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

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Snippets of Thoughts - Uncertainty and Doubt


For those living in a Christian faith full of doubt and uncertainty please know this is ok. The essence of faith in many cases is simply not knowing, not being sure. It affords the disbeliever (or unbeliever) time to look around, investigate, pray, worship, cry out, ache, share a broken heart with God, or simply learn to live in a new spiritual tension that doesn't require answers from God but perhaps better questions from us.

Too many Christians, it seems, require certainty and absolutes to assure their faith. When done it becomes a closed faith living with static pictures of an unseen, fantasy world. But doubt and uncertainty can be good things. These elements demand an openness to the hard questions of life which may never be answered as fully as we wish. It allows us to breathe again while paradoxically finding reassurance in the face of not knowing.

If we turn to the Scriptures many of the biblical figures we read of were led by God through a difficult time of personal unknowing, uncertain, even a doubting faith. A kind of faith which must allow for uncertainty while believing (or trusting) God enough to keep pressing forward.

It is said wisdom comes through experience. Faith then, is like wisdom. It needs "travel time in our lives" in order for it to take root.

R.E. Slater
March 24, 2016

Snippets of Thoughts - Evolution


For those still struggling with the topic of creational evolution below will be found some current conversations and reflections on evolution and the bible from many of the authors we have quoted or have read here at Relevancy22 through a recently published book.

For myself, it's a no-brainer. I've already crossed over to the dark side. There are no doubts, no regrets, no losses. Curiously, the only major thing that did happen - besides horrifying my friends and family to the point that they believe me to have lost my faith... ("I did not") was that I discovered a much larger God. A God whom I couldn't define, systematize, place in a theological box, or presume to know the indefatigable One of deep mystery, love, and redemption.

As a result, along the right side of my blog site here are topical listings of subjects. Scrolling down to the "Science section" will discover several hundreds of articles on biblical evolution. There is also an excellent series conducted by Peter Enns who interviewed many of his friends and acquaintances on when the "faith of their youth grew up" when they could no longer look at the bible as they once did through fundamental or evangelical interpretations. The link to these interviews can be found here (21 in all if I remember right) - "Faith Transitions - aha Moments" in Scholars lives.

The latest book below does something similar along the lines of exploring evolution over against a depiction of the bible as teaching "instantaneous creation" [known by several names such as Intelligent Design, Young Earth Creation (YEC), or Old Earth Creation]. For many Christians they receive their direction of Scripture from the pulpits of the church, but for those who really yearn to make creationism even more real through denial of evolution and misinterpretation of the mythology of creation (Gen 1-11, which includes the Great Flood) than creational apologeticist Ken Ham has several biblical theme parks to be explored to resettle any uncertainty. One is built upon the Intelligent Design Concept and the other - not too far away - can be found in a Noah's Ark theme park (currently being built as of this date) to shore up the lagging faith of the literal bible (flat-earth) reading crowd.

Of course, there are also the big budget movies one might consume in living technicolor depicting what the created world, or Egypt, or Jesus, might have looked liked or gone through in their day. Or, like me, you could wander into the Royale Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum in Alberta, Canada, and walk through the massive exhibits amazed at the many real (not casted) acres of dinosaur skeletons while listening to a pre-Cambrian show of how all this came together.

Now, not that I would turn down a good ice cream cone or a gooey coney dog at a biblical theme park. Nor enjoy any less the fellowship of my blessed, more-fundamentally-minded, brethren seeking solace and encouragement through Ken Ham's 3D theme park efforts. But, the reality is, there is no contest or question about cosmological, geological, or biological evolution. It just is. You may pay your money to the theme parks, buy the books against evolution, and go see exhibits, and discussions with your bible study group, but no amount of posturing can deny the scientific veracity of evolution. And it is ridiculous to try despite the efforts of many.

Why? Because once you cross this "artificial" chasm between the bible and God your faith becomes larger than one can ever imagine. Rather than losing your faith to Darwin, you may join with Darwin and many other Christian scientists working alongside scientists of every persuasion. The bible comes more alive, the standard pat answers of our previous theology blows up and must be reworked, and a wonderful element of faith comes into our lives helping us to see people all around us again (the church's mission field of ministry to all). People needing our loving care, service, and help, rather than being bludgeoned with (correct) knowledge first and (church-sanctioned) works later.

As of today, can we say that evolution has ended? Nope. It always is. And it is continuing apace as our species works very hard at bringing about another major extinction event in an era begun to be described as the Anthropocene Age. An age caused by the industrial use of fossil fuels along with their harmful affects on the earth. How do these fossil fuels harm the earth? They create an overproduction of CO2 gas which has warmed up the planet 10X beyond the last extinction event, thus changing the currents in the air, the oceans, the salinity of the salt water, the melting of all earth's glaciers, the loss of animal species, the loss of rangeland for those species to thrive, and overall affected climate change itself.

However, when we're all dead and gone guess what? Somehow life will live on. The atmosphere may be toxic but no matter. Evolutionary theory says "life will somehow survive." As example, the early earth was covered in noxious methane gases. Bacterias of every form thrived in this gaseous environment, both on land and in the primordial oceans. And then something strange happened. The earth changed the way it behaved and over hundreds of millions of years a lethal gas known as oxygen became the dominant gas of life which drove the Cambrian Explosion. (I've got several articles on these subjects too if you google relevancy22 + "Cambrian explosion" or "primordial oxygen").

In conclusion, below is a new book recently released by Biologos, a Christian evolutionary website, which provides the stories of people searching for answers when confronted by science and wishing to take the bible and their faith seriously. It would be well worth the read for many churches. Peace.

R.E. Slater
March 24, 2016


How I Changed My Mind About Evolution

Evangelicals Reflect on Faith and Science

BioLogos Books on Science and Christianity
Edited by Kathryn Applegate and J.B. Stump

Perhaps no topic appears as potentially threatening to evangelicals as evolution. The very idea seems to exclude God from the creation the book of Genesis celebrates.
Yet many evangelicals have come to accept the conclusions of science while still holding to a vigorous belief in God and the Bible. How did they make this journey? How did they come to embrace both evolution and faith?
Here are stories from a community of people who love Jesus and honor the authority of the Bible, but who also agree with what science says about the cosmos, our planet and the life that so abundantly fills it.
Among the contributors are
Scientists such as
  • Francis Collins
  • Deborah Haarsma
  • Denis Lamoureux
Pastors such as
  • John Ortberg
  • Ken Fong
  • Laura Truax
Biblical scholars such as
  • N. T. Wright
  • Scot McKnight
  • Tremper Longman III
Theologians and philosophers such as
  • James K. A. Smith
  • Amos Yong
  • Oliver Crisp