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 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

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Structuring Theological Revolutions

I came across this article yesterday and thought to pass it along. Basically it confirms what we have been doing here at Relevancy22 for the past many years in discovering an updated contemporary theology more congruent with today's church and world.

Peace and Mercy this Advent Season -

R.E. Slater
December 14, 2016

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The Structure of Theological Revolutions

Theology develops over time—it seems obvious to me, but I have friends who disagree. Every theological doctrine has a history, beginning with the first person to think it and describe it, and then it is refined over centuries by many others. Hans Küng keenly compares the development of theology to the development of science in his excellent book, the Theology for the Third Millennium.

Küng says that Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions applies to theological development. Science has developed through different models over time; the Ptolemaic model was replaced by the Copernican model, and then Newtonian model replaced it, and then the Einsteinian model replaced it, and so on. Each scientific model was made obsolete by later models that described the world more accurately. Küng says that theology has gone through the same revolution of models, such that the Augustinian model was replaced by the Thomistic model and then was replaced by the Reformation model, and so on. Each theological model improves upon the previous model and supplants the previous models.

The conclusion is that abandoning the Reformation model to return to a previous model such as the Augustinian or Thomistic models, would be tantamount to turning back from modern science such as the Einsteinian model to follow obsolete models such as the Ptometiac scientific model. Protestant theology is always returning to the bible, ad fontes, but never regressing entirely to outmoded theological models. We return to the Bible to advance our theological understanding of the Bible, but not to reject theological development, and nor to return to obsolete theological models of long ago.

Hans Küng on Theological Revolutions

In physics we can now distinguish between a Ptolemaic, a Copernican, a Newtonian, and an Einsteinian macromodel. Couldn't we make an analogous distinction in theology between a Greek-Alexandrian, a Latin-Augustinian, a Medieval-Thomistic, a Reformation, and one or several modern-critical interpretive models? [...]

Thus in physics, there would be macromodels for general scientific solutions (such as the Copernican, Newtonian, or Einsteinian model), mesomodels for the solution of medium-range problem areas (such as the wave theory of light, the dynamic theory of heat or Maxwell's electromagnetic theory), and the micromodels for scientific solutions of detailed problems (such as the discovery of X-rays).

The theological analogy for this would be macromodels for general solutions (the Alexandrian, the Augustinian, the Thomist, the Reformation model), mesomodels for the solution of intermediate problem areas (doctrine of creation, grace, the sacraments), and micromodels for solutions of detailed problems (doctrine of original sin, the hypostatic union in Christology). [...]

Even very well scrutinized "classical" theories like those of Newton or Thomas Aquinas have proved inadequate and in need of overhauling. There is no reason, then, to absolutize a method, a blueprint, or model. Instead we have every motive for an unrelenting new search, for permanent criticism and rational supervision: on the way through pluralism to even greater truth. [1]


[1] Küng, Hans. Theology for the Third Millennium: An Ecumenical View. New York: Doubleday, 1988. 134-35. Print.