According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, 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

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Oracles of Postmodern Theology Must Reinterpret Scripture...

Olson's article on the state of modern theology pretty much repeats what we have been voicing here for the past several years. That it is the job of postmodern theology to reinterpret Scripture and to bring our Christian understanding of its content in line with, and re-integrated to, today's sciences. To let go of the church's many past millennia's of out-dated, pre-scientific, biblical interpretations, and at the last begin questioning ourselves, our traditions, our orthodoxies, and dogmas, with the hard truths of postmodern discoveries. Its deconstructions and reconstructions. Its harsh glare of our antipathies and quizzical stares of incredulity.

The modernistic church has been obfuscating the lines and demarcations of theology for far too long and must now "pay the piper" his due to the bewilderment and stupefying of its congregations and society-at-large. It is time to declare that what we think we know as Christians must be re-examined in the cold, cruel light of scientific facts against our errant religious fictions which have so pleasantly entertained, amazed, and comforted us. When in fact the church continues to promulgate its own ruin and destruction by maintaining its religious idols of who God is, who we are, and what this world is. Christianity has become more-or-less a man-made religion rather than a godly faith broken upon the altars of its mirrorless self.

However, to act bravely, even self-critically, would be salvation itself against the bankruptcy of the Christian faith caught out along the lines of spiritual mysticism and magic, fanciful ideologies, and the squalor of human ignorance lying-everywhere-about its sacred, gilded pages of church doctrine and legalistic pride. Certainly it can be done reasonably, and without lost of God, sin, grace, and salvation. But let us be all the more certain that it must be done rather than not at all. Nor refused. Nor dis-allowed for fear of blasphemy. For the only blasphemy occurring at this point is the blasphemy of not understanding our Lord's revelation by being content upon the baseless fictions and fantasies we cry so assuredly about in our ignorance and zeal of Scripture's pages. If we're going to declare God's Word than let us do so without first declaring our lines and boundaries in which to do such a task. Otherwise we coddle ourselves and unnecessarily protect our beliefs which, if true, should need no protection at all.

It is not for naught that so many weary theologians have turned to postmodernism's critical thinking to rediscover the guiding truths of Scripture lost in the myriad unenlightening fictions of folklore religion loudly proclaiming misleading theological declarations by our brightest and best pulpiteers of recent years. The most golden voices, and stentorian speeches, so gladden our tin-leaden ears in its cacophonous man-made noise as to mislead from the hallowed truths of Scripture's subtler testimony attested to by the myriads of scientific disciplines and academic minds. And should such a preacher or theolog be so bold as to say, "Nay, but look here against your certainties," then one-and-all seeks that preacher's, or theolog's, rapid dismissal from the ranks of Christendom by pax and anathema.
 
Woe be to such a generation of vapid prophets whose vaporous flocks flee to their own wisdoms and falsehoods misunderstanding the hand of God in these surer times demanding relevancy, insight, and connectedness. Surely such self-ordained false prophets guide the flocks of God to their own valleys of the shadow of death declaring good bad, and bad good, all for the sake of maintaining unreflective church traditions and dogmas for their name's sake. Nay, let us be rid of such miscreants and learn to look again to those we hitherto decried so easily. To hear again the words of Jesus lost in the political scandals and derelict policies of a non-Christian ethos we have proclaimed in the name of God... so certain we have been of our own non-reflective, uncritical biases. It would be better that we tear down our own religious idols of mammon and greed than to stand against the Lord and declare His revelation bankrupted by our own private interpretations. Since when do the words of religious men resist his Maker? Or stand against his Redeemer's blood-bought world? Or seek to tear down brothers and sisters testifying of the Lord's beauty?

Today's postmodern generations can do better than this. Especially when we look at the cruelty and sufferings of man so abundant about us; committed against each other - and upon this good earth - all in the name of faith and religion, by both Christian and non-Christian alike. Man-made religion but protects our greed and pride without protecting the rights and liberties of those we so easily oppress without thought or regard. But true Christianity is selfless. Sacrificial. Service-oriented. It looks outwards towards others in its upward gaze to the God above who is present within our midst. And it looks away from ourselves, our petty needs and pleasures, our need for certainty and security, our private lusts and hatreds, jealousies and self-absorptions. If not, than the Christian faith is useless and become but an empty banner of patriotic zeal and nationalism wrapped in a religious blanket of Christianized humanism. A pantry of evils best walked away from and uneaten lest its worm continues to rot both gut and head, heart and soul.

So then, what say you on this Veteran's Day set to honor the lost and the dead, the living and the oppressed, of all nations? For what truths did they die if not for peace, righteousness, hope, and salvation of the dispossessed and ruined? Even so must we humbly turn to our Lord and say, "Forgive us, Lord, and help us to hear your Word again with ears and hearts that are opened to your Spirit's counsel and guidance. To show tolerance and wisdom in listening to our enemies and protagonists everywhere about, shaking their fists at our God and Bible." They have their arguments, and it would be best to listen again lest we miss God's voice in the rumble of our own words with its accompanying clouds of delusion and apostasy. The Christian faith is a humble faith. Meek, and meekly led, by the Christ-of-the-Cross, who is our only sure Hope-of-contrite renewal and repentant resurrection. Let this humility guide us even now within this frail life that we mercifully possess onto the Lord's surer counsels which at present seem to speak from without - since they no long seem to come from within - our self-annointed, fracturous, faith and its congregations. Amen and Amen.
 
R.E. Slater
November 11, 2013
 
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Christianity and Science: How They Relate to Each Other in Modern Theology
continue to -