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, August 27, 2014

Peter Enns - Interview: "The Bible Tells Me So"

Peter's latest interview can be heard on the liturgists.com site. Here's what Peter has to say about his interview and his latest book along with a little tongue-in-cheek humor found on Buzzfeed....

R.E. Slater
August 26, 2014


my Liturgists Podcast interview on The Bible Tells Me So

by Peter Enns
August 26, 2014

Last week I was interviewed over at The Liturgists podcast by “Science Mike” McHargue, Michael Gungor, and Lissa Paino, and here it is. We talked about the Bible and hit a lot of themes I cover in The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It (available for pre-order now and officially out September 9).

And speaking of which, if you think you may be one of those people who takes the Bible too literally, a Buzzfeed list has 10 signs to help you find out for sure.


The Liturgists
Episode 3 - The Bible

War. Genocide. Incest. Murder. No, we're not talking about Game of Thrones–this episode is about the Bible. Some people view it as the infallible Word of God, others as the Word of God through words of men, and some people think the Bible is much ado about nothing. Guest Peter Enns joinsLissa Paino, Science Mike and Michael Gungor to talk about what the Bible means to Christians today.

Peter's latest book The Bible Tells Me So is available for preorder here.

The Liturgists
The Bible

Posted on August 26, 2014 by Mike McHargue and filed under podcast and tagged bible peter enns.


10 Signs You Take The Bible Too Literally

Maybe it’s time to read between the lines.posted on Aug. 22, 2014, at 11:16 p.m.

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1. You laugh when you read about dinosaur fossils, because you know they are really God’s little inside joke to confuse atheists.

“And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind.” … And it was so… . God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them… . God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

Not bad for a day’s work. Now why isn’t that in the new common-core curriculum?

2. When confronted with a snake, your first impulse is to try to reason with it.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’” (Genesis 3:1, NRSV)

The universal lesson from all stories like this one, including the Harry Potter series, is that if a snake starts to speak to you, run—do not reason with it.

3. You buy ark-simulation software so you can know exactly where Noah could have kept all those animals.

“Go into the ark… . Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 7:1-3, ESV)

Simulation software for factoring in how to take care of the animals’ “business” sold separately.

4. When your teenager acts out and gives you lip, you break out in a cold sweat, fearing that you may have to have him stoned.

“If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the gate of that place… . Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death.” (Deuteronomy 21:18-22, NRSV)

Sort of makes spanking look tame, doesn’t it?

5. You have the bumper sticker “The only good Canaanite is a dead Canaanite.”

“So Joshua defeated the whole land, the hill country and the Negeb and the lowland and the slopes, and all their kings; he left no one remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.” (Joshua 10:40-41, NRSV)

And no, a “Canaanite” isn’t your grouchy neighbor or nasty boss, so don’t get any ideas.

6. When you see a clam bake next door, you hide in your basement fearing God’s wrath might spill over into your yard.

“But anything in the seas or the streams that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and among all the other living creatures that are in the waters—they are detestable to you and detestable they shall remain.” (Leviticus 11:10-11, NRSV)

On the bright side, you won’t have to return your neighbor’s weed whacker when he disappears.

7. You check “prostitute” and “adulterer” on Match.com as qualities for a mate.

“Jehovah said unto Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom.” (Hosea 1:3, ASV)

Is this what people mean by “a biblical view of marriage”?

8. You take out an “eye and limb” insurance policy, because, well, you never know.

“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.” (Matthew 18:8-9, NRSV)

Don’t laugh. People have actually done this.

9. You seriously consider castration of your opponent as a legitimate option for settling theological disagreements.

“I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!” (Galatians 5:12, NRSV)

Whoever said church meetings need to be boring?

10. You download the End Times Calculator app that surveys names of every global leader and celebrity to see how their name might add up to 666 and gives odds on who is most likely to be the Antichrist.

“This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.” (Revelation 13:18, NIV)

Just because everyone so far has been wrong a hundred percent of the time does not mean we should stop trying to figure this out, right?

Do you take the Bible too literally?

If so, you might want to update your views and ask, Is this really how God wants us to read his Word?

To explore further, read Peter Enns’s The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It from HarperOne. Available wherever books and e-books are sold.

The Differences Between "Intelligent Design" and "Evolutionary Creationism" - Part 1

Reviewing “Darwin’s Doubt”: Ralph Stearley

August 26, 2014

For the second installment in our series interacting with Stephen Meyer’s significant book Darwin’s Doubt, we draw your attention to the work of Ralph Stearley. Stearley is a professor of geology and paleontology at Calvin College, having received a PhD in those disciplines from the University of Michigan in 1990. His research includes studies of rock-boring marine invertebrates in the intertidal zone of the Gulf of California, and studies of Neogene fossil fishes from western North America.

Last year Stearley published a review essay of three recent books that deal with the Cambrian explosion. Besides Darwin’s Doubt, his treatment includes The Rise of Animals: Evolution and Diversification of the Kingdom Animalia (Johns Hopkins UP, 2007) by Mikail Fedonkin, James Gehling, Kathleen Grey, Guy Narbonne, and Patricia Vickers-Rich; and The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity (Roberts and Company, 2013) by Douglas Erwin and James Valentine. In addition to reviewing these books, Stearley provides an intriguing history of the field in recent decades as views on the Cambrian explosion have developed in response to other fossil discoveries. In the process, the reader is equipped with a treasure trove of data about the Cambrian and Ediacaran periods, the time scales involved, and the species that were precursors to the explosion. This discussion provides the context for Stearley’s engagement with Darwin’s Doubt.


Stearley recognizes that Meyer has made a legitimate challenge to some interpretations of the Cambrian data, but ultimately he is not persuaded. In one section of the book, Meyer highlights the work of researchers who have discovered more and more complexity in the regulation of the developmental process. This creates problems for the standard neo-Darwinian explanations, but in Stearley’s estimation, Meyer makes more of this than it warrants:

“But, while it is true that Goodwin and others believe that their discoveries pose a major challenge to neo-Darwinian orthodoxy, this does not cause them to abandon their belief that the history of life can be explained as the outcome of biological processes! Indeed, many evolutionary biologists and paleontologists are looking to build the notions provided by morphogenetic fields and developmental constraints into a larger synthesis. Meanwhile, I suspect that the average (non-biologist) reader will come away from Chapter 14 with a mistaken impression that this previously innocuous or neglected topic has just-now been revealed to completely overturn our understanding of the history of life.” (p. 255)

We encourage you to read Stearley’s full review in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Volume 65, Number 4, December 2013. The issue is available online here, and a pdf of Stearley’s review can be accessed here.


Ralph Stearley is a paleontologist with broad interests in the history of life and in biogeography. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in geological sciences, with an emphasis on vertebrate paleontology. He is professor of geology at Calvin College, where he has taught since 1992. His published research has included work on marine invertebrate ecology and paleoecology in the northern Gulf of California; fluvial taphonomy; the systematics and evolution of salmonid fishes; Pleistocene mammalian biogeography; and zooarchaeology of fish remains from sites in Michigan and New Mexico. He was privileged to be able to co-author, with former Calvin College colleague Davis Young, The Bible, Rocks and Time, published by InterVarsity Press in 2008.

for additional reference please read the following - 

for additional articles on evolution go to the
science section of the sidebars along the
right hand side of this blog site.

*Strictly speaking, as a Christian evolutionist, we use here as our template for scientific discussion the scientific theory of evolution without modification - but with modification as respecting the theological precepts as developed here on this blog site these past several years.

For instance, we deem God's act of creation willful and willfully spoken into a creation knit together by random disorder and chaotic quantum structure, underneath which permeates the song of the Creator (think string theory here). A divine music that guides without commanding specifics of an evolutionary creation that may form its own future but with an efficiency to always re-assemble itself so that life may adapt and survive regardless of life-extinction events. That through this complex process God rules but with an open handedness towards redemption which is profoundly distinct from scientific determinism (Stephen Hawking) or the (strong) Calvinistic models stating God's exacting "control" of creation and life altogether.... A theological distinction which Robert Stearley may be oriented towards (though I do not know) because of affiliations within his present Calvinistic setting (Calvin College, GRR) but which we would here advise away from any doctrine of "meticulous sovereignty". Even that which is oriented toward scientific evolution or evolutionary creationism. That divine "control" is a fiction best re-described theologically as a "divine weakness" or a "process-based partnership with nature" rather than one of iron-handed rule over nature, time, and very life forces itself. Statedly, even within its chaotic quantum structures. Meaning that, "Freedom isn't free unless it is truly free." Any movement away from this sovereign position of divine fiat subtends freedom towards determinism and is thus wrongly expressed by church doctrine teaching otherwise. More has been said of this subject but it behooves the reader to search through the many articles offered here rather than to attempt a combine of summary statements all at once.

Hence, we approach evolution from a theistic viewpoint but allow for evolution itself to inform our theologyWhat this means is multifaceted and cannot be condensed here in a few words (as attempted by the example immediately above). Simply, we do try to err here to the side of evolution in all respects but within those respects to pay attention to theology in its details and what this means to the church's present (but dated) modernistic orthodox doctrines as we posit a postmodern, post-evangelic church orthodoxy that is contemporary, relevant, and scientifically informed.

R.E. Slater
August 27, 2014