According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, 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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

R.E. Slater - Radical Reflections on God, Faith, and the Bible




I hear too many Christians say that God's Spirit has left this world. I hear too many Christians looking forward to Jesus's coming in militaristic power and authoritarian judgment. But the doctrine of insistence says God has never left this world. That His Spirit has doubled-down in His death on the Cross. That His resurrection was not so simply b-a-c-k to heaven but into the very sub-structures of this world and into humanity's desperate plights. The power and presence of the Holy Spirit in this world is now more evident than ever despite what we preferred to see of its evils and atrocities. There is a global resistance to evil even as evil continues it's strife against mankind. The doctrine of insistence says God's Spirit and presence will persist against evil and that He will be all that He is becoming. Even so Lord, become all that you must be in our midst.

R.E. Slater
July 17, 2016

* * * * * * * * *





The emerging God is the evolving God. God's manifestations unfold in human
understanding through time, marking territory along the way. This is highly
noticeable in the biblical text, which can be referred to as an evolving story,
where the Creator speaks, the Crucified and Risen One takes center stage, and
then the Spirit signs us towards a destiny with God, which will someday be
fully realized.

- Reflections for the Week of July 18 by Living Spirituality


I can fully agree with the above reflection in the process sense and in the evolving (non-inerrant) bible sense.

Both God Himself, along with our understanding of God, is evolving through time and history - as would be natural as societies develop and God's experience evolves in relation to mankind's societal evolution.

As examples, when reading Israel's tribal laws from Leviticus or the Deuteronmic legal code it feels like we're reading Sharia (Islamic) law more concerned with cultural/community purity than love or compassion. But when Jesus comes along many, many generations later to reinterpret these sections the religious crowd doesn't like it. Nor did Paul who persecuted Christians for years before coming to the Jesus view of scriptures.

What this means is that we are allowed as we grow older to change our minds and attitudes from those early Sunday school days of youth and instruction as we gain maturity and wisdom. That it's not enough to "know" the Bible from a religious sense but to understand it from a contemporary  (Jesus) perspective. That our understanding of the bible changes with societies and their evolvement with one another.

As another contemporary example, to accept evolution should be more helpful than it present is to Christians too easily upset in their faith and traditions when considering this science (sic, cf. Christian anti-science proponents such as Ken Hamm et al).

Or, to understand that biblical passages do fall in the literary genre of narrative story telling should be a helpful observation rather than the need to legalistically codify biblical passages into strict doctrines of belief (the genre of biblical myths and legends versus literalistic interpretation).

By these examples we can see that a faith maturity requires energy and work and sometimes, if not many times, failure, doubt, uncertainty, disappointment, suffering, and intense struggle. Without these blessings-in-disguise God and His Word will never make sense to us. Nor can we evolve and mature in our religious thinking as contemporary witnesses to God's majesty and glory. Rather, we miss God completely within our traditions requiring a Jesus-figure to come along and point out to us that "there is another way of hearing and understanding God."

R.E. Slater
July 18, 2016

* * * * * * * * *





“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way
through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that
democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

- Issac Asimov


I've said before and will say again, "Ignorance, though blissful, is always illusionary." 

Especially in a Christian culture more willing to believe what it believes than to critically examine those beliefs perpetuating ignorance and myth.

Harsh? Yes.

True? Yes as well.

And don't suppose apology is the answer to critical thinking. It isn't. It is a defensive response to rebutting proper criticism in order to comfort the supporters wishing to continue in errant beliefs. 

Thus the dissonance of the world with the church and the church's banal belief it is always being persecuted for its beliefs.

Or for falsely believing God's Spirit is abandoning the world as He prepares it for judgment when in fact He is abandoning the church for its harshness and uncompassionate religious zeal.

So to listen to church folk trying to reinforce their religious beliefs is quite problematic in a scientific era which rightly questions staid church doctrine.

The truth is you won't lose your God or your faith by critiquing either.

In fact, quite the contrary.

Both God and faith will be enriched and expanded in the discovery of conflict and abandonment of unbiblical church doctrine more commonly described as folk religion or religious dogma than it is good doctrine.

R.E. Slater
July 19, 2016







No comments:

Post a Comment