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

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Is There Any Difference Between Process Philosophy & Process Theology?


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Is There Any Difference Between
Process Philosophy & Process Theology?

by R.E. Slater

Alike or Different?

I pose this question today as a trick question. The short answer is there is, and there isn't, any differences between the two process categories of Process Philosophy and Process Theology.

On the surface, philosophy is a way of life but so too is theology. Philosophy is also an outlook of life, but again, so too is theology.

One may argue that philosophy speaks to a broader subject area than theology. But so does theology... what could be broader than God and God's world?

Well then, philosophy is an integrating set of theories of worldly systems - some alike, some different. Each earlier philosophy being extended, absorbed, adapted, or discontinued by later philosophies.

This last descriptor seems most apt of the Greek philosophy of Platonism as the most difficult worldview reluctant to die an inglorious death. But die it will along with all its eternal categories describing nontemporal, immortal worlds of types and archetypes. With the advent of cosmological quantum physics, and Whiteheadian cosmological process philosophy, Platonism's grasp on the world of "reality" finally appears to be losing its way among institutions, religions, nature, and the stars.

And yet a good theology, such as process theology, can also be an integrating theory across all other theologies extending, absorbing, adapting or dying to later religious theologies more in tune with contemporary understanding.

Theologies built on Reformed, Lutheran, Catholic, or Christian Orthodoxy are being modified, and giving way, to a variety of newer Christian perspectives. Sure, yes, some are regressing, or mutating back to older gnosticisms or errant Christian teachings, but not all.

The better ones, such as Arminianism (sic, Wesleyanism) are being uplifted into a more expansive realm of God's love as a more consistent, healthier perspective of how the church and the world should live in light of an Open and Relational Theological teachings. Allowing divine love to permeate all our teachings and beliefs is far superior than making it live in idolatrous houses of divine condemnation, damnation, and judgment.

In this case, love-based process theology takes in all previous theologies, builds upon their foundations, and spins them outwards to rejoin an integrating and loving process philosophy of the world.

And so, in answer to our first question, there really isn't any difference between a really good pervasive philosophy and an exceptionally broad theology. In fact, process thought brings both together in an unusually cooperative and integrated arrangement.

What kind of "newness" would you like to create today
as distinct and generous, beautiful and benevolent?
Each day is a new day for creation.
- re slater

Structurally Similar? CoEqual? Mutually Inclusive?

Now to our second question, if process philosophy and process theology seem to speak to different matters without eclipsing the other except in their disseparate subject matters - as would be natural with any specific topic - then might we be allowed to entertain the thought that they might be differing halves of the same coin?

As process philosophy was developed by Alfred North Whitehead, a mathematician turned metaphysicist, one may note that he was also a Christian himself who was working through how metaphysics and ontology might be described both as a philosophical perspective as well as a theological one. Essentially, in Whitehead, the question of difference, or similarity, is moot. Process Philosophy and Process Theology were structurally developed together in his thought systems, if not very self, each giving insight to the other for differing reasons.

Now however, later renditions of the subject matters between process philosophy and process theology may be pulled apart a bit more - a texturizing of their subject matters, if you will - but these adaptations would be either i) artificial binary divisions of their structural integrity or, ii) because of the subject matter, complimentary to one another but with a difference of purpose and meaning.

Hence, there can be no pre-postmodern binary thinking in this matter between the two approaches. They are one and the same. Two halves to the same coin, as it were. Which therefore answers all arguments to any statement that one is broader than the other. Or one is the more secular and the other more religious. Nope. Not correct. They are equally sacred and equally secular. It is what makes Alfred North Whitehead's Process Thought unique and supremely qualified to be thought of as more than an integrating theory but an Integral Theory of all previously proposed integral theories whether philosophical or religious.

R.E. Slater
February 10, 2021
rev. March 17, 2021

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Think about it. If true, then "How Should We Then Live?" - re slater

Wikipedia Definitions

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality. The word "metaphysics" comes from two Greek words that, together, literally mean "after or behind or among [the study of] the natural". It has been suggested that the term might have been coined by a first century CE editor who assembled various small selections of Aristotle’s works into the treatise we now know by the name Metaphysics (ta meta ta physika, 'after the Physics ', another of Aristotle's works).

My observation: Process thought refuses to make these synthetic binary distinctions as all things are organic and co-exist in intermutual relationship with one another, thus refuting mind v. matter. - res

Metaphysics studies questions related to what it is for something to exist and what types of existence there are. Metaphysics seeks to answer, in an abstract and fully general manner, the questions:
  • What is there?
  • What is it like?
Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility. Metaphysics is considered one of the four main branches of philosophy, along with epistemology, logic, and ethics.

Ontology (being); See also: Ontology

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as the core of metaphysics, ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.

Epistemology Defined

(/ɪˌpɪstɪˈmɒlədʒi/ (listen); from Greek ἐπιστήμη, epistēmē 'knowledge', and -logy) is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic justification, the rationality of belief, and various related issues. Epistemology is considered one of the four main branches of philosophy, along with ethicslogic, and metaphysics.

Debates in epistemology are generally clustered around four core areas:
  • The structure of a body of knowledge or justified belief, including whether all justified beliefs must be derived from justified foundational beliefs or whether justification requires only a coherent set of beliefs.
  • Philosophical skepticism, which questions the possibility of knowledge, and related problems, such as whether skepticism poses a threat to our ordinary knowledge claims and whether it is possible to refute skeptical arguments..
In these debates and others, epistemology aims to answer questions such as "What do we know?", "What does it mean to say that we know something?", "What makes justified beliefs justified?", and "How do we know that we know?"

Epistemology [re Metaphysical Discussion]

Metaphysical study is conducted using deduction from that which is known a priori. Like foundational mathematics (which is sometimes considered a special case of metaphysics applied to the existence of number), it tries to give a coherent account of the structure of the world, capable of explaining our everyday and scientific perception of the world, and being free from contradictions. In mathematics, there are many different ways to define numbers; similarly, in metaphysics, there are many different ways to define objects, properties, concepts, and other entities that are claimed to make up the world. While metaphysics may, as a special case, study the entities postulated by fundamental science such as atoms and superstrings, its core topic is the set of categories such as object, property and causality which those scientific theories assume. For example: claiming that "electrons have charge" is a scientific theory; while exploring what it means for electrons to be (or at least, to be perceived as) "objects", charge to be a "property", and for both to exist in a topological entity called "space" is the task of metaphysics.[5]

There are two broad stances about what is "the world" studied by metaphysics. The strong, classical view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer so that the subject is the most fundamental of all sciences. The weak, modern view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist inside the mind of an observer, so the subject becomes a form of introspection and conceptual analysis. Some philosophers, notably Kant, discuss both of these "worlds" and what can be inferred about each one. Some, such as the logical positivists, and many scientists, reject the strong view of metaphysics as meaningless and unverifiable. Others reply that this criticism also applies to any type of knowledge, including hard science, which claims to describe anything other than the contents of human perception, and thus that the world of perception is the objective world in some sense. Metaphysics itself usually assumes that some stance has been taken on these questions and that it may proceed independently of the choice—the question of which stance to take belongs instead to another branch of philosophy, epistemology.

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Eight Confusing Philosophical Terms Explained

Jeff Carreira June 7, 2010 Popular Posts

I want to go on to introduce Emerson’s Idealism, but before I do I need to get a few things straight, namely the distinction between Idealism, Materialism, Rationalism, Empiricism, Realism, Nominalism, Dualism and Monism. In the study of philosophy these words come up often and it can be challenging at times to keep them all straight. That is partly because some of their meanings are separated by subtle distinctions and partly because some of them have both a technical philosophical meaning and a more common meaning that seem to conflict.

So for all of our sake lets walk through them slowly.

First of all they are all generally related to one of the most foundational philosophical dualisms there is – mind and matter. At least since the ancient Greeks the problem of mind and matter, thought and thing, the spiritual and the material, has existed. And as long as that dualism exists – and it has, for the record dramatically fallen out of favor – the fundamental question that needs to be tackled is, “Which is more real? Mind or matter?”

Idealism is the belief that the mind and ideas is the primary structure of reality and that physical or material reality is secondary.

Materialism is the opposite of Idealism and sees matter as the primary reality and all other things including thoughts as the product of interactions of matter.

Rationalism is the belief that the rational mind is the best way to know something. If you are a rationalist you believe that your mind is more trustworthy than your sense. A stick in the water might look bent, but you know rationally that it only looks that way because it is [exhibiting refractive properties] in the water.

Empiricism is the opposite of rationalism and it is the belief that the senses are the best way to know something. You might think something is true, but you only know it is true if your senses confirm it.

In consideration of the above it is good to keep in mind that you can’t be an Idealist and a Materialist and you can’t be a Rationalist and an Empiricist. On the other hand, you can be an Idealist and a Rationalist or an Idealist and an Empiricist. You can also be Materialist and a Rationalist or you can be a Materialist and an Empiricist.

That is because Idealism and Materialism are statements of ontology which means they are statements about what you believe is real. Rationalism and Empiricism are statements of epistemology which means statements about what is the best way to know what is real.

As if this were not confusing enough we also have Realism and Nominalism.

Realism is the belief that there are real existing entities behind universal or general ideas. For instance there is a “thing” called justice.

Nominalism on the other hand is the opposite and it is a belief that there are no real existing entities behind universals. There is no “justice” per se, there are just individual instances of justice. Only the individual instances of justice are real.

Now for our last two terms we have Dualism and Monism.

Dualism is the belief that mind and matter represent two different and distinct types of being.

Monism is the belief that there is ultimately only one type of being. If you are a Monist you could also be an Idealist which means that you believe that everything is made up of mind or ideas, so even matter is ultimately made up of ideas. A monist could also be a Materialist believing that all ideas are ultimately products of matter.

OK, that should be enough to get us started.

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Wikipedia Appendages

Constructivism (philosophy of science)

Constructivism is a view in the philosophy of science which maintains that scientific knowledge is constructed by the scientific community, who seek to measure and construct models of the natural world. According to the constructivist, natural science therefore consists of mental constructs that aim to explain sensory experience and measurements.

According to constructivists, the world is independent of human minds, but knowledge of the world is always a human and social construction. Constructivism opposes the philosophy of objectivism, embracing the belief that a human can come to know the truth about the natural world not mediated by scientific approximations with different degrees of validity and accuracy.

According to constructivists there is no single valid methodology in science, but rather a diversity of useful methods.

Origin of the term

The term originates from psychology, education, and social constructivism. The expression "constructivist epistemology" was first used by Jean Piaget, 1967, with plural form in the famous article from the "Encyclopédie de la Pléiade" Logique et connaissance scientifique or "Logic and Scientific knowledge", an important text for epistemology. He refers directly to the mathematician Brouwer and his radical constructivism.

The terms Constructionism and constructivism are often, but should not be, used interchangeably. Constructionism is an approach to learning that was developed by Papert; the approach was greatly influenced by his work with Piaget, but it is very different. Constructionism involves the creation of a product to show learning. It is believed by constructivists that representations of physical and biological reality, including race, sexuality, and gender, as well as tables, chairs and atoms are socially constructed. Marx was among the first to suggest such an ambitious expansion of the power of ideas to inform the material realities of people's lives.

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Fideism (/ˈfiːdeɪ.ɪzəm, ˈfaɪdiː-/) is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths (see natural theology). The word fideism comes from fides, the Latin word for faith, and literally means "faith-ism". Philosophers have identified a number of different forms of fideism.

Theologians and philosophers have responded in various ways to the place of faith and reason in determining the truth of metaphysical ideas, morality, and religious beliefs. A fideist is one who argues for fideism. Historically, fideism is most commonly ascribed to four philosophers: Blaise Pascal, Søren Kierkegaard, William James, and Ludwig Wittgenstein; with fideism being a label applied in a negative sense by their opponents, but which is not always supported by their own ideas and works or followers.[3] A qualified form of fideism is sometimes attributed to Immanuel Kant’s famous suggestion that we must “deny knowledge in order to make room for faith”.[4]


Alvin Plantinga defines "fideism" as "the exclusive or basic reliance upon faith alone, accompanied by a consequent disparagement of reason and utilized especially in the pursuit of philosophical or religious truth". The fideist therefore "urges reliance on faith rather than reason, in matters philosophical and religious", and therefore may go on to disparage the claims of reason. The fideist seeks truth, above all: and affirms that reason cannot achieve certain kinds of truth, which must instead be accepted only by faith.


Main article: Relationship between religion and science [sic, anti-intellectualism]

Theories of truth

The doctrine of fideism is consistent with some, and radically contrary to other theories of truth:
Some forms of fideism outright reject the correspondence theory of truth, which has major philosophical implications. Some only claim a few religious details to be axiomatic....

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