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)
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
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

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

R.E. Slater - A Long Journey Ended


sculptures by Sequin


Last night I was reading past articles on quantum physics I had written nine years ago and sharing several insights with my wife on how quantum physics tied into process philosophy which all then connected neatly with "open and relational (process) theology" as a three legged triangle. But after posting an article on eco-cosmopolitics that same day, I just then realized I had to add a fourth leg to the triangle and expand it dimensionally when adding the cosmopolitical element of a pluri-universe dispensed in multi-natural, multi-perspectival, and multi-human terms of thrival. Throughout this rhombian structure you then get an open future with infinite possibilities allowing for agency, creativity, imagination, value, and joy. - re slater


The taste of water – Inalienable Write


Today is a Day of Days

Yesterday, quite unknowingly, I completed what was a milestone in my writings but didn't feel anything like it. I hadn't realized I had crossed a rubicon of sorts until reading through a few past articles on quantum physics later that evening (see one of the articles here) when it came to me that the physics of the small from nine years ago was matching up with the theology of the future written since.

I started out a decade ago (quite unwillingly) to update the theology I grew up with and knew well. It was very mainline, very evangelical, very reformed (and conservatively so) in doctrine. What I wanted back then was a contemporary theology which could better express my Christianity to myself, my kids, and several others struggling with issues of freewill, the kind of creation we live in, its future, and the church's place in the world.

Destroyer of Worlds

At that time the cracks were beginning to appear in my locked-down, very "biblical" system of God, the bible, and the dispensational/covenant reformed doctrine I had rigorously been taught. But what all this learning needed was a complete smashing and rebuild. If my present house is any kind of example of my mindset then this is what I did to the theology I had learned from so many good people, mentors, and trusted confidantes. With our present house, I completed demolished it; lifted up its skeleton 20 ft into the air; bulldozed out its old, rotted, wooden foundation; placed a completely new cement foundation with additions underneath it; set it back down on the ground garage-and-all; and then rebuilt what was left of the old house from the ground up.

Apparently, over these many years, I have been doing this same thing with my mainline theology. With the Lord's help, and by the Spirit's guidance, I began in a very dark place. A deep personal wilderness of spiritual blackness where the Lord hid me to help open my eyes to see anew. Not "by throwing out the baby with the bath water" as they say, but by keeping the necessary structures required but not its rotting foundations. To then raise all up, demolish it, set it down, reframe it, skin it out, and create a renewing habitation built for the 21st century's postmodern era.

An era of constructive postmodernism measured by doctrine and topic, critique and reflection, upon all the anathema subjects my faith couldn't speak to as long as I lived within its older theological house (or is it it's older theological temple? I don't know. You decide).


A Long Wandering Ended

Anyway, as of last night, I realized an important watershed moment had been achieved. Yesterday I had just completed describing a very important visionary article on what a Post-Capitalistic, Whiteheadian-based, Cosmopolitic Ecological Civilization and Society would look like if implemented. Exhausted after writing all day, and after a week of putting together related articles to this topic, I began reading through quantum mechanics as a refresher to a final piece on our evolutionary cosmology I wanted to write before heading into the topic of  Black Theology.

At that moment it came to me that when I put the themes of quantum physics together with an open and relational faith I had both the big and the small of an open, undecided future. One that is unpredictable except that it is built upon God's Self, in His Image, as it were. Like my house, I built it from my head and my heart. Upon my character as it were. There were no plans. No blueprints. No outside architect. That all came later to match my vision. It was an open build from the ground up.


So too with God and His creation. It is being built in real-time utilizing creational (freewill) agency, a chaotic and random process, and a no-design future except that it would be loving, generative, and novel against all the obstacles which would attempt to defeat its path.

Now for the good stuff.... It was then I realized that I could add process philosophy to the mix of quantum physics and open and relation theology (which, by the way, is a natural outcome of process philosophy). Here, chaotic, random processes ranged wild and free. There are no certain outcomes but every possible outcome. There are no singlar lines of endeavor but every possible endeavor. It's state of being was, and is, ever-and-always in the process of becoming. Of prehending the past and increasing its concrescing being by one in a continually bubbling pluri-verse of becoming. Aaaah, this felt like the hand of God to me from the small to the large....

sculptures by Sequin
A sculpted mobius strip
Lastly...

I then noticed there was this nice, neat, cosmic, triangular state between quantum physics, open and relational theology, and process theology, which we may now describe as an open and relational process theology. All laid out in a contemporary version of constructive postmodernism.

To this triangular arrangement of 3, very sublime, very foundational themes, I could now add a distorted rhombian figure of 4 points laid out like a mobius strip in a never-ending 1-dimensional form connecting that aspect of creation which bends and wraps in-and-upon itself in infinite arrangement. An intricate structure limited only by time and imagination. It was what I had been working on all these many years of writing and editing. Of an ecological economy moving into a post-capitalist phase utilizing process-based Whiteheadian thinking on which to build an ecological civilization through localized effort. To be successful it would have to focus on the world of the small as well as the world of the large. The micro- with the macro-. The many with the one, and the one with the many.

Again, very quantum-like, very process-like, very open-future-like, where no blueprint or plan could adequately imagine final outcomes. It all would be built chaotically, randomly, without any pre-planning, by many hands and many communities and many nations. Each contributing as they could. The main points though would be constructed along the lines of humanitarian social justice (Christian Humanism) and ecological justice where nature has no human voice but our own human voices and actions. It's construction would be generative, novel, bringing wellbeing, and hopefully peace to an angry world learned only in speeches, and actions, of death and not life.

Conclusion

So I can effectively say this website has achieved its primary purpose of giving voice to those of us held silent for too long in past private temples of darkness and doom. Where God was said to love man but promised judgment and hell for many. Where the church's mission was to save the living as it could before this old world was cast into everlasting fires of torment. Where sinful act spoke louder than loving good works. Where the human spirit was so sinful it could never shine in the glimmer of God's image built into it. Where Christ came only to save mankind but not the earth we are destroying.

Aye, let us begin again with a more holistic contemporary theology. One built for the 21st Century. One which builds upon the atoning work of Christ whose redemptive fellowship restores God's image more fully without the chaining binds of sin's power subtending over it. By seeing a humanity utilizing God's gifts which it was birthed with for the freedom and liberation of others and for the restoration of this earth. That everlasting love and hope are part of our human constitution and not simply corrective theologic formulas uttered so strictly as you can't breath, or hope, and do anything without feeling guilty for everything you do.

Nay, God is bigger than us, our bible, or our doctrines and creeds. And it is my hope here at Relevancy22 we have begun a discussion which will join the voices of many others whom I have discovered along my wayward "liberal" journey through the wilderness of unknowing and uncertainty. That with proper Spirit-placed doubt - and the internal struggle God has placed within each our breasts - we discover His leading unto higher heights against the lower depths we see crashing around us. With God there is real hope. Real salvation. Real vision. Let us dream in our beings by becoming dream-makers in our world's of becoming.

Chapter 1 of discovery and renewal has ended for me. The foundations are laid. The house is built. Chapter 2 now begins stitching together all previous journeys into future endeavors of building together a new world of endless generative possibility. Amen and Amen.

R.E. Slater
August 12, 2020


Lord of the Harvest


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QUANTUM PHYSICS, INDETERMINACY and MULTIVERSES