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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Radical Theology Through the Eyes of Others: Rollins, Caputo





Paradise (pa.ruh.diz).
1. A place where everything is exactly as you want it.
2. Another definition for idolatry.
- R.E. Slater


Pyro-Theology Would Burn up the Idolatries in our Lives.
But it would also reimage the Living God in our Lives
- R.E. Slater



The Idolatry of God - Peter Rollins





Quotes by Peter Rollins, The Idolatry of God
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/19112659-the-idolatry-of-god-breaking-our-addiction-to-certainty-and-satisfactio


  • “There is a deep sense in which we are all ghost towns. We are all haunted by the memory of those we love, those with whom we feel we have unfinished business. While they may no longer be with us, a faint aroma of their presence remains, a presence that haunts us until we make our peace with them and let them go. The problem, however, is that we tend to spend a great deal of energy in attempting to avoid the truth. We construct an image of ourselves that seeks to shield us from a confrontation with our ghosts. Hence we often encounter them only late at night, in the corridors of our dreams.”
  • “Love is the crazy, mad, and perhaps ridiculous gesture of saying yes to life, of seeing it as worthy of our embrace and even worthy of our total sacrifice.”
  • “Here God is not approached as an object that we must love, but as a mystery present in the very act of love itself.”
  • “Our real beliefs are generally not to be found at the level of ego.”
  • “This book is about a salvation that takes place within our unknowing and dissatisfaction,”
  • “What we see taking place in the church today is the reduction of God to an idol.”
  • “In contrast we let go of existence, meaning, and the sublime as categories to describe the object “God.” Instead these become ways in which we engage with the world. Yet, as we affirm the world in love, we indirectly sense that in letting go of God we have, in fact, found ourselves at the very threshold of God.”
  • “Truly embracing the fragility and tensions of life...brings with it the possibility of true joy.”
  • “Our religious beliefs have not provided us what they seemed to promise.”
  • “The excessive pleasure we imagine receiving from what we want most of all is fleeting at best.”
  • “For in the figure of Christ we are confronted with an atomic event that does not destroy the world, but rather obliterates the way in which we exist within the world. In concrete terms, this means that the darkness and dissatisfaction that make their presence felt in our lives are not finally answered by certainty and satisfaction but are rather stripped of their weight and robbed of their sting.”
  • “Sinful activities are whatever we do with the goal of bringing us into proximity with that which we believe will fill the void in our existence.”



"The Challenge of God." Plenary Address by John Caputo




John D. Caputo: "Deconstruction and A Religion of the Future."







Quotes by John D. Caputo
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/17913.John_D_Caputo

“The Right thinks that the breakdown of the family is the source of crime and poverty, and this they very insightfully blame on the homosexuals, which would be amusing were it not so tragic. Families and 'family values' are crushed by grinding poverty, which also makes violent crime and drugs attractive alternatives to desperate young men and sends young women into prostitution. Family values are no less corrupted by the corrosive effects of individualism, consumerism, and the accumulation of wealth. Instead of shouting this from the mountain tops, the get-me-to-heaven-and-the-rest-be-damned Christianity the Christian Right preaches is itself a version of selfish spiritual capitalism aimed at netting major and eternal dividends, and it fits hand in glove with American materialism and greed.”

- John D. Caputo, What Would Jesus Deconstruct?: The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church

“Orthodoxy is idolatry if it means holding the 'correct opinions about God' - 'fundamentalism' is the most extreme and salient example of such idolatry - but not if it means holding faith in the right way, that is, not holding it at all but being held by God, in love and service. Theology is idolatry if it means what we say about God instead of letting ourselves be addressed by what God has to say to us. Faith is idolatrous if it is rigidly self-certain but not if it is softened in the waters of 'doubt.”

- John D. Caputo, What Would Jesus Deconstruct?: The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church

“Too often, contemporary continental philosophers take the “other” of philosophy to mean literature, but not religion, which is for them just a little too wholly other, a little beyond their much heralded tolerance of alterity. They retain an antagonism to religious texts inherited straight from the Enlightenment, even though they pride themselves on having made the axioms and dogmas of the Enlightenment questionable. But the truth is that contemporary continental philosophy is marked by the language of the call and the response, of the gift, of hospitality to the other, of the widow, the orphan and the stranger, and by the very idea of the “wholly other,” a discourse that any with the ears to hear knows has a Scriptural provenance and a Scriptural resonance. ("A Prologue",Journal of Philosophy and Scripture 1.1, Fall 2003, p. 1).”

- John D. Caputo

“Marital life cannot be easily represented in art because it is the small, invisible, quotidian growth of the day-to-day, where outwardly nothing happens. Romantic love is like a general who knows how to conquer but not how to govern once the last shot is fired. Unlike the aesthete, who knows how to 'kill time' , married people master time without killing it. Marital time is about the wise use and governance of time, setting one's hands to the plough of the day-to-day.”

- John D. Caputo, How to Read Kierkegaard

“The name of God is the name of the chance for something absolutely new, for a new birth, for the expectation, the hope, the hope against hope (Rom. 4:18) in a transforming future. Without it we are left without hope and are absorbed by rational management techniques.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“A world without love is a world governed by rigid contracts and inexorable duties, a world in which – God forbid! – the lawyers run everything. The mark of really loving someone or something is unconditionality and excess, engagement and commitment, fire and passion.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“I do not recommend ignorance and I am not saying that there is no truth, but I am arguing that the best way to think about truth is to call it the best interpretation that anybody has come up with yet while conceding that no one knows what is coming next. There are lots of competing truths battling with one another for their place in the sun, and the truth is that we have to learn to cope with the conflict. The skies do not open up and drop The Truth into our laps.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“Nutshells close and encapsulate, shelter and protect, reduce and simplify, while everything in deconstruction is turned toward opening, exposure, expansion, and complexification, toward releasing unheard of, undreamt of possibilities to come, toward cracking nutshells wherever they appear.”

- John D. Caputo

“The Enlightenment dared us to think, but there will always be a religion and a God for those who wouldn’t dare.”

- John D. Caputo, The Folly of God: A Theology of the Unconditional

“Remember that St. Augustine's famous “conversion” did not exactly lie in giving up sex and romance, which was only its most sensational side, but in giving up his disposition over himself, his attachment to his own career and ambitions as a rising rhetorician who stood to get a comfortable and important post in the Roman government. His conversion occurred at the precise point when his self-possession was displaced by a possession by God, when his love of self gave way to a love of God. It is only when he had broken the spell of self-love – you know that I love you, Lord – that he was visited by the question, but what do I love when I love my God?”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“The old debate between mind and matter is fast becoming as antiquated as a debate about the relative merits of various sorts of fountain pens. “Matter” is going out of style. The electron is turning out to be the Cartesian “pineal gland” which mediates in the obsolete opposition of mind and matter as the lines between these two antagonists in the ancient dualism are blurred by the electronic revolution.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“The truth of the event does not belong to the order of identificatory knowledge, as if our life’s charge were to track down and learn the secret name of some fugitive spirit.”

- John D. Caputo, The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event

“The critique of the domesticated Jesus has a long pedigree, perhaps the most notable being Dostoyevsky’s chilling account of Jesus having the audacity to show up and disturb the machinations of the crusades in Seville (which, in fact, Jesus doesn’t disturb at all precisely because his nonviolence can be so easily silenced).”

- John D. Caputo, What Would Jesus Deconstruct?: The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church

“Nietzsche had it right when he said we lack the courage for the truth, that the truth will make us stronger just so long as it doesn’t kill us first.”

- John D. Caputo, What Would Jesus Deconstruct?: The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church

“Would you rather stand before God as a learned theologian who is full of pride or an unlearned man with a head full of superstition who worships in spirit and in truth?”

- John D. Caputo, Philosophy and Theology

“Postmodernism thus is not relativism or skepticism, as its uncomprehending critics almost daily charge, but minutely close attention to detail, a sense for the complexity and multiplicity of things, for close readings, for detailed histories, for sensitivity to differences. The postmodernists think the devil is in the details, but they also have reason to hope that none of this will antagonize God.”

- John D. Caputo, Philosophy and Theology

“If you do not love God, what good are you? You are too caught up in the meanness of self-love and self-gratification to be worth a tinker's damn. Your soul soars only with a spike in the Dow-Jones Industrial average; your heart leaps only at the prospect of a new tax break. The devil take you. He already has. Religion is for lovers, for men and women of passion, for real people with a passion for something other than taking profits, people who believe in something, who hope like mad in something, who love something with a love that surpasses understanding.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“Religious people, the “people of God,” the people of the impossible, impassioned by a love that leaves them restless and unhinged, panting like the deer for running streams, as the psalmist says (Ps. 42:1), are impossible people. In every sense of the word. If, on any given day, you go into the worst neighborhoods of the inner cities of most large urban centers, the people you will find there serving the poor and needy, expending their lives and considerable talents attending to the least among us, will almost certainly be religious people — evangelicals and Pentecostalists, social workers with deeply held religious convictions, Christian, Jewish, and Islamic, men and women, priests and nuns, black and white. They are the better angels of our nature. They are down in the trenches, out on the streets, serving the widow, the orphan, and the stranger, while the critics of religion are sleeping in on Sunday mornings. That is because religious people are lovers; they love God, with whom all things are possible. They are hyper-realists, in love with the impossible, and they will not rest until the impossible happens, which is impossible, so they get very little rest. The philosophers, on the other hand, happen to be away that weekend, staying in a nice hotel, reading unreadable papers on “the other” at each other, which they pass off as their way of serving the wretched of the earth. Then, after proclaiming the death of God, they jet back to their tenured jobs, unless they happen to be on sabbatical leave and are spending the year in Paris.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“I am wounded by theology, unhinged and uprooted by the blow it has delivered to my heart. Theology is my weakness, the way one has a weakness for sex or money, what I secretly desire, or maybe not so secretly, even as it desires everything of me. Still, with all due deference, like Johannes Climacus speaking of being a Christian, I would say that on my best days I am working at becoming theological.”

- John D. Caputo, The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event

“The desire for God—that is the root of the trouble I have bought for myself. I have taken God, the name of God, what is happening in the name of God, as my subject matter. With or without religion,3 with or without what ordinarily passes for theology, the name of God is too important to leave in the hands of the special interest groups. That is why I freely own up here to a certain theological gesture, to a theological desire and a “desiring theology,” as Charles Winquist would have put it,4 which is undeniably a desire for God, for something astir in the name of God, a desire for something I know not what, for which I pray night and day. I am praying for an event.”

- John D. Caputo, The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event

“Who am I? I am one who finds his life a question, whose life is always being put in question, which is what gives life its salt. We seek but do not find, not quite, not if we are honest, which does not discourage the religious heart but drives it on and heightens the passion, for this is one more encounter with the impossible. We may and we must have our opinions on the subject; we must finally reach a judgment and take a stand about life, but my advice is to attach a coefficient of uncertainty to what we say, for even after we have taken a stand, we still do not know who we are.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“The great religious symbols and figures have always been figures of suffering, for the love of God always comes to rest upon the least among us, upon the ones who suffer needlessly. If anyone is indeed “privileged” by God, it is the underprivileged, because with God the last are first. The name of God is the name of the One who takes a stand with those who suffer, who expresses a divine solidarity with suffering, the One who says no to suffering, to unjust or unwarranted suffering.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“The world bars strangers or makes them present their papers—but the kingdom offers them hospitality and invites them to the wedding feast.”

- John D. Caputo, The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event

“Faith is faith that there is something that lifts us above the blind force of things, a mind in all this mindlessness. That there is something – like the Force in Star Wars, which is, as we have seen, a bit of a transcription of the Buddha nature – or someone, as in the personal conceptions of God found in the great monotheisms, who stands by us when we are up against the worst, who stands by others, by the least among us. Faith is faith that we can say that certain things are wrong, are evil. Faith is the memory of evil done, the dangerous memory of suffering that cannot be undone, and the hope of a transforming future.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“A name is a promissory note that it cannot itself keep.”

- John D. Caputo, The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event

“The religious sense of life kicks in when I am rigorously loyal, “religiously” faithful (religio on still another etymology, meaning “scrupulous” or “in a disciplined way”) to the service of something other than myself, more important than myself, to which I swear an oath, which has me more than I have it.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“The best interests of theology lie not in God in the highest but in the depths of God, something deep within God, even older than God, or deeper than God, and for that very same reason, deep within us, we and God always being intertwined.”

- John D. Caputo, The Folly of God: A Theology of the Unconditional

“The name of God is the name of the impossible, and the love of God transports us beyond ourselves and the constraints imposed upon the world by what the Aufklärer called “reason” and Kant called the conditions of possibility, transporting us toward the impossible. Today, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud are all dead but God is doing just fine, thank you very much.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“To the great astonishment of learned despisers of religion everywhere, who have been predicting the death of God from the middle of the nineteenth century right up to Y2K, religion in all of its manifold varieties has returned. Even to say that is misleading, since religion was reported missing mostly by the intellectuals; no one outside the academy thought that it had gone anywhere at all. Religion has returned even among avant-garde intellectuals who have given it a new legitimacy by discrediting its discreditors, suspecting its suspectors, doubting its doubters, unmasking its unmaskers.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion

“Secular intellectuals, poor things, cannot win for losing. Even as contemporary philosophers move more and more beyond the modernist, critical, and reductionist habits of thought that grew up in the old Enlightenment, which was keyed to the old new science, the new technologies have simply created the opportunity for a new religious imagination.”

- John D. Caputo, On Religion



Prof. Peter Rollins & Prof. John D. Caputo






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