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 off 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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You Might be a Radical Theologian If...


by Bo Sanders
‘I love the sense of urgency from Crockett and Robbins. By invoking the earth as subject, they have named our emergency situation today. This book is a true manifesto. It is comprehensive and encyclopedic. And as a renewal of radical theology as an insurrectionary political theology, it just might be a new species of liberation theology. Don’t miss this book!’
In celebration of this release, we wanted to have some fun. So here is what the co-authors, Clayton Crockett and Jeffery Robbins came up with.
You Might be a Radical Theologian If
  • The idea of the death of God fills you with excitement rather than dismay.
  • You are suspicious of priestly authority - whether in its ecclesiastical or academic forms.
  • In college your favorite philosopher was Nietzsche, and your favorite aphorism was: ‘be careful when you stare into the abyss, because the abyss is also staring back at you.’
  • You disagree with traditional theology’s obsession over individual salvation — and more pointedly, with the theological rendering of death as the prerequisite for life.
  • You cried when Thomas J. J. Altizer died. Wait! – he’s not dead? How is that possible that God is dead and Altizer is still alive!?
  • You conceive of theology as a creative endeavor - that is, not as a reduplication of an already given, inherited, or predetermined faith, but for its possibility of generating new concepts and different formulations of extremity.
  • You have ever tried to deconstruct a sermon by _______ (insert popular evangelical preacher here).
  • You have a tattoo of the cover art of Erring - Robert Morris’s labyrinth - somewhere on your body.
  • It actually makes sense to think of theology as a ‘discourse formation.’
  • You refuse the category of the sacred, or at the very least take more delight in locating the sacred within the profane rather than distinguishing the former from the latter. It is in this sense that radical theology is a secular theology by grounding the sacred/profane distinction in the shared saeculum.
  • The first person who comes to mind when you see the initials ‘JC’ is John Caputo, as opposed to - well, you know.
  • You also acknowledge radical theology’s own limitations and blindspots - most specifically, radical theology has heretofore remained almost exclusively an academic theology lacking in both a politics and an ecclesiology, its voice of protest has all too often not risen beyond that of white, male frustration, and instead of seeking out common cause with the poor and the oppressed it has all too often remained aloof and self-obsessed.

Please feel free to add your own in the comment section below.
You can find the original pair of podcasts here [part 1]  and [part 2] 
You can also go back the original blog tour and get up to speed while your paperback ships.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Religion, Politics, and the Earth: The New Materialism (Radical Theologies)

by Clayton Crockett (Author) and Jeffrey W. Robbins (Author)

This book takes its leave with the realization that Western-driven culture is quickly reaching the limits of global capitalism, and that this reality manifests itself not only economically and politically, but that it is at once a cultural, aesthetic, political, religious, ecological, and philosophical problem.  While Western capitalism is based upon the assumption of indefinite growth, we have run up against real, physical constraints to growth, and humanity must face the real, physical ramifications of the short-sighted and ultimately counter-productive choices made on behalf of the capitalist machine.  While there is widespread angst and numerous scenarios of apocalyptic crisis and collapse, there is little or no comprehension of the problem and a coherent picture of reality is left wanting.  Drawing primarily from the discourses of contemporary continental philosophy, cultural theory, and radical theology, the new materialism is being offered up as a redress to this problem by its effort to make sense of the world as an integrated whole.

The book emphasizes three aspects of the current crisis: the ecological crisis, which is often viewed primarily in terms of global warming; the energy crisis, which involves peak oil and the limits of the ability to extract and exploit the cheap energy of fossil fuels; and finally the financial crisis, which involves the de-leveraging and destruction of massive amounts of money and credit. Each of these problems is inter-related, because money is dependent upon energy, and energy is a product of natural physical resources that are finite and diminishing.

Rather than despair or the cynicism that passes for realpolitik, the authors will suggest that this crisis provides an opening for a new kind of orientation to thinking and acting, a new way of being in and of the earth. This opening is an opening onto a new materialism that is neither a crude consumerist materialism nor a reductive atomic materialism, but a materialism that takes seriously the material and physical world in which we live. This materialism counters idealism in its practical and philosophical forms, which constructs an ideal world that we wish to inhabit and then mistakes that world for the real one. Furthermore, in contrast to classical materialism which rejects religion as a form of false consciousness, this new materialism recognizes religion as an effective means of political mobilization and as a genuine source of piety, and thus does not oppose religion per se; instead, it opposes fanaticism and fundamentalism, including the fairy-tale expectations that a God (or gods) will rescue us from our predicament and punish the evil-doers while rewarding the righteous.


Index - Readings in N.T. Wright

Index to Readings in N.T. Wright

N.T. Wright, "Paul and the Faithfulness of God" (Vol 4) - Re-Envisaging Israel's Election in Jesus

Not “Christ” but “Messiah”: NT Wright on Translating Christos

by Scot McKnight
November 26, 2013

“The purpose for which the covenant God had called Israel had been accomplished, Paul believed, through Jesus. The entire ‘theology of election’ we have examined in the preceding pages is not set aside. It is brought into fresh focus, rethought, reimagined and reworked around Jesus himself, and particularly around his death, resurrection and enthronement. Christology, in the several senses that word must bear, is the first major lens through which Paul envisages the ancient doctrine of Israel’s election” (815-816).
One of the more interesting features of NT scholarship is a widespread (radical) minimization of “Christ” meaning “Messiah.” Instead of a direct royal perception, this term is understood by many scholars to mean a second/last/family name, that is Jesus Christ is little more than Jesus’ name. NT Wright’s work won’t get off the ground until this is critiqued.
I want to [also] add that this interpretive approach owes some (not all) of its origin in (i)  the de-Judaization of Christianity and to the idea (ii) that making Jesus a Jewish Messiah makes Jesus less universally relevant. (The same happened to the word “kingdom” in NT and theological scholarship.)
NT Wright’s response:
1. Paul’s use of royal passages from the Psalms and Isaiah — and here he points to Romans 1:3-4, where there are clear and loud echoes to 2 Samuel 7 and Psalm 2. Inheritance theme in Romans, then Romans 15:1-13 and 1 Cor 15:20-28 (Psalm 110 and 8:6)… Ephesians 1:20-23.
2. Wisdom theme, a royal house theme (David and Solomon).
3. Narrative role in Pauline letters, like Galatians, where Jesus’ narrative role is that of Israel’s Messiah: e.g., “seed.” Romans 9:6–10:13.
Then there’s another element, often overlooked, now brought out by Novenson: “For a start, there is the linguistic evidence, set out recently by Matthew Novenson, that Christos is in fact neither a proper name (with denotation but no necessary connotation) nor a ‘title’ as such (with connotation but flexible denotation, as when ‘the King of Spain’ goes on meaning the same thing when one king dies and another succeeds him). It is, rather, an honorific, which shares some features of a ‘title’ but works differently” (824).
Thus: “The Messiah", then, " 'ho Christos," is for Paul not simply an individual, Jesus of Nazareth, who happens to have acquired a second proper name through the flattening out of the royal title that other early Christians were eager still to affirm. The royal meaning of Christos does not disappear in Paul’s writings. It is present, central and foundational. Though sometimes the word seems to function more or less as a proper name (any word, repeated often enough, can appear to have its surface indentations worn smooth), its connotations are never far beneath the surface and often show clearly through” (824).
Wright’s big point, of course, is that in Jesus we find an “incorporative Messiah,” that is, in Jesus we find someone in whom the identity and vocation of all Israel has been assumed. When one looks at Jesus one sees all Israel, the whole of Israel’s Story, and the plan of God incarnated in one person. Here is how Wright puts it:
Paul, I propose, exploited the notion of ‘Messiahship’ in such a way as to say two things in particular.
First, the vocation and destiny of ancient Israel, the people of Abraham, had been brought to its fulfilment in the Messiah, particularly in his death and resurrection.
Second, those who believed the gospel, whether Jew or Greek, were likewise to be seen as incorporated into him and thus defined by him, specifically again by his death and resurrection
The full range of Paul’s ‘incorporative’ language can be thoroughly and satisfactorily explained on this hypothesis: that he regarded the people of God and the Messiah of God as so bound up together that what was true of the one was true of the other. And this becomes in turn the vital key to understanding the close and intimate link between ‘incorporation’ and ‘justification’, between ‘participatory’ and ‘forensic’ accounts of Paul’s soteriology – not to mention the themes of salvation history, ‘apocalyptic’ and transformation (826).
This incorporative language, Wright is arguing, is not typical Judaism but more of a revising by Paul’s own belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Thus, “Israel” would be raised up in the general resurrection; it happened though only to Jesus (Tom skips Matt 27 but it might have helped a tad); therefore the general resurrection did happen but our resurrection is “in” Jesus. This is the kind of thinking that went on in Paul’s head. Israel’s king was representative and incorporative. He has backed off seeing some of this, as he once did, in other OT and Jewish texts, but he maintains it is taught by Paul — in Romans 3:1-26; Galatians 2:15-4:11; Phlippians 3:2-11.
Also the “in” and “with” Christ passages abound, and they are incorporative.

Continue to Index -