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, July 16, 2020

2020 TheoCon - The Contours of An Anti-Authoritarian Theology, by Brian McLaren

Why TheoCon?

Our moment is one of crisis upon crisis. We are at a turning point historically and while we cannot simply return to ‘normal’, a growing number of people do not want to. For too long, some of the best resources and voices for wrestling with our biggest questions have remained distant from too many. TheoCon intends to address that through an exploratory project in public theology, connecting leading figures within academia with the public. Our goal is not to think for you, but with you, providing intellectual resources from multiple disciplines and then inviting you to engage, contribute, question, and help lead us out of this time.

Think of this as a hybrid style conference. Each of our keynote speakers will be sharing their talk in video and audio for you to engage. Then we will be scheduling live panel discussions in which the speakers and panelists will not only talk to each other, but will respond to your questions and to the responses to their talks. All of the talks and invitations to live sessions will be delivered via email. All you need to do is sign up here, and we will take care of the rest.


We are bringing together a host of leading scholars across different disciplines. Here are some of the confirmed speakers, with more on the way.

All the keynote lectures will be sent as video and audio via email. As the live webinars are scheduled they will be added here.

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Theologian Brian McLaren

2020 TheoCon
The Contours of An Anti-Authoritarian Theology
by Brian McLaren

What is Anti-Authoritarian Christianity?

(-)  Right-wing Authoritarianism - Mobilizes around imagined or feared common threats

(+)  Left-wing Anti-Authoritarianism - Mobilizes around achieving common benefits

Genesis Story speaks to the goodness of Creation and Reconciliation between all things

The Exodus narrative speaks to the resisting of tyrants and to anti-authoritarianism

Isaiah speaks to a promised land and time of a peaceable kingdom
where justice and mercy inhabits all

Evil is defined as anti-creation, anti-liberation, anti-reconciliation

Our theology needs to move from a two dimensional authoritarian model
to a three dimensional capacious model with Jesus in the center.

The authoritarian model at its most benign speaks to a controlling, highly masculine Dictator who grants heaven or hell; who tortures for eternity those condemned; whose old church hymns were written during this era of viewing divine sovereignty as rightful authoritarianism using the Calvinistic model; whose eucharist patterns this model; whose ideas of human society parallels this model; even how it interprets the biblical text throughout its OT reach.

The next two decades will see increased societal instability, ecological instability, mass migrations, political and religious instability. These will be times to choose between authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism. To choose dictatorship or to choose human solidarity with one another. To live in a world of haves and have nots or to live in a world which is all in with one another.

To overcome future worlds of political, economic, societal, and religious oppression we must choose to become activists for a new world of peace, justice, and equality. If we do not, the kingdom of Jesus will not become part of this old world system we allow to perpetuate itself unfairly upon others. We must resist. We must protest. We must offer new and different ways of reconciliation between one another. If we do not, Jesus cannot become into humanity. He will be left outside of all our human structures as they strive towards evil and not towards goodness and peace. It is imperative we speak out and act upon what this new ecological civilization might be like; might become; might attain when speaking peace, love and respect to our sisters and brothers. It begins now. Not later. Now.

Theological Fronts of Activism

planet - ecology

poverty - inequality

peace - hostility

politics - religion

We face a future of suffering, war, terrorism, proliferation of oppression, and so on. Through these times of panic and crisis let them motivate us towards a positive and not a negative reconstruction of society where we emphasize our solidarity with humanity, with the earth, with one another. Let it be the motivation to build a new society, an ecological society focused on creation, liberation, justice, and peace. This is the Jesus kingdom to come. Not a kingdom of submittance, suppression, injustice, and inequality. - Brian McLaren

TOP 25 QUOTES BY BRIAN D. MCLAREN (of 58) | A-Z Quotes

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Brian McLaren

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Brian McLaren (foreground) and Tony JonesYale Theological ConversationYale Divinity School, February 2006; Photograph: Virgil Vaduva
Brian D. McLaren (born 1956) is an American pastor, author, speaker, and leading figure in the emerging church movement. McLaren is also associated with postmodern Christianity.[1]
McLaren founded Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland in 1982 while he was teaching English on the college level. In 1986, he became a full-time pastor. The church eventually grew to include 500 members.[2] In 2015, McLaren was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.[3] McLaren left his position at Cedar Ridge in 2006 to pursue writing and speaking full-time.[2]
In 2011, McLaren defended Rob Bell's controversial book Love Wins against critiques from figures such as Albert Mohler, who argued that Bell advocated universalism.[4]
In 2013, McLaren stated that he did not believe homosexual conduct to be sinful.[5]
McLaren is married and has four children. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Latin America, and Africa, and his personal interests include ecology, fishing, hiking, kayaking, camping, songwriting, music, art, and literature.[6] In September 2012, McLaren led a commitment ceremony for his son Trevor and partner Owen Ryan at the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase, Maryland.[7]


  • The Church on the Other Side (Zondervan, 1998)
  • Finding Faith (Zondervan, 1999)
  • A New Kind of Christian (Jossey-Bass, 2001)
  • More Ready Than You Realize: Evangelism as Dance in the Postmodern Matrix (Zondervan, 2002)
  • A Is for Abductive (Zondervan, 2002)
  • Adventures in Missing the Point (Emergent/YS, 2003, co-written with Tony Campolo)
  • Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives (Zondervan Emergent/YS, 2003) Leonard Sweet (General Editor), with contributors Andy Crouch, Brian D. McLaren, Erwin McManusMichael HortonFrederica Mathewes-Green
  • The Story We Find Ourselves In (Jossey-Bass, 2003)
  • A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN (Zondervan, 2004)
  • The Last Word and the Word After That (Jossey-Bass, 2005)
  • The New Kind of Christian Trilogy - Limited Edition Boxed Set (A New Kind of Christian; The Story We Find Ourselves In; The Last Word and the Word After That) (Jossey-Bass, 2005)
  • The Secret Message of Jesus : Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything (W Publishing Group, April 2006)
  • The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals (The Voice) (Thomas Nelson, July 2007) ISBN 0-529-12351-7
  • Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope (Thomas Nelson, October 2007) ISBN 0-8499-0183-9
  • Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices (Thomas Nelson, May 2008) ISBN 0-8499-0114-6
  • The Justice Project (Baker, September 2009), edited with Elisa Padilla, and Ashley Bunting Seeber ISBN 0-8010-1328-3
  • A New Kind of Christianity (HarperOne, February 2010) ISBN 0-06-185398-4
  • Naked Spirituality: A Life With God in 12 Simple Words (HarperOne, March 2011) ISBN 0-06-185401-8
  • Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World (Jericho Books, September 2012) ISBN 978-1-4555-1396-3
  • We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation (Jericho Books, June 2014) ISBN 9781455514007
  • The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian (Convergent Books, September 2017)

See also