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
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
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

Saturday, January 14, 2017

R.E. Slater - Personal Thoughts and Ramblings

As you have guessed I've backed away from blogging for awhile to create a new space for myself after having experienced a truly terrible year of misery and pain gained from a complicated surgery last January 2016 which brought about three different infections - one of which was deadly serious - while the other two hindered the massive wounds gained from surgery from healing. After three surgeries (the latest one several days before this past Christmas) and a fourth hospitalization to keep me from dying (last April) I can say that this experience has been one that has broken all my normal routines in life - both at the blogsite and out in my communities where I volunteer in environmental reclamation with various green and blue (water) organizations and manage various political commissions and appointments in local government.

However, this has also been a good time to break away from my past labours at distilling what a progressive Jesus-gospel and biblical-tradition might look like to reflect on other literary and scientific interests. Which I have done in reading through the entire New Testament in eight short weeks with a group of 30 other readers using Biblica's unusual bible containing no verses or chapter headings and mixing up the books according to authorship; reading/studying Vergil's massive 14,000 lined poem, The Aeneid, wherein he created a new narrative legacy for the old Roman Republic under Augustus Octavius Caesar; Shakespeare's marvelously rich and dark, Hamlet. I've gone to class and studied Monetary Supply Economics (basically America's banking system); the Role and history of the European Union (whose lectures were conducted by a former US Ambassador); and looked (again) at the necessary disruption and resolution caused by America's Civil War for the Constitution Rights of All (I read 4 thick books, went to a class on Michigan's regiments in the war, and also visited Gettysburg for the first time this past August). This past summer my wife and I toured Washington D.C. for a week absorbing its museums, history, and culture (despite, or in respite to my ill health); and generally toured the state of Virginia from Shenandoah Park to Richmond, Virginia, to its Eastern Seaboard including the Eastern Shoreline and the state of Maryland which included a visit to Anapolis' Naval Academy.

During all this time I have been collecting books, videos, and lectures to review on topics like postmodernism and where it is and might be going.... My personal thoughts are that its "good" period of "global cooperation and unity" is now being crudely replaced by a "post-postmodernism period" of state control and authoritarianism, chaos, and anarchy by populist movements both left and right of the political spectrum. Mostly because humanity doesn't do solidarity very well with each other wishing to have it all their way or none at all. But I'm pretty sure the bible calls this sin. At least that was my reflecting thought to our goodhearted (though very conservative) ambassador who shared the same opine in the turn of the phrase, "We just don't share together very well."

I have also started (several times by now due to the normal flow of life's constant interruptions) to read at a deeper level what Continental Philosophy might promise Christianity as a more proper philosophical bedrock than what analytic Western Philosophy can do with all its syllogistic formulas and mathematical arcane re life rules, do's, and don'ts, and binary reflections. To this I'm trying to read through Martin Heidegger's thoughts on metaphysics, Jacques Derrida's deconstruction of this, and the progress of CP by way of Radical Theology using Relational and Process Theology to help it behave. Mostly I think Christian hermeneutics might be greatly helped in its narrative appeal and messaging should both public and church come to understand that all of God and His ways are in flux and in movement about us. That His Spirit is more unbound to us than ever before in this time of theologic hisotry. That it was never just one thing. Which is to say, God is intimately present with us at all times. Who cares for us in the totality of the desperateness of our human condition fraught with uncommon freedom to be all that we are - both the good and the bad. And, as respecting this freedom, our Lord and Savior works within, underneath, and across these paradigms of creation's magnanimous freedom in Sovereignly ways of encouraging us, urging us forward in "pleadings and prayers" by His Holy Spirit, and throughout the miraculously transformative life we partake in with its promises of great beauty and deep abysses of great harm.

And it is this kind of theology I believe can be transformative (as I related in my last article re the subject of biblical interpretation respecting inerrancy). That God has not abandoned us but works within the spirit-system of the universe doing all that He can underneath its great burdens without losing an iota of His majesty or Godship by partnering with creation towards rebirth and renewal, redemption and resurrection, reclamation, service, beauty, and love.


R.E. Slater
January 14, 2017

No comments:

Post a Comment