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

Monday, January 4, 2016

Jurgen Moltmann - "The Crucified God" & "How Moltmann Shaped Theology"

Theologian Jurgen Moltmann

From our friends at Homebrewed Christianity comes a lecture series by Jurgen Moltmann with a panel discussion afterwards. The website links to the audio files may be found at Homebrewed's website by clicking on the "blue link" below the title. Enjoy, and Happiest of New Years to you.

R.E. Slater
January 4, 2016
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The Crucified God with Jurgen Moltmann!

December 8, 2015

Jurgen Moltmann is on the podcast!

Moltmann is the most influential theologian from the 2nd half of the 20th century. In this episode you will get to hear Moltmann answer our questions like a theological champ. His one liners are inappropriately zesty!

This is the first half of the live HBC podcast from the American Academy of Religion. You will get to hear Tony Jones and I interview the zesty German one – Moltmann! During the podcast we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Moltmann’s ground-breaking text The Crucified God.

We were also joined by Jennifer McBride and Philip Clayton. Get ready for the excitement!!

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How Moltmann Shaped Theology

January 3, 2016

It’s a new year and you better get your geek out for this one!

This is the second half of the live HBC podcast from the American Academy of Religion. After Tony Jones and I interviewed the zesty German one – Moltmann – we hosted an impromptu all-star panel of HBC regulars discussing the work and influence of Moltmann’s ground-breaking text The Crucified God.

First our friends Philip Clayton and Scot Paeth kicked things off with us discussing the pathos of God, the Trinity, liberation theology and a number of other topics.

Then Tony and I were joined by a number of the authors in the Homebrewed Christianity Guide series with our friends at Fortress Press.

: See that's Tony, Jeff, Adam, Grace & Tripp.

You can order the entire book series now!

Check out the upcoming live events on our new calendar.

The Importance of Being Missional and Not Just Welcoming as a Christian


December 31, 2015

I was listening to a sports radio show on my way to church one morning. The two DJs were doing their usual bit of asking each other trivia questions. One of the DJs asked, “What are the top nine favorite religious Christmas Carols in the United States?” The other DJ had a hard time answering. He got only one: “O Holy Night.” Upon learning that another popular carol is “Silent Night” he asked, “Wait, that’s a religious one? How?” He was familiar with the tune of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” but again, he didn’t know it was religious.

That same day, for our church preschool’s Christmas party, I was helping one of the teachers and her teenage daughter set up some decorations in the sanctuary while the musicians were practicing some Christmas carols. Unknowingly I was humming along and the daughter asked, “Oh, what song is that?” After realizing that I was humming aloud, I had to take a moment to think about what song I was humming along to.

“Oh. It’s ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.’”

“I never heard of that song.”

What is it about this song that no one knows about?

Out of curiosity, I started asking her if she knew other “well-known” Christmas carols. Nope. I don’t think so. Sounds familiar. I think so…? Manger? What’s a manger? Those were the answers to my spur-of-the-moment pop quiz.

It’s no secret that our culture is becoming increasingly “secular.” What’s frustrating is that a lot of our churches still operate with the assumption that everyone knows about the church. And when we meet people that don’t know the Lord’s Prayer, instead of trying to teach them, we become more outraged at the secularity of our culture.

Where I believe my church and others fall short is meeting people where they are and joining in on the conversations they are already having. We still seem to want people to meet us where we are. At a recent visioning meeting, we talked about how we can reach our community and let them know that our church exists. A majority of the ideas were something along the lines of a facelift for our campus so that we can look fresh, brighter, newer for the people driving by.

“If they see a new landscape, they might think there’s life in the church and may want to come and check us out.”

That’s all good, but a new landscape or change of color of the church building isn’t going to draw people in.

That’s the second mistake many of us make. Not only do we assume that a majority of our neighbors know about church, we also look at outreach through the lens of the question “How do we get people into our pews” rather than actually being missional.

My church is absolutely welcoming. Many other churches are also welcoming… and happy, gracious and grateful to meet new families. But a welcoming church can easily become a dying church. Welcoming suggests passively waiting for people to come to be embraced, much like a dog anticipating and waiting for its master to come home.

Yes, we need to be welcoming… but more importantly, we need to be invitational. That means taking a risk and putting ourselves out there for possible rejection when we invite people to our church. It means going out into the world, making contact with people and building relationships with them.

Many decades ago, people looked for the cross and flame (the United Methodist Church logo) when they moved into a new town.

We don’t have that luxury anymore.

We can’t just wait and assume people are going to show up — because they won't. We’re also going to encounter more and more folks who don’t know the things about our faith that we take for granted. And that’s okay.

What’s not okay is for us to mistake the words of Jesus to “Go” for “Stay and wait for people to come” — no matter how welcoming we may be.


Joseph Yoo is pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara, California. He is the author of Practical Prayer and Encountering Grace. He blogs at JosephYoo.com.