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

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Announcement: AAR Group Sessions - Open and Relational Theologies

Our Open and Relational Theologies group sessions are Saturday and Sunday mornings at AAR.
Below are the details. Please plan to attend!

Theme: John B. Cobb, Jr.: Work and Legacy (co-sponsored with other groups)
Thomas Oord, Northwest Nazarene University, Presiding


Saturday, Nov. 22 - 9:00 AM-11:30 AM

John B. Cobb, Jr., has exerted extraordinary influence on how scholars think about a wide range of topics. In addition to being a foremost spokesman for process theology, Cobb's work on economics, liberal theology, postmodernism, ecology, Wesleyan theology, politics, metaphysics, feminism, religious pluralism, science and religion, and more is remarkable. Cobb has authored more than 50 books, co-established a major theological center for research, and is recognized around the world as an extraordinary scholar of transdisciplinary studies. His stamp on theology -- especially in America and China -- is indelible. As Cobb nears his 90th birthday (Feb. 2015), this quad-sponsored session honors his intellectual legacy. Panelists explore Cobb's contributions to many subjects, and Cobb will be present in the session to respond.

Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology
Catherine Keller, Drew University
Gary J. Dorrien, Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary
Michael Lodahl, Point Loma Nazarene University
Marit Trelstad, Pacific Lutheran University
Jay McDaniel, Hendrix College

John B. Cobb, Jr.
Theme: Twentieth Anniversary of Book, The Openness of God (IVP Academic, 1994)
Brenda Colijn, Ashland Theological Seminary, Presiding


Sunday, Nov. 23 - 9:00 AM-11:30 AM

In 1994, The Openness of God hit bookshelves and created a stir. Co-written by Clark Pinnock, Richard Rice, John Sanders, William Hasker, and David Basinger, the book offered "a biblical challenge to the traditional understanding of God." The position advocated by the co-authors said God grants freedom to humans, is involved in genuine interaction with creation, takes risks, and does not know the future exhaustively. What has come to be called "open theism" was born. Since 1994, the open theism movement has been criticized variously. But open theology has grown and expanded in ways the original authors could have never imagined. It has become one of the major theological options embraced by those in religious academia, in local Christian congregations, in philosophical circles, and has influenced the science and theology discussion. In this session, three of The Openness of God authors and three respondents talk about what has transpired before and after the book was published 20 years ago. The authors reflect on where open theology has come and where it might be going. Respondents address particular questions about open theology's relationship to the Church, the academy, and various sciences.

Richard Rice, Loma Linda University
John Sanders, Hendrix College
David Basinger, Roberts Wesleyan College

Bethany Sollereder, University of Exeter
Timothy Moore
Thomas Oord, Northwest Nazarene University


Business Meeting:
Thomas Oord, Northwest Nazarene University

Index - Postmodernism & Philosophical Theology

Index to Postmodernism & Philosophical Theology


Index to Postmodernism and Philosophy

The endless wheel of Postmodernism

The Acids of Modernity and Christian Theology, Part 1

Modernity has been an age of revolutions—political, scientific, industrial and the philosophical. Consequently, it has also been an age of revolutions in theology, as Christians attempt to make sense of their faith in light of the cultural upheavals around them, what Walter Lippman once called the "acids of modernity." Modern theology is the result of this struggle to think responsibly about God within the modern cultural ethos.

In this major revision and expansion of the classic 20th Century Theology(1992), co-authored with Stanley J. Grenz, Roger Olson widens the scope of the story to include a fuller account of modernity, more material on the nineteenth century, and an engagement with postmodernity. More importantly, the entire narrative is now recast in terms of how theologians have accommodated or rejected the Enlightenment and scientific revolutions.

With that question in mind, Olson guides us on the epic journey of modern theology, from the liberal "reconstruction" of theology that originated with Friedrich Schleiermacher, to the post-liberal and postmodern "deconstruction" of modern theology that continues today. The Journey of Modern Theology is vintage Olson: eminently readable, panoramic in scope, at once original and balanced, and marked throughout by a passionate concern for the church's faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This will no doubt become another standard text in historical theology.

Baylor Historical Theologican Roger Olson

The Acids of Modernity and Christian Theology

by Scot McKnight
Aug 22, 2014

Modern theology is theology done in the context of modernity, which means, in the context of what happened to thinking and culture as a result of the Enlightenment. Modern theology is often a code expression for “liberal” theology, and many ways that might be right. But Roger Olson, in his big book The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction, [has] massively updated [a] book he co-wrote with Stanley Grenz (called Twentieth Century Theology, 1992), spends less time thinking about “liberal” and far more about “modern.”

To get what he’s doing we have to understand what “modernity” is, what one famous American thinker called the “acids” of modernity?

The "acids of modernity..."

- Walter Lippmann' 1929 essay "A Preface to Morals"

"Corrosion is an apt metaphor for the effects of overblown
certainty, legalism, inerrancy, and the insistence on
surely knowing everything. It can eat you alive."

- anon

Olson highlights seven features of modernity, each of which has stronger and weaker forms, so that one must have nuances all over the place if one wishes to be intelligent about this kind of subject. I have spent some of the last year reading about liberal theology, and I see Roger’s book as the best sketch of the big picture we have available today.

So, what is modernity?

1. Rationalism: the omnicompetence of autonomous human reason.

2. Skepticism: an anti-posture toward tradition, especially Christian religious traditions, as beliefs not based on reason.

3. Scientism/naturalism: a belief in the scientific method, on the indubitable realities of the empirical world in contrast to beliefs, and in a worldview that is shaped by naturalism.

4. Secularism: life can be lived best without God and religion. Religion belongs in the private, personal sphere of life.

5. Historicism: everything in history is causally related to other historical events.

6. Optimism: modernity, when lived well, leads to inevitable progress in overcoming misery.

7. Anthropocentrism: humans are at the center of knowing and the center of the universe.

(8.) These elements, when pursued, enable us to pursue progress in society and culture.

Many major modernistic voices — e.g., Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson — have contended that modernity’s march would trod religion, especially Christianity, under foot and it will disappear but Christianity, paradoxically, has flourished in a worldview of modernity.

Modern theology traces how various theologians have accommodated to modernity’s central features. Some have capitulated; many have reacted under the control of modernity. So there is a spectrum from capitulation and subversion all the way to robust reframings of the tradition in more modernistic categories (many would say that is what American Protestant fundamentalism was/is).

Where do you place “progressive Christianity” in this discussion?