as a practical theologian, on the theological significance of the creation accounts and my expertise in the integration of theology and the social sciences. Beginning with my doctoral studies in the interdisciplinary fields of Christian education, theology, and the social sciences, I explored how evolutionary psychology impacts the understanding of how people grow and develop. I began to see clear evidence of the impact of evolution on development theories as it relates to how we grow physically, cognitively, and morally. More recent studies in evolutionary psychology and neuroscience have expanded my understanding of how persons grow and develop. I want to explore in more detail how evolutionary theory impacts my understanding of moral development.

In my search for understanding how persons grow and develop morality, I first asked whether humans are born with the capacity to know what is right or wrong (nature), or is morality shaped primary by our environments (nurture). Developmental theories argue that human consciousness - how we determine right and wrong - is developed during the first years of life through our interaction with our parents. In other words, humans are created in the image and likeness of God, with the capacity to know what is good and evil, but a person's moral consciousness is shaped and developed by our parents and/or guardians. This is why some people have a higher level of consciousness (morality) while others do not. Since persons inherit a particular environment, it impacts their morality.

On the one hand, we are shaped morally by our environments, but on the other hand, recent studies in evolutionary ethics show that morality is not merely learned through one's environment. Many of our moral instincts are inherited through our evolutionary past. We are created with a universal morality that is imbedded in our nature, which is biological. Thus, humans don't simply learn moral behavior, but humans are biologically designed to acquire morality. In other words, humans are biologically wired with the necessary components for morality. Therefore, all human persons, created in the image and likeness of God, have the inherit capacity for morality.

Evolutionary ethics does not contradict a Biblical view of human persons Instead it provides a scientific explanation for how God created humans with the capacity to be moral, and through our environments, we grow and develop morally.

Index to past discussions -

Index to past articles on "Science & Religion"

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.

What Kids Say About Their Moms

There isn’t a single day that I don’t question my abilities as a parent. And when these mothers start reflecting on their issues and doubts — yeah, that struck a nerve. But when their kids start saying what they really think about momma bear? I. Was. A. Total. Wreck.
There's a lot of pressure being a parent. We want to raise our children the right way, but there is no definitive handbook for every difficult situation and we're bound to make mistakes along the way. For most of us, we're our own biggest critic.
But what do the people who matter most think? How do our children see us? For Mother's Day this year, we did an experiment asking moms to describe themselves, and then compared that with what their own kids said about them. It's amazing what you can see when you look from a different perspective.

The Video Every Mom Must Watch On Repeat
Until... She... Gets It
The Huffington Post  |  By
Posted:   |  Updated: 10/31/2013 9:58 am EDT
"I struggle with my temper."
"I wish I was better at taking time to sit down with my child."
"I wish I was more confident."
Sound familiar? Motherhood comes with doubts. From the moment you hold your first baby at the hospital, and wonder if you've got her cradled the right way to the day your child calls from college with all the questions. There is no map. We're raising little humans here, and it is scary. And some days, the only voice in your head is the one screaming, You don't know what you're doing.
Except you do.
The women in this video were asked a simple question -- to describe themselves as mothers. They expressed those concerns listed above. Then, their kids answered. It's like when Dove had women listen to what other people remember about their faces, only it's not selling soap and is just about parenting (which really isn't a "just" at all).
Press play. Send it to all the mamas you know. Most importantly, believe it.
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50 Quotes on Mothers
May 4, 2012
Touching, funny, and provoking quotes about moms and mothering
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie
for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
- Tenneva Jordan
Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs
in my field, since the payment is pure love.
- Mildred B. Vermont
A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once,
and by car forever after.
- Peter De Vries
The phrase "working mother" is redundant.
- Jane Sellman
I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.
They have clung to me all my life.
- Abraham Lincoln
Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers,
but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.
- Pearl S. Buck
The heart of a mother is a deep abyss
at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.
- Honoré de Balzac
All women become like their mothers.
That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.
- Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.
- Spanish Proverb
She never quite leaves her children at home,
even when she doesn't take them along.
- Margaret Culkin Banning
When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.
A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
- Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty
Motherhood has a very humanizing effect.
Everything gets reduced to essentials.
- Meryl Streep
In all my efforts to learn to read, my mother shared fully my ambition
and sympathized with me and aided me in every way she could.
If I have done anything in life worth attention,
I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother.
- Booker T. Washington
Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.
- Lisa Alther
Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child.
They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean?
In my heart it don't mean a thing.
- Toni Morrison, Beloved
A mother's happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future
but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.
- Honoré de Balzac
With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood.
- Isadora Duncan
Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.
- Erich Fromm
I miss thee, my Mother!
Thy image is still the
deepest impressed on my heart.
-Eliza Cook
Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall;
a mother's secret hope outlives them all.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother's love is not.
- James Joyce
Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.
- Oprah Winfrey
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me,
but I think she rather enjoyed it.
- Mark Twain
My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw.
All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to
the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.
- George Washington
There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box
has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes
from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.
- Erma Bombeck
When your mother asks, "Do you want a piece of advice?"
it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no.
You're going to get it anyway.
- Erma Bombeck
Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face.
- George Eliot
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
- Ambrose Bierce
If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
- Ferrell Sims
Motherhood is neither a duty nor a privilege,
but simply the way that humanity can satisfy the desire for
physical immortality and triumph over the fear of death.
- Rebecca West
The best way to keep children home is to make the home
atmosphere pleasant - and let the air out of the tires.
- Dorothy Parker
No matter how old a mother is, she watches
her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.
- Florida Scott-Maxwell
The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic.
It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this
very love must help the child grow away from the mother,
and to become fully independent.
- Erich Fromm
There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.
- Jill Churchill
Mothers are all slightly insane.
- J.D. Salinger
I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford.
Then I want to move in with them.
- Phyllis Diller
Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs...
since the payment is pure love.
- Mildred B. Vermont
When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child,
I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself.
- Nancy Friday
Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.'
We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.
- Zora Neale Hurston
Time is the only comforter for the loss of a mother.
- Jane Welsh Carlyle
A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.
- Dorothy Canfield Fisher
A mother's love is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking;
it never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking.
- Helen Rice
A mother's arms are more comforting than anyone else's.
- Diana, Princess of Wales
By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not
have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Mother is the name of God in the lips and hearts of children.
- William Makepeace Thackeray
Whenever I'm with my mother, I feel as though
I have to spend the whole time avoiding land mines.
- Amy Tan, The Kitchen God's Wife
If you bungle raising your children, I don't think
whatever else you do well matters very much.
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom.
- H.W. Beecher
The hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
- W. R. Wallace

Book Review: Peter Oakes, "Reading Romans in Pompeii"

Pompeii, Italy
Who “attended” those earliest churches?
Amazon.com link here