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, December 1, 2018

What Attracts Me to Process Theology - by R.E. Slater



What attracts me as a Christian to process theology? Mainly its expansiveness to include others of different faiths, religions, races, cultures, and beliefs behind its central tenants of love, unity, peace, goodwill, social and environmental justice, and so on. It is a binder, a healer, a way to envision a better future.


What this does not mean is that Christianity as a faith loses its historical character of God-ness, Jesus, or Holy Spirit filling. But what it does mean is that Christianity loses its un-Godness, un-Christlike-ness, and paucity for Holy Spirit imagination, transformation, and reformation.

Process is also eclectic. It does not need to take from any one direction, system, theology, or philosophy to be itself. It takes each of those streams of tradition and enhances them, binds them to humanity and creation, updates them into current contemporary thought, science, discovery, and work. It is a binder. A unifier. It frees traditional thinking to look past their meager, darker borderlands to broader vistas. To imagine the Word of God as a multi-hued prism or spectral array which would permit Eastern, Continental, Western, and Near-Eastern traditions to consider, "What if."


So here's the scary part for strict traditionalists - they may have to relax their boundaries. Scary indeed. But what if those boundaries came down because of love and understanding for where another is coming from when viewing the worlds of oppression those views were forced to free themselves from? What if, rather than labeling, we say, "Oh, my tradition has given me the wrong impression of what people were struggling for? Or, the reigns of abuse they needed to be freed from?" This is the more valid approach rather than relenting to a criticising, excluding faith position more willing to judge and ostracize others than help.


The Christian faith is a magnanimous faith - not a reproaching faith. Jesus taught God in many languages, vernaculars, and within hostile environments. Why should the Christian faith be any different unless it is not true and has something to lose? Unless all it believes cannot be bigger than itself in honor to the Father-Creator of all? Unless it prefers sticking to its own slogans, beliefs, and exclusions? If God is God than God is other than exclusion which the Christian tradition has created through its denominational crusades and holy wars of jihad upon the world. It should expand Jesus to the world rather than delimit Him to a few pulpiteers speaking lies in clever eloquence, oratory power, and selective beliefs.


As such, over the past 90 years since Alfred North Whitehead’s seminal publication, "Process and Reality," North's relational, open, organic worldview has taken shape in a myriad of unique ways. It has been said that Process Theology is one of the most important movements in 21st Century American liberal theology, in connection with liberation theology, feminist theology, eco-theology, religious pluralism, religion and science, panpsychism, panentheism, postmodern, and the list goes on.

Christian based Process theology can touch each one of these modern trajectories and can both bring and find enlightenment to its rich church legacies if it is willing to try. If not, the barriers still remain high, the gospel delimited by its professors, and God's salvific healing to the world in Christ remains meaningless to a world designed to be organic, holistic, complexly networked, and redemptive.


Finally, process theology is not strictly a Christian, Western, or Continental phenomena. There are religious followers from around the globe who find aspects of process thought illuminating for their own respective traditions. Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and other thinkers have infused their religiosity with process relational thinking in extremely fruitful ways. But where do we go from here? What will the future of process theology look like? These are the key questions from which only a post-modern society may answer as it slips backwards into post-truth nationalism, patriotism, and divisive labeling for gain, power, notoriety, and infamy. For once, in contemporary theology, there is a definitive solution which is broad enough to transport the Christian faith into all areas of life and not just a secular, religious, denoministic view of life. It may transform itself into a sepulcher of holiness permeated with love, healing, real hope, and Spirit-filled transformation.

R.E. Slater
December 1, 2018



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