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

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

R.E. Slater - The Holy Trilogy: Process Theology, EcoTheology & TheoPoetics

The Becoming of God
by R.E. Slater

Winter's long spell has finally broken as
slumbering woods shed snowy coats in
long wispy billows of falling snow
blizzard-like to the frozen ground below.

My spirit in this way too is casting off
its remaining tendrils of frozen clutter
stopping life from imagining wonder,
hope, and care, in a world dead to wonder.

Dead things in a world becoming undead
under the warmth of God's radiating Spirit
undoing both church and world's long history
of politics and war upon the spirits of men.

Languishing for a word of awe, of curiosity,
of the Divine nurturing life into a lost world,
lost in unbecoming dark thoughts, habits, and acts,
lost as a race of nonbeings in an evolving universe.

Rather than nouthetic beings embracing both
world and Spirit together as one, not two,
integral and integrating, unlives made separate
by church misapplying religion for gospel.

A gospel of oneness in Christ, oneness in God,
oneness in Spirit divine to a living cosmos
becoming all in one and one in all,
reminders that winter's hold can break.

Must break if world without end can be
imagined again, hoped again, breathed again,
as in Eden of old - before there was man,
before there was death, before, before, life everlasting.

R.E. Slater
March 5, 2019

@copyright R.E. Slater Publications
all rights reserved

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Wikipedia - 
Ecotheology is a form of constructive theology that focuses on the interrelationships of religion and nature, particularly in the light of environmental concerns. Ecotheology generally starts from the premise that a relationship exists between human religious/spiritual worldviews and the degradation of nature. It explores the interaction between ecological values, such as sustainability, and the human domination of nature. The movement has produced numerous religious-environmental projects around the world.
The burgeoning awareness of environmental crisis has led to widespread religious reflection on the human relationship with the earth. Such reflection has strong precedents in most religious traditions in the realms of ethics and cosmology, and can be seen as a subset or corollary to the theology of nature.
It is important to keep in mind that ecotheology explores not only the relationship between religion and nature in terms of degradation of nature, but also in terms of ecosystem management in general. Specifically, ecotheology seeks not only to identify prominent issues within the relationship between nature and religion, but also to outline potential solutions. This is of particular importance because many supporters and contributors of ecotheology argue that science and education are simply not enough to inspire the change necessary in our current environmental crisis.

Image result for ecotheology and process  Image result for ecotheology and process  Image result for ecotheology and process

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Missing Bland Crowder

Why Sustainability Needs Poetry

I can never hear the word “sustainability” without also hearing the word “sustenance." That’s because about fifteen years ago an English professor at Hendrix College, Ashby Bland Crowder, taught me to hear the word that way. 

Bland was in a working group of faculty interested in what we called SAGE: “the sustainability and global education initiative.” We were sitting in what was then called the Raney Building. There were about twelve of us. Many who were present were from the natural and social sciences, and they naturally thought of sustainability in terms of resource management and responsible public policies. Sustainability was about what we “do” with “the environment,” as if the environment was something outside us, consisting of all that was not human: land and water and plants and animals and atmosphere.

Isn't Sustainability Connected with Sustenance?

Bland was himself an environmentalist in the sense my science friends would understand and appreciate. He was very much concerned with protecting the more-than-human world, and that’s one reason why, when he died, donations were to go to the Environmental Defense Fund. (You can read about him here.) But Bland also knew that sharp divisions between “the environment” and “human life” missed something very important. We humans are within, not apart from, the larger web of life; we are creatures among creatures on a small but beautiful planet. And he knew that truly sustainable societies need people whose minds and hearts are sustainable, too. 

In our gathering that day he casually asked: “But isn’t sustainability connected with the word sustenance, and don’t we need sustenance, too.” He wasn’t talking about physical sustenance alone; he was talking about moral and spiritual sustenance: kindness, awe, wonder, play, imagination, hope, honesty, compassion, care, a love of life. And of course he was right. In our meeting we were forgetting the human and cultural side of sustainability. With his simple question, he opened our minds toward a wider, gentler, more inclusive way of thinking. A more sustainable way of thinking.

You Need to Shift into Second Gear

Bland was a scholar of poetry. He loved language and words. I was a new father at the time, and I found that I didn’t have the time to read novels, so, a former English major myself, I started to read poetry because (so I thought) it would take less time. But I felt that I wasn’t reading it rightly. I was too intent on finding “meanings” quickly. So I asked Bland if he could advise me on how to read poetry.

He said something very simple: “You need to shift from third gear to second gear. No need to hurry. Let your reading be relaxed and thoughtful.” In a way, Bland was telling me something a little more about the “sustenance” needed in a sustainable society. Such a society needs people who are less compulsive, less hurried, not always on the way toward a happiness that never quite arrives. It needs people who find wisdom in patience, in listening, in the wisdom of what is slow and beautiful.
These two lessons from Bland have been with ever since: “Sustainability includes sustenance” and “In order to read poetry you need to shift into second gear.” As I consider his recent departure, I miss my teacher, but I carry with me these lessons and many others: his presence, his easy laugh, his slow gait, his smile.

by Jay McDaniel
March 2, 2019

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Amazon Link
How should we believe in God today? If we look beyond our little lives to the vast cosmos, we may even ask: Why all that? And even if we spiritually feel the universe: Why believe any religion? After all, there are many; and haven't they contributed to the predicament of humanity? Process theology gives provocative answers to these questions: how we are bound by the organic cycles of this world, but how in this web of life God shines even in the last, least, and forgotten event as the Eros of its becoming and as its mirror of greatness; why anything exists: because it is from beauty, for harmony and intensity, and through a consciousness of peace rising from our deepest intuitions of existence. We can change: not only in our thoughts and lives, but even in the way we experience this world. This book introduces such a new way of experiencing, thinking, and living. Based on the fascinating work on cosmology, religion, and civilization of Alfred North Whitehead, this book develops the main theses of process theology and elucidates it as a theopoetics of mutual care for the unexpected, the excluded, the forgotten, and a future society of peace. - Roland Faber, Professor of Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Claremont Graduate University.

*Faber has been influential in the ongoing development of process philosophy and theology through organizing annual conferences since 2007 in Claremont. His own research focuses on constructive and deconstructive theology, postmodern and process philosophy, poststructuralism and mysticism, theopoetics and eco-process theology and interreligious studies (particularly transreligious discourse). He announced joining the Bahá'í Faith in 2014.

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What is TheoPoetics?

Theopoetics is an interdisciplinary field of study that combines elements of poetic analysis, process theologynarrative theology, and postmodern philosophy. Originally developed by Stanley Hopper and David Leroy Miller in the 1960s and furthered significantly by Amos Wilder with his 1976 text, Theopoetic: Theology and the Religious Imagination. In recent times there has been a revitalized interest with new work being done by L. Callid Keefe-Perry, Rubem AlvesCatherine KellerJohn CaputoPeter Rollins, Scott Holland, Melanie May, Matt Guynn, Roland Faber, and others.


Theopoetics suggests that instead of trying to develop a "scientific" theory of God, as Systematic Theology attempts, theologians should instead try to find God through poetic articulations of their lived ("embodied") experiences. It asks theologians to accept reality as a legitimate source of divine revelation and suggests that both the divine and the real are mysterious — that is, irreducible to literalist dogmas or scientific proofs.

Theopoetics makes significant use of "radical" and "ontological" metaphor to create a more fluid and less stringent referent for the divine. One of the functions of theopoetics is to recalibrate theological perspectives, suggesting that theology can be more akin to poetry than physics. It belies the logical assertion of the Principle of Bivalence and stands in contrast to some rigid Biblical hermeneutics that suggest that each passage of scripture has only one, usually teleological, interpretation. The dismissal of the aesthetic as a living part of language has turned the academic enterprise of biblical studies and theology into a language more at home with lawyers than poets. Theopoetics is the art of using words and thoughts that speak to the reader in an aesthetic and existential way to inspire spirituality in the reader.
Whereas those who utilize a strict, historical-grammatical approach believe scripture and theology possess inerrant factual meaning and pay attention to historicity, a theopoetic approach takes an allegorical position on faith statements that can be continuously reinterpreted. Theopoetics suggest that just as a poem can take on new meaning depending on the context in which the reader interprets it, texts and experiences of the Divine can and should take on new meaning depending on the changing situation of the individual.

Notable publications


  • Ricoeur, Paul (1976), Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning, Fort Worth: Texas Christian Press, ISBN 0-912646-59-4.
  • Wilder, Amos Niven (1976), Theopoetic: Theology and the Religious Imagination, Philadelphia: Fortress, ISBN 0-7880-9908-6.
  • Alves, Rubem (2002), The Poet The Warrior The Prophet, SCM Press, ISBN 978-0-334-02896-3.
  • Cruz-Villalobos, Luis (2015). Theological Poetry. Foreword by John D. Caputo [1]
  • Hopper, Stanley Romaine; Keiser, R Melvin (1992), Stoneburner, Tony, ed., The Way of Transfiguration: Religious Imagination As Theopoiesis, Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 0-664-21936-5.
  • Faber, Roland (2003), Gott als Poet der Welt: Anliegen und Perspektiven der Prozesstheologie [God as Poet of the World: Concerns and Perspectives in Process Theology] (in German), Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, ISBN 3-534-15864-4.
  • Miller, David L (2006), Hells and Holy Ghosts: A Theopoetics of Christian Belief, USA: Spring Journal Books, ISBN 1-882670-97-3.
  • Miller, David L (2005), Three Faces of God: Traces of the Trinity in Literature & Life, USA: Spring Journal Books, ISBN 1-882670-94-9.
  • May, Melanie A (1995), A Body Knows: A Theopoetics of Death and Resurrection, Continuum International Publishing, ISBN 0-8264-0849-4
  • Keller, Catherine (2003), The Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-25649-6
  • Bronsink, Troy (2013), Drawn In: A Creative Process For Artists, Activists, and Jesus Followers, Paraclete, ISBN 1557258716
  • Harrity, Dave (2013), Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand, Seedbed, ISBN 1628240229
  • Keefe-Perry, L. Callid (2014), Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer, Cascade, ISBN 978-1625645203
  • Garner, Phillip Michael (2017), Theopoetics: Spiritual Poetry for Contemplative Theology and Daily Living, Wipf and Stock, ISBN 9781498243742

See also

External links

Jay McDaniel - Why the God of Process Theology is Like Marian Anderson's Courageous Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Marian Anderson
(February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993)

​If God has power in the world, surely it must be more like the power of Marian Anderson's voice at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939, than that of guns and bombs. Surely the God who can't make the world 'right' with unilateral power, can inspire it toward goodness through the power of a beautiful, brave voice. And surely as we follow her example, using our talents whatever they are to lift burdens and reduce fear and promote compassion, we become, in our small way, God's voice, too.

"On Easter Sunday in 1939, more than 75,000 people come to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to hear famed African-American contralto Marian Anderson give a free open-air concert.... Anderson had been scheduled to sing at Washington’s Constitution Hall, but the Daughters of the American Revolution, a political organization that helped manage the concert hall, denied her the right to perform because of her race. The first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned her membership from the organization in protest, and Anderson’s alternate performance at the Lincoln Memorial served greatly to raise awareness of the problem of racial discrimination in America."

NPR Story on Marian Anderson 
​singing at the Lincoln Memorial

Patricia Campbell Carlson of Spirituality and Practice

"Born in 1897, American contralto Marian Anderson was the first African-American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera (Verdi's "Masked Ball," 1955). Equally gifted in renditions of spirituals and German lieder, Anderson combined her faith, dignity, and gentle spirit with her uniquely beautiful voice. The great conductor Toscanini felt that "hers is a voice that we hear only once in a hundred years."

When Anderson's scheduled performance at Constitution Hall was not permitted by the Daughters of the American Revolution (which caused Eleanor Roosevelt to resign from the D.A.R.), Anderson sang instead outdoors at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, 1939 to an audience of 75,000 people. Afterwards she observed, "I could not run away from the situation. I had become, whether I liked it or not, a symbol, representing my people. I had to appear." Click here for more.