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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pacifism's Ideals Against "Just War" and "Measured Response," Part II

Last week I was working through the several ideas of pacifism and its counterparts of "Just War" theory (sic, there are no "just wars," just "just causes") and "Measured Responses" (meet all oppression with appropriate delegation and determination before launching reciprocating policies that become locked into place without budge or move). Those ideas may be found in the post, Pacifism's Ideals Against "Just War" and "Measured Response."
Today, Roger Olson presents a post of expediency which I think is basically a re-hash of my earlier post from a week ago. It is built upon common sense and a sensible response to evil and cruelty through judicious remediation, open and honest communication, and a willingness to investigate all truths (or untruths), before forming a solidifying opinion. In a sense, an equitable court of public opinion is presented over an inequitable one filled with mistaken impressions, wrongful lies and slander, biased or prejudicial stereotypes, inaccurate media reports, and/or public fears and political pandering to those fears. Hence, no public policy should be formed without first during the hard work of validating both the wrongs committed, and the ethical dilemmas they may further present, if any further action is undertaken.
One further note is Olson's reluctant use of measured force while retaining his idea of being a Christian "pacifist" along the lines of Jesus' commands. Even so, I applaud his version of this idea of pacifism, though another definition of it would see all abandon to any force used to the protection of life, liberty, and freedom. As such, I would much more align with Olson's brand of pacifism in defense of the weak and innocent than I would by not doing anything at all. I suppose this would be more in line with the idea of "American Justice" as we see it exploited by Hollywood. (And no, I don't equate "American Justice" with the judicious response to biblical rightness... rather, I use it as a cultural pejorative, if I understand and am using the term correctly).
However, there is a far greater sin than the one of reacting to evil, and that is the one of taking no action at all. It is the sin of cowardice in the face of evil. Or the sin of no response by allowing evil to harm another. Or the sin of pride in dying for one's belief's when they affect another's will to live. Each is a study of reflection and human socio-psychology. In Bonhoeffer's case, look at how many German citizens willing allowed evil its corruption without preventing its rise by turning a blind eye to the concentration camps, or the evils suffered by their Jewish (and minority) neighbors. It takes far greater courage to break from public perception and will than it is to go against the crowd by acting singularly, bravely, and without help, towards the humanitarian debt of necessary prevention and cessation.
Lastly, how many times to we read of each reaction in the Old and New Testaments. One for ethical rightness (OT), and the other for judicious judgment (NT). It's an ancient problem and not one to go away anytime soon. Whether at home, in our communities, nationally, or globally. It started with the weak-minded parenting of Adam and Eve in provoking jealousy and animosity and doesn't end when reading of Paul's missionary church's arguing between themselves. However, it behooves us all to use common sense, a biblical sense, coupled with self-examination, humility, grace, and forgiveness. Hard choices to be sure. But then again, living this life in a Jesus-centered fashion is hard in itself. May God give us wisdom.
R.E. Slater
November 6, 2013
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Right, Wrong, and Necessary