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

Monday, May 19, 2014


Photo: Matilde Zacchigna


March 26, 2014

1. Because you haven’t failed enough

Because you’re comfortable in your mediocrity. Because you choose not to try.

Because it’s easier to talk about learning that new language than actually learning it.

Because you think everything is too hard or too complicated, so you’ll just ‘sit this one out,’ or maybe you’ll ‘do it tomorrow.’

Because you hate your job but won’t get a new one. Because it’s easy to reject rejection.

Because while you’re sitting around failing to try, I’m out there trying to fail, challenging myself, learning new things, and failing as fast as possible.

Because as I fail, I learn and then adjust my course to make sure my path is always forward. Like annealed steel, I’ve been through the fire and pounded into shape. The shape of a sword with polished edges and a razor-sharp blade that’ll cut you in half if you’re not equally hardened.

2. Because you care what others think about you

Because you have to fit in.

Because you believe that being different is only cool if you’re different in the same way that other people are different.

Because you’re afraid to embrace your true self for fear of how the world will see you. You think that because you judge others, this means that those people must, in turn, be judging you.

Because you care more about the stuff you have as opposed to the things you’ve done.

Because while you’re out spending your money on new outfits, new cars, overpriced meals, or nights at the bar, I’ll be investing in myself. And while you try to fit in with the world I’ll make the world fit in with me.

Because I will recklessly abandon all insecurities and expose my true self to the world. I will become immune to the impact of your opinion and stand naked in a crowd of ideas, comfortable in knowing that while you married the mundane I explored the exceptional.

3. Because you think you’re smarter than you are

Because you did what everyone else did; you studied what they studied and read what they read.

Because you learned what you had to learn in order to pass their tests, and you think that makes you smart.

Because you think learning is only something people do in schools.

Because while you were away at college, I was studying life. Because instead of learning about the world in a classroom, I went out and learned it by living.

Because I know more than any piece of paper you could ever frame from a university. Because smart is not what you learn — it’s how you live.

Because I might not have a degree, but I challenge you to find a topic that I can’t talk to you about cohesively.

Because I could pass your tests if I had to, but you couldn’t stand for a single second in the face of the tests that life has thrown me. Tests that are not graded on a bell curve or by percentages, tests that are graded by one simple stipulation: survival!

4. Because you don’t read

Because you read the things you’re required to read or nothing at all.

Because you think history is boring and philosophy is stupid.

Because you would rather sit and watch E! or MTV instead of exploring something new, instead of diving headfirst into the brain of another person in an attempt to better understand the world around you.

Because you refuse to acknowledge that all the power in the world comes from the words of those that lived before us. That anything you desire can be had by searching through the multitude of words that are available to us now more abundantly than ever before.

Because you’re probably not reading this article, even though you know you should.

Because the people that are reading this already know these things.

Because you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

5. Because you lack curiosity

Because you get your news from copycat members of the state-controlled media.

Because you’re unwilling to ask this simple question, “What if it’s all a lie?” and accept the possibility that maybe it is. That, just maybe, the methods of mass media are under direct orders to keep you distracted.

Because you call me a know-it-all but refuse to call yourself a know-nothing-at-all.

Because I thirst for knowledge, regardless of the topic.

Because while you’re busy playing Candy Crush, or Megapolis, I’m reading about string theory and quantum mechanics.

Because while you waste your time with Tosh.0, I’m learning how to edit video, build websites, and design mobile apps.

Because if we were to go heads-up in a debate, I would crush you. I would make it a point to defeat my own argument, from every imaginable angle, in order to understand everything you might be able to use against me.

Because I would dedicate myself to understanding both sides of the argument so thoroughly that I could argue your side for you and win, even after having just handed you a defeat in the same debate.

6. Because you don’t ask enough questions

Because you don’t question authority [and when you do you don't know how to deal with it - res]

Because you don’t question yourself.

Because you don’t understand the power of properly placed questioning in life, respectful disagreements, and standing up for what you know to be right in the face of someone telling you otherwise. Unable to question reality, stuck in a self-imposed survival strategy within aMatrix-style monotony.

Because I know that you’ll give me all the information I need to destroy you by letting you talk.

Because I study human behaviors, and you ignore everyone but yourself.

Because I watch how you say the things you say just as closely as I listen to what you say, and you say way too much!

Because control comes not from spewing your ignorance like some incurable case of logorrhea but from properly structuring the context of your questions.

Because I study the premise of your argument and destroy it from the ground level before you even get a chance to establish your ideas.

7. Because you can’t handle the truth

Because you refuse to admit that you don’t even know the things you don’t know.

Because there isn’t an article online that would make up for all the time you’ve wasted in life.

Because even if I told you everything could be different tomorrow, you’d wait until then to begin doing anything about it.

Because even when you think I’m not, I’m aware of my surroundings.

Because you think that since I have not acknowledged you, it means that I have not seen you.

Because you walk around with your head up your ass, oblivious to the world around you, blissfully ignorant of the reality that sits so close to your face that if you stuck your tongue out, just once, you would taste it and realize how delicious the truth actually is.

Because you would become an instant addict, unable to pull yourself from the teat of truth, finally able to understand your lack of understanding. And then you would see. Then you would know the only thing holding you back from doing something truly amazing is you.

This post was originally published at and is reprinted here with permission.

* * * * * * * * * *

Reflections on Renewal

*Loving this post! These truths work for anything.... Our sucky life with all its complaints. Our visionless jobs and careers. Our go-nowhere-relationships that suck the life right out of us and keep us from growing up, or acting with the authority and leadership that God has given to us. Or has riddled our lives with the toxic poisons of tongues and putrid hearts from the people closest to us who themselves have no vision, or loving care, for our well-being. Or our boxed-in-theology that complains too much and doesn't contemplate enough. That allows others to tell us what to believe-and-do without questioning why it is that we are attracted to that philosophy (or theology).

That ultimately we are the only ones who are responsible to make the spiritual choices for our head, heart, and soul. And that we alone are the ones to blame for our life rotting away on the outer edges of nothingness. For not realizing that the Lord God of Creation has empowered us through His Son Jesus, and by His Holy Spirit, to be everything that we should be through His atoning love and sacrifice. That self-empowerment begins with personal confession of sin and pride. That newness of life begins with Jesus and His sacrifice of redemption. That all of life's hurts, and angers, and sufferings, can become more meaningful moments of spiritual victory and connectedness when God leads and directs in all things in our lives.

No... not right away. It'll take years and years of pain and restitution to be resolved and rectified. But with each small victory can come greater personal growth and satisfaction that God's will is all we will ever need. Not our own will. Nor someone else's will. But God's will. Not money, power, status, or success. But God Himself. Who is the real source for our freedom, purpose, and meaning of life. And with this choice will come health, and healing, and joy, regardless of life's miseries and brokenness. This is what is meant by salvation. And it is the number 1 reason why your life may not suck after all. And it may be the number 1 reason why your life may mean anything at all. All praise be to God, the Savior of our souls! Amen.

R.E. Slater
May 19, 2014

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Word of Life

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, andtestify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our[a] joy may be complete.

Walking in the Light

5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he isfaithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

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