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 27, 2013

Peter Enns Book Review: "The Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism," by Molly Worthen

evangelicalism and the uneasy relationship with academic freedom–more thoughts from Molly Worthen
The evolution of the evangelical community–and whether, and why, it might be called anti-intellectual–is best traced through the lives of the elites: the preachers, teachers, writers, and institution-builders in the business of creating and dissminating ideas. When critics describe evangelicalism as anti-intellectual, usually they are not blaming ordinary laypeople. A casual glance at the latest Amazon.com best-seller list, chock full of celebrity memoirs and pulpy novels, or the amateur talent shows and dating competitions that top the television rating, demonstrates that when it comes to intellectual shallowness evangelicals have no advantage on the rest of America.
When critics condemn the “evangelical mind,” they are talking about the people who ought to know better, who bear some responsibility for the Darwin-bashing and history-hashing that pollsters hear when they survey evangelical America. They are comparing evangelical elites with the nonevangelical intelligentsia. They are asking how it can be that college professors believe in creationism, or that educated activists deny evidence of global warming. They are wondering how evangelicals define the purpose of higher education (for which they have long shown great zeal) when they so regularly demean the fruits of critical inquiry, and how they can reconcile their fervor for evangelism with American pluralism. (pp. 9-10)

Peter Enns: "The Problem of Inerrancy for Evangelicalism"

Inerrancy, and the recent non-apocalyptic discussion, at the annual Evangelical Theological Society ETS) meeting in Baltimore
  • Neither strict nor progressive inerrancy (both of which are represented in the book) describe what I see when I open the Bible and read it. Both prescribe the boundaries of biblical interpretation in ways that create conflict both inner-canonically and with respect to extra-biblical information.
  • My main misgiving is that inerrancy prescribes too narrowly biblical interpretation because it prescribes too narrowly God. All inerrantists, on some level, have the following a priori: an inerrant Bible is the only type of book God would produce. The tensions within evangelicalism over inerrancy are fueled by the distance between this a priori expectation about how God and the Bible “must” behave and the persistently non-cooperative details of biblical interpretation. This distance virtually guarantees continued conflict.
  • CSBI promulgates these false expectations and is also seen as an authoritative document within American evangelical culture. One example is an early assertion that speaks of God “who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only.” This early assertion links inerrancy with the very nature of God, which is, to put it mildly, a conversation-stopper.
  • What is missing here is hermeneutical self-consciousness, i.e., a reflection on the nature of truth that God speaks in ancient texts though ancient authors.
  • To illustrate I referred to several of the passages in the Old Testament where Israel’s God Yahweh is referred to as one among a number of gods–e.g., Psalm 82, Psalm 95, Job 1-2 (Yahweh is chairman of a heavenly council of gods) Exodus 12:12 (Yahweh fights against others gods, here Egyptian gods), Deuteronomy 32:8 (where the high god Elyon assigns to Yahweh the people of Israel as his allotment–though English translations do not reflect this). My point here is how does an inerrant Bible, wherein God only speaks “truth,” fit with these descriptions of God? To restrict inerrancy to what the Bible explicitly “teaches or affirms,” as defenders of inerrancy typically do in these cases, does not help because these texts most certainly “affirm” something about God quite clearly.
  • My point is that these descriptions of God are ones that the Israelites believed to be the case, at least at some point in their history. They do not give us final, absolute, inerrant information about God but contextually expressed beliefs about God. Serious historical study of the Bible has helped us to understand the ancient, tribal world where these texts were produced. The New Testament helps us see that we are to move beyond the tribal thinking that portrays God in these ways.
  • To speak this way is not to dimiss the Old Testament nor is it Marcionism. Rather, we are grappling with “Bible in context” (the historical setting of the Bible) and the canonical complexity of the problem of continuity and discontinuity between the testaments (the gospel is clearly connected to Israel’s story while at the same time does new and unexpected things).
  • An incarnational model of Scripture helps reorient our expectations of the Bible so that “history” ceases being such a huge doctrinal hurdlewe expect an ancient Bible to look ancient rather than protect the Bible from how it behaves.
  • Inerrancy is not a concept that describes this complex dynamic, especially given the gate-keeping function inerrancy has performed in evangelicalism. Other language should be used.

On the last point, during the Q&A, I commented that my view of Scripture is that it carries a “narratival authority.” God uses the biblical story to form followers of Christ, not simply or even primarily rationally, but in their “whole being.” The biblical story has movement, shifts, changes–as does any story–and is used by God to shape us slowly and deeply in a life-long process of being conformed more and more to the crucified and risen Christ, not simply giving us discreet self-contained “truth claims.” The Bible itself bears witness to this journey of God’s people as they grow and reflect on God in various settings and situations, which is why there is such theological diversity in Scripture, and [thus,] systematizing Scripture under a CSBI model is out of place.
OK, that’s it for now. I may expand on some of this soon, especially since the book is now available.


Re-Envisage Your World !



Published on Nov 22, 2013

Instagram: @sofles @selinamiles @drapl @fintan_magee @butchdaddy @ironlak www.facebook.com/ironlak

Shot/Cut: Selina Miles.
Art by Sofles, Fintan Magee, Treas, Quench.
Soundtrack by DJ Butcher (track-listing below).


DJ Butcher track-listing:
1. Get Busy Pt. 2;
2. Cocaine; featuring vocals from Stick Figure's 'Ring the Alarm'.
3. All in check.

The 'Limitless' EP is available for download for free via this link: http://goo.gl/IE0Lfg

Stick Figure:
Twitter @StickFigureDub
Instagram @StickFigureMusic
Buy the song 'Ring the Alarm' on iTunes

Want more? Watch SOFLES — INFINITE: http://youtu.be/3cd7BpOR_ec

What We Believe about "Last Things"

White Poppy

I might refer the reader to Bruce Epperly's earlier articles (here and here) on "Kingdom Now Christianity" as the process-based version of seeing this holy life given to us by our gracious God as the one life that counts for the time that we now have. It is a vision of a life that becomes transformed by the grace of God through His atoning work on the cross of Christ Jesus our Lord. And in the transformation of the world in which we inhabit through the resurrection power of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is also the vision of an evangelic theology in its classical expression (as succinctly expressed by Michael Bird) but severely limited by a Christianity that would too easily condemn this world and give up on it - to await its death and destruction by God's future judgment (hence, Bird's emphasis on hell and Sheol). Which is in no sense the proper reading of the Apostle Paul as NT Wright has demonstrated time-and-again. What Paul argues for, and has ably demonstrated in Jesus' life, was the necessity of the believer to live transformed lives by the power and grace of our Redeemer/Creator God. To understand that in order for the Kingdom of God to come, it must come through our lips, hands, feet, minds, and hearts. To not abandon all so easily to hell but to uplift all to God's redeeming love and grace.

The essence of the Kingdom of God is that it is here, now. A Kingdom that lives in tension with this sinful world in which we live; but a good world when reconciled to its God, and committed to spiritual transformation in the grace and fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ. A Kingdom that changes and grows as we change and grow as individuals and as a society. Which magisterial power is made all the more visible through our own transformed lives seeking benevolence and goodwill with all men everywhere, and with God's good earth that we live upon. Thus it can be said that the Kingdom of God is present now, and will grow fully to fruition based upon our commitment to live it, envision it, seek it, and share it.

And lastly, as a relational theologian - part process, part evangelic (and mostly post-evangelic) - I see God's heavenly Kingdom in both its tenses, both here - now, and here - later, to come. But don't let the word "heavenly" Kingdom mislead you... it is heavenly in that it is the epitome of what God wants, obedience to His will. But it is now become an "earthly Kingdom" inaugurated by the Incarnation, death, and resurrection, of Jesus Christ; who has established a New Covenant with God, and with mankind/creation, by His own transforming atonement. Hence, this Kingdom doth now lie in tension between the "here, and not yet. Between "what is, and could be. What is, and what will be." Sanctified, yea, covenanted, by God's great goodness and love in Christ Jesus, His Son. Who is God of very God. King of Kings. And Lord of Lords.

Thus, it is my expectation to see Jesus live-and-rule within the diadems of earth's history - not only as my Incarnate/crucified Lord, but as my risen King seated upon the earthly thrones over all mankind. And with this vision I likewise realize the deep solemnity portrayed in the acts-and-speech of God's holy bride, His church - its egresses and failures, as well as its heights and vision - when beheld fully within our Lord's grace works. Which fails in hope and will, pretending all is lost, upon a world commended by its Creator Redeemer to salvation. Renewal. Rebirth. Reclamation. Revival. Content to live upon the tatters of God's holy being, clothed in the rags of its own torn communities, rather than living powerfully transformed, repentant lives, redeeming the time still at hand. Whose charter of Kingdom fellowship must become more than it now displays to this world, should we permit the Holy Spirit of God to weave around us the holy threads of God's majestic love, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, hope, goodwill, and peace. "Even so dear Lord, Come. Let Thy Holy Will be done. On this earth, as it is in Heaven."

R.E. Slater
November 27, 2013
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

What We Believe about “Last Things”

Bruce Epperly, Process Theology & N.T. Wright's "Faithful God of Paul"

Signs of the New Creation: Responding to N. T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God
New Testament Scholar,
N.T. Wright
N. T. Wright’s magisterial text Paul and the Faithfulness of God is destined to become a classic in Pauline theological studies. As a pastor and theologian, like Wright, I join the study and the pulpit and the library and hospital room.  My preaching and pastoral care are grounded in theological reflection and my theology finds its inspiration in pastoral care, spiritual direction, and the weekly responsibilities of preaching God’s good news and leading a congregation on Cape Cod. I have always appreciated Paul’s approach to ministry – he proclaimed the universally applicable wisdom of God embodied in Jesus Christ with full awareness of the intimate needs of the communities with which he corresponded. The universal truths of faith become transformational only when they connect with the real challenges of congregations, communities, and persons.

Paul is a working pastor-theologian, and I can identify with that joyful-challenging vocation. His theology is holistic, practical, and connected with what’s going on in the faith of emerging Christian communities. He doesn’t speak to Christians in general; he speaks to the faithful church in Philippi, the ethnically troubled churches in Galatia, and the divided congregation in Corinth. Still, precisely because his theology is embodied and emerges from the concrete world of budgets and communication gaffes, it echoes through the ages, bringing challenge and good news to twenty-first century believers and seekers.

N. T. Wright sees the heart of Paul’s theology as involving his experience and expression of God’s new creation, brought about by God’s action in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. Although Christ as Messiah is profoundly Jewish – you cannot find any foundation for anti-Judaism in the authentic Pauline literature – he sees Jesus Christ as embodying and inviting us to live in God’s new age of Shalom. Accordingly, Pauline theology is profoundly concrete. He is a preacher-theologian: his thinking is ultimately practical. Paul believes that the theological is transformational. The message of the Gospel and God’s new creation, the heart of Paul’s message, is transformational and invites us to become transformed persons, living in transformed communities, and working toward a transformed world order. Many scholars of John’s Gospel note a similar holistic approach to John’s theology: John’s proclamation of eternal life is not just some future hope, the “pie in the sky when we die,” but a present experience that emerges the moment we enter into relationship with Jesus Christ, the word and wisdom of God.

Theology is homiletical and can be healing, for Paul. The theologian-preacher does not abandon history, but imagines, as Wright asserts, a better history and then works to bring it forth. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ brings about new creation in the here-and-now, and the spirit of Jewish monotheism, this new creation is cosmological, ethical, and soteriological we are new people, experiencing a transformed universe, touched by the healing Christ, and living by the values of God’s realm “on earth as it is in heaven.” Our vision of God’s faithfulness throughout history and in all creation nurtures the confidence that transforms behavior and beliefs.

As the body of Christ, the church is always more than we can imagine. Paul’s letters to emerging congregations are invitations to live in God’s realm of Shalom right now. As a holistic theologian, Paul sees the body, mind, spirit relationship as both a metaphor and a reality for community life. Disease among the members – like cells run amuck – can destroy the community, and render it insentient to God’s vision. Every part matters, every member is inspired (in-breathed) and touched by the mind-spirit of Christ, which is not some supernatural add-on, but the animating and guiding principle of part and whole. Dynamic in nature, the lively, inspired body of Christ can become God’s embodied vision of Shalom – of new creation – in this very moment of time. Accordingly, when Paul encounters the tragic brokenness of Christ’s body, he experiences what Abraham Joshua Heschel describes as the “divine pathos,” the intimate joy and suffering God experiences in relationship to our world. What happens in Corinth, including the details of agape meals and worship services, matters to God because God is in the details: God is touched by church divisions, arguments among members, economic disparity, and ethnic prejudice.

God is truly in Christ reconciling the world, and we are intended to be companions in God’s ministry of reconciliation. We are intended to be a microcosm, a foretaste, of the world to come, participating in God’s new creation and becoming God’s temple making sacred the world. As  pastor-theologians, Paul and I share the hope for new creation in the congregations we serve; we also experience the dissonance between our concrete embodiment of God’s new creation and God’s vision of what we as pastors and our congregations can be in God’s ever-present, ever-future new creation. We expect far too little from God, and far too little from ourselves. We are the body of Christ and individually reflections of divine wisdom, yet we settle for so much less – petty prejudices, alienation over budget items, neglect of vulnerable members, and conforming to a social order that is ruled by consumerism, narcissism, and polarization. We are too often, Paul says in Romans, conformed to this world, when God calls us to transformation – first, of ourselves, but also of transformed communities without which personal transformation is almost impossible.

Still in our imperfection and waywardness, we can experience God’s transformation. We feel, as Paul did, “wretched” and pray that something will deliver us from the conflicts and weakness that beset us. We can’t do it on our own. Faithful communities, inspired and animated by a faithful God, are essential. But, more than that, it involves trusting a faithful God of new creation, whose love still encompasses Judaism, but now extends in space and time reconciling all history, and making this moment a holy moment. Only the faithful God can give us the energy of transformation that enables us to make a commitment to reconciling people, living God’s new creation. The new creation is here – or nowhere – transforming the past and luring us to live in God’s future now!

Theology is pastoral, homiletical, spiritual, and theological. God is found in worship, but also in potluck suppers, daily decision-making, and brick and mortar. It is all the prayer of God’s spirit groaning in creation and in us in “sighs too deep for words.

It is only right that the final page of Wright’s grand opus affirms, “Prayer and theology met in his personal history, as in the once-for-all history of the crucified and risen Messiah. Paul’s ‘aims’, his apostolic vocation, modeled the faithfulness of God. Concentrated and gathered. Prayer became theology, theology prayer. Something understood.”

Continue to Index -

Bruce Epperly - The Process Theologian's "Bonhoeffer"

Bonhoeffer’s Vision and Process Theology
A Response to The Bonhoeffer Reader, edited by  Clifford J. Green and Michael P. DeJonge

Few theologians have responded as creatively and forthrightly to the postmodern challenge as Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer recognized the pluralistic, multi-centered, experience-oriented world of our current religious landscape. He imagined an emerging Christianity, no longer at the center of culture, but at the margins, and making these same margins the ground of a frontier faith. Postmodernism presented a threat to the old-time religion and Christian supremacy, but it also presented an opportunity to a fluid, agile, and worldly faith.

In the midst of the maelstrom of war, Bonhoeffer saw the eclipse of Christendom and imagined a dynamic, counter-cultural Christian faith of the future. The Bonhoeffer Reader, edited by Clifford J. Green and Michael P. DeJonge not only captures the breadth and evolution of Bonhoeffer’s theology, but gives special care to his final expansive visions of a Christianity big enough to embrace a radically-changing world.  From his prison cell, Bonhoeffer saw more than most free-ranging people. He saw, in the words of Bishop John Shelby Spong, that Christianity must change or die. He did not see the future of Jesus’ mission in megachurches, dreams of Christian dominion, or Christian supremacy, but in living out the mission of the suffering servant Jesus of Nazareth and the God who celebrates and suffers with us.

Bonhoeffer never had the opportunity to fully articulate his vision of God, but his emerging vision touches the edges of process theology. His vision of God shapes the contours of an interactive, relational, and affirmative Christianity, comfortable with diversity and open to the insights of secularity. According to Bonhoeffer, God “needs” us to achieve the best in our ambiguous world. God is not a “timeless fate” but “waits for and responds to prayer and sincere actions” (769-770). This vision touches process theology’s insight that God evolves with the world: neither God nor the world are complete, but are open-ended. In the spirit of Jewish mysticism, God needs us to be God’s companions in tikkun ‘olam, “mending the world.” The healing of the world requires our participation; there is no preordained end of history, or end-time goal, or apocalypse, but rather an ongoing process which requires our positive action for God’s vision to be embodied.

God’s vision for us is not timeless but God acts in real time and not in “advance” (769), similar to process thought’s image of God’s vision of possibilities appropriate to each moment. We are given strength, insight, and the resources to achieve God’s aim that all things work out for good. This happens right where we are with all its limitations and opportunities.

The parent of process theology, Alfred North Whitehead describes God as “the fellow sufferer who understands.” Echoing this, Bonhoeffer asserts that humans are called to share in God’s sufferings” (804). Note well, “God’s sufferings.” Only a suffering God can save, a God with skin, who shares our condition and seeks to bring beauty from ugliness and justice from injustice. Jewish spiritual teacher, Abraham Joshua Heschel speaks of the “divine pathos” as being the heart of prophetic religion: God experiences the details of our lives and is truly hurt by injustice; God suffers in the anguish of the vulnerable and dispossessed. God is not apathetic but passionate in God’s care for creation: God is not an Aristotelian “unmoved mover,” but as process philosopher Charles Hartshore claims, the “most moved mover.”

Process theologian, Bernard Loomer described two kinds of power – unilateral and relational. (1) Unilateral power, characteristic of the Christendom that had died in the modern world, described God as determining and knowing everything in advance: the all-powerful God established the powers of the universe, and determined success and failure and life and death. Images of God’s omnipotence inspired and undergirded the unilateral and often oppressive actions of religious institutions and nation states. After all, if we are the chosen servants of an all-determining God, we alone are equipped to shape history, especially as it relates to government, church, and non-Christians and foreigners.

In contrast, (2) a relational God works with the world, creating along with the evolving history of humanity and the non-human world, being subject to our actions as well as shaping our actions. When Bonhoeffer invokes the “powerlessness” of God, he is also speaking of God with us, not as omnipotent, but as the One who suffers with us, who experiences our pain, but also invites us to invest ourselves in the worldliness of a secular world.

Writing in the shadow of the culture Christianity of World War II Germany, Bonhoeffer asserts that you will not find God’s vision in those who identify God and country, and advocate national supremacy. Nor, according to Bonhoeffer’s theological vision, will we find God’s vision in the machinations of congressional leaders who demean the poor and underinsured by shutting down government. Who traumatize the children of undocumented immigrants by advocating the deportation of their parents. Or, who see Christ as dominating the political sphere, guiding them to shut down government or default on loans to avoid expanding health care to the vulnerable. While such persons may call themselves Christians, they will truly experience God’s costly grace only when they let go of the power to exclude and welcome the power to embrace the least, the last, and the lost.

Liberals also may live by what Bonhoeffer calls cheap grace, especially as they privilege the middle class and forget the traumas of the dispossessed in order to seek a better day for all. The vulnerable are never expendable, even for a good political cause or for a greater good. God feels the pain caused by conservatives for whom the greatest good is lower taxes, smaller government, and the right to bear arms; and liberals whose liberalism obscures the needs of the least of these to obscure political goals. The truly great society must include everyone and start with the least of these, whose faces reveal the suffering face of Christ.

Much more could be said and of course Green and DeJonge’s Bonhoeffer Reader gives a complete picture of Bonhoeffer’s evolving theology. Nevertheless, the insights of the later Bonhoeffer parallel those of process theology in their respective affirmations of: 

1) a God who evolves along with the world,

2) a God whose power is limited by the world,

3) a God who is touched by our pain,

4) a God who needs our best efforts to secure God’s vision on earth, and

5) a humanity whose vocation is to become God’s companions in transforming the world so that God’s vision on earth as well as heaven be realized.

N.T. Wright, "The Big Picture" (select videos)

What is the Gospel? NT Wright


N.T. Wright, The Big Picture

112013 - NT Wright from Matthew Hickman on Vimeo.

On Nov 20, 2013, NT Wright, the author of numerous books, including Surprised by HopeSimply
Christian, and How God Became King, spoke at Mars Hill on the Big Story of the Bible. Missed his
lecture? Watch it online now.

NT Wright on Paul, Hell, Satan, Creation, Adam, Eve & more


NT Wright and Larry Crabb Conversation - Christianity and Culture


Continue to Index -

Index - Christian Poetry

Index to Christian Poetry

Poems by R.E. Slater

OneRepublic - Come Home (prodigal son)

Kindred Fellowships

Rebirth (poem)

The Glory of the Lord (psalm)

R.E. Slater - Ruptured Soils

Inspirational Poems

R.E. Slater - Best Coin Ever Spent...

The Wonders of God's Creation - Kuroshio Sea and Poem

Verses on Humanity and Goodwill, Compassion and Forgiveness

Select Poems and Poetry

Of Dads and Daughters, of Parenting and Love: "Wakefulness in a Night of Fireworks"

Love Poems by Shannon Eason

An Evening Prayer, by Sir Thomas Browne

Poetry Magazine's Editor Christian Wiman Discusses Faith

The Calf Path, by Sam Walter Foss (poem)

Padraig O Tuama - "Go in Pieces" (poem)

Of Calvin, Barth and Poetry

Poems of Awakening

I Dreamed a Great Revival Came

Langston Hughes - I Dream a World

What If... ?

Maya Angelou. Poet, Activist, Storyteller

Essays and Articles on Creativity

The Messy Minds (Personalities) of Creative People

Poetry Essays & Historical Poems

G&N - Poetry for Scientists?

The Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, and the Struggle for Human Rights
(re: Archibald MacLeish)

Poetry to Nature, Ecology, Environment

Notes to Water Based Green Infrastructure: Sustainability and Practices

(Wendell Berry)

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

Eating Poetryby Mark Strand