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
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
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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Common Sense Christian Wisdom from my friend Rance...

I have a Facebook friend by the name of Rance who occasionally will rattle off a string of his beliefs on the popular social media site. As I read them I find myself simply nodding my head and thinking, "Yup, yup, yup, ok, yup, got it, check... and so on" in a long list of agreements like we were old friends from way back when really we're quite new friends from not so long ago.

What Rance has that I admire is his simply-said, common sense Christian wisdom, that tells it like it is while refusing to buy the popular line of Christianity that the media would have us believe (if not the Christian presses themselves). Its a kind of street wisdom that doesn't pull any punches unless they're headed right for your nose, and when you get back up off the ground you would mostly likely say, "Thank you. I needed that," in as kindly a manner as you may.

So, from time-to-time, with Rance's permission, I'm simply going to rattle off a "Rance segment" to allow his heart and mind speak to us from a long life of living, serving, conversing, reading, and "figuring things out." Kinda like a "thinking man's" list of proverbs and observations that have been hard won and had gained.

At the last, I would simply like to say "Thank you Rance" for being willing to ramble so we might gain a little insight into a Christianity that has become too harsh, or uncaring, to the guy or gal on the street. Jesus spoke plainly... and when He did He spoke in love. In tenderness. In humility. And with a lot of wisdom.


R.E. Slater
March 18, 2014

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A Common Man's Journal
Quotes from my friend Rance

I suppose, in broad sense, I should be viewed as a conservative Evangelical, but not as an Evangelical conservative. My conservatism shows up mainly in my solid core commitments to orthodox theology. I believe in the Apostles Creed and affirm faith in the one Creator of heaven and earth, the saving work of Jesus Christ, and the gracious enabling of the Holy Spirit in my life and the life of the ...entire church. I await the renewal of the world and the resurrection from the dead at the future royal appearance of God's Son.

However, unlike many of my good friends and colleagues, I am no longer an Evangelical conservative. Politically, I fit more comfortably in the intellectual company of folks like Ron Sider, Greg Boyd, Tony Campolo, N. T. Wright, Roger Olson, Rachel Evans, and Jim Wallis than I do with folks like Marvin Olaski, Franklin Graham, Doug Wilson, and Carl Thomas.

In addition, I find myself affirming of the following 10 ideas:

1. That the biblical theological view of creation is not incompatible with the theory of evolution.

2. That the Bible can be primary and inspired without being infallible and inerrant.

3. That one can somehow be both pro-life and pro-choice.

4. That one can believe in wealth distribution without believing in Socialism. 

5. That one can find many strong examples of Christians from the past who were politically, theologically, socially, and economically progressives.

6. That one can affirm both the sanctity of traditional marriage and the freedom for same-sex unions.

7. That one can believe in debt forgiveness for poor nations. 

8. That one can be patriotic without being nationalistic.

9. That one can be loyal Americans while refusing as Christians to bear arms or go to war. 

10. That one can peaceably share this great country with atheists, agnostics, humanists, Muslims, and foreigners.

- Rance

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