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 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

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

New Christian Terms to Know in Process Jargon




 New Christian Terms to Know in Process Jargon




What in the World is Process Theology?






CORT link

Thomas Jay Oord - What Is Process Theology?





Fundamentals of Process Theology





David Ray Griffin -
An Introduction to Process Theology





Majorie Suchocki -
An Introduction to Process Theology





Process Theology -
God According to Alfred North Whitehead





Process Theology - Being & Becoming





Process Theology & Politics:
Amanda Gorman - Healing the World
One Act at a Time





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Panentheism & Process Theology

Amazon Link

Panentheism and Scientific Naturalism: Rethinking Evil, Morality, Religious Experience, Religious Pluralism, and the Academic Study of Religion (Toward Ecological Civilization) (Volume 2) Paperback – August 8, 2014, by David Ray Griffin (Author)

Can scientific naturalism, according to which there are no interruptions of the normal cause-effect relations, be compatible with divine activity, religious experience, and moral realism? Leading process philosopher of religion David Ray Griffin argues that panentheism provides the conceptual framework to overcome the perennial conflicts between these views, with important implications for religious pluralism, the problem of evil, and the academic study of religion. Panentheism—God as the soul of the world—explains how theism can be fully natural while still portraying God as distinct from and more than the world. Griffin’s Panentheism and Scientific Naturalism is an essential source for philosophers of religion and others seeking to reconcile faith with science and Christianity with other religions.







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Intro to Process Theology - Prayer



 Intro to Process Theology - Prayer

  1. 1. Intro to Process Theology
  2. 2. Intro to Process TheologyScience and Religion Evil and SufferingJesus and Creative TransformationPrayer (and Pluralism)
  3. 3. Do you pray? Why do you pray? How do you expect God torespond to your prayers?
  4. 4. Gods Power in Process Theology Omnipotent Omnipresent Almighty PersuasiveAll-powerful Love-power God World
  5. 5. Shared Power in Process Theology Power of beingOmnipresent Power to affect Persuasive Power to chooseLove-power Power to love God World Interdependence
  6. 6. Supernaturalism Why didnt God answer my God prayer? God answers prayers the way God wants to, World but it may not be what you want.
  7. 7. In Gods Presence
  8. 8. Prayer is...Prayers is the act of bringing our moment-by-moment connectedness to God into ourconsciousnessPrayer is opening ourselves to Gods owncreative energy and offering back to God thegift of ourselves Prayer is joining with God in willing the well-being of ourselves, friends, enemies...the wholeworld
  9. 9. Prayer in Process Prayer changes us,the world, and God.God works with the world as it is inorder to bring it to where it can be. The real prayer is the one who prays.
  10. 10. "Prayer is a partnership with God, not a manipulation of God." -MS"Prayer is prompted by God and released to God." -MS
  11. 11. Mortality and healingPrayer cannot eliminate our mortality.Not-yet-irreversible Irreversible Vs. illness illness Healing is always possible.
  12. 12. Pray
  13. 13. You?
  14. 14. Process theology sees the universe as creative, interrelational, dynamic, and open to the future. In process theology, God is relational, present in every moment of our lives and in all entities and levels of being. The world isinterconnected, in effect a giant ecosystem where what harms orblesses one, harms or blesses all.
  15. 15. April-MayPluralismTrinitySin and ForgivenessEvolution


Palm Sunday Readings, Poems & Observances

 



Palm Sunday
http://www.seedbed.com/scripture-quotes-poems-palm-sunday/

The Gospel of John notes that Jerusalem welcomed him with palm branches (John 12:13). Palm trees were in abundance in the Mediterranean and were even found on ancient coins. After the Maccabean Revolt (167-160 AD), the Jews rededicated the temple carrying palm branches (1 Macc. 13:51). In Revelation 7:9, people from all nations use palm branches in their worship of Jesus. All four Gospels provide an account of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem:





Many churches initiate the Palm Sunday service with a procession that represents Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem. This practice is attested to as early as in the 4th century in the Pilgrimage of Egeria.
"Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in." - Psalm 24:7
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us." - Psalm 118:26-27a
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you; righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." - Zechariah 9:9

Palm Sunday Observances & Poems

Within the very liturgy of Palm Sunday, the tension is evident; traditionally, it is the only day with two Gospel readings—the enervating triumphal entry, and the tragic narrative of crucifixion. Palms turn to passion. It is the way God has designed it, for he did not count equality with God something to be graspedBrian Rhea



O Christ our God
When Thou didst raise Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion,
Thou didst confirm the resurrection of the universe
Wherefore, we like children,
carry the banner of triumph and victory,
and we cry to Thee, O Conqueror of love,
Hosanna in the highest
Blessed is He that cometh
in the Name of the Lord.

Toparion of Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday



When Christ entered into Jerusalem the people spread garments in the way: when He enters into our hearts, we pull off our own righteousness, and not only lay it under Christ’s feet but even trample upon it ourselves. - Augustus Toplady



No pain, no palm;
no thorns, no throne;
no gall, no glory;
no cross, no crown.

- William Penn



Rest for my soul -- REST! Admidst fears,
Doubts, insecurities -- REST! For my anxious
Heart REST! You made the flower of the field and clothed it --
REST! FOR MY WORK-A-HOLIC
BUSY WAY OF AVOIDING YOU -- rest! FOR TIRED
FEET AND TIRED HANDS.
YOU ARE THE ONE UNRAVELING ME --SLOWING ME
DOWN SO I CAN FEEL AGAIN -- SO I CAN FIND Hope
IN SOMETHING MORE reliable than my own success -- 
YOU ARE SETTING ME free
Healing my wounds
Purifying my desires
Pushing back the effects of the fall
And you are coming soon
I can feel it every time I see the flowers.

Samantha Wedelich



The smell of church reminds me of my childhood
but over the years, the priest becomes a foolish man.
I've pondered over my faith for so long -
sometimes I reach into my conscious and
pull out steaming fistfuls of pop culture like,
watching Rosemary's Baby on Saturday.
Was God dead in the 50s?
Not nearly as much as he is now.
Today was Palm Sunday, and I felt like a baby,
so naked in the desert sand.
Delicate church, how do you reel me in?

Kyra Rae



Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,
The seething holy city of my heart,
The saviour comes. But will I welcome him?
Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;
They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,
And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find
The challenge, the reversal he is bringing
Changes their tune. I know what lies behind
The surface flourish that so quickly fades;
Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,
The hardness of the heart, its barricades,
And at the core, the dreadful emptiness
Of a perverted temple. Jesus come
Break my resistance and make me your home.

from a Christian Lectionary


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A Collection of Palm Sunday Observances
http://happyvalentineimages.com/palm-sunday-quotes-poem-for-god-from-bible/

Palm Sunday is also known as a "Movable Feast" as the church celebrates on the Sunday before Easter. It celebrates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

1. "Palm Sunday is like a glimpse of Easter. It’s a little bit joyful after being somber during Lent." - Laura Gale

2. "What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured." - Kurt Vonnegut

3. "Palm Sunday tells us that it is the cross [where] is the truer tree of life." - Pope Benedict XVI

4. "Palm Sunday is like a glimpse of Easter. It’s a little bit joyful after being somber during Lent." - Laura Gale

5. "Then I saw heaven opened and a white horse appeared. Its rider is the Faithful and True; he judges and wages just wars." - Revelation 19:11

6. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you; righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." - Zechariah 9:9

7. "It is wiser to build our dependence on God than building it on people because people can choose to leave us at any moment. But only we can choose to leave God because He is ever present and there for those who need and seek Him with a sincere Heart. Happy Palm Sunday!" - Anon

8. "The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake." - Basil Hume

9. A Palm Sunday’s thought: "Life is full of ups and downs. Glorify God during the ups and fully trust in Him during the downs." - Anon

10. "Anyway - because we are readers, we don’t have to wait for some communications executive to decide what we should think about next - and how we should think about it. We can fill our heads with anything from aardvarks to zucchinis - at any time of night or day." - Kurt Vonnegut

11. "What’s with this final curtain? When God-disturbed churches are packed Palm Sunday, Easter, and Christmas, but not in-between? Will we feel the fateful lightening of his terrible swift sword? Is this Armageddon?" - Buck Malachi

12. "Jesus found a donkey and sat upon it, as Scripture says: Do not fear, city of Zion! See, your king is coming, sitting on the colt of a donkey!" - John 12:14

13. "There would be no Christmas if there was no Easter." - Gordon B. Hinckley

14. "Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, ‘Christ has risen,’ but ‘I shall rise.’" - Phillips Brooks

Evangelicals are teaching false doctrine. Who says so? Jesus Christ.


Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)




Evangelicals are teaching false doctrine.
Who says so? Jesus Christ.



I've spent my life around evangelical theology — and most of it
is exactly the hypocrisy Christ warned us about


by NATHANIEL MANDERSON
MARCH 20, 2021


I was raised by a pair of wild hippies, so my heart has always been committed to liberal ideology. As a Bible-believing Christian, however, I was surrounded by evangelical theology throughout my youth, in various churches, Bible camps and so on. When I decided to enter the ministry to attempt to change that conservative theology, I attended an evangelical seminary. It was clear on my first day on campus that no reform was going to occur. 

If I happened to mention voting for Al Gore, I was told by my classmates that God keeps a record of my voting history and that I had voted for a man who endorses baby-killing and tearing down the American family. Honestly, I was just hoping that President Gore might help save the planet and not make up a reason to go to war in Iraq. Anyway, in my 10 years in ministry I had even less luck making any changes, which is why I left the formal ministry a couple of years ago. 

The truth then, and even more so now, is that we cannot separate Republicans, and now the Trumpists, from the evangelicals. I have seen my fellow "Christian left" types attempting to reform the God vote — in fact, I've done it myself — but I feel we have been too timid in our approach. Stronger language and a pure rejection of evangelical theology is needed. From a purely Christian point of view, the evangelical leadership are false teachers teaching a false doctrine. Trumpism cannot be defeated without first facing down evangelicalism. Jesus Christ, who these people claim as their savior, himself provided a warning against these religious hypocrites in Matthew 23:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. 

The only real threat to Christianity is Christianity itself. Leading evangelical pastors like Franklin Graham and Robert Jeffress made a passionate plea for Christian voters to ignore Trump's shortcomings as a man because he stands with the Christian church on all things that are right and true. Apparently, that means Christians must shut the door to all LGBTQ people, abortion providers, liberals, immigrants, Muslims and anyone who happens to mention taxing the wealthy.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

Many of the false American evangelical teachers demonize and look down upon the people in poorer countries. I have seen these "missionaries" in places like Haiti building their churches and making sure "proper doctrine" is followed. It is this type of modern-day colonialism that has provided foreign governments the religious authority to enact terrible anti-LGBTQ laws and restrictions on reproductive rights for women.

Woe to you, blind guides! You say, "If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath." You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 

False teachers have always believed that their financial wealth means favor with God. I have seen many Christian leaders give praise to God for their big homes, nice cars and million-dollar sanctuaries. This belief that God has blessed them with great stuff prevents them from ever understanding the need to fund programs that provide equality in the education, health care, justice and economic systems.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

These false evangelical leaders may have stayed within the law, but they know nothing about being merciful. They could never understand the message to reach out to undocumented immigrants because of God's call to treat the foreigner as native born — because we were once foreigners ourselves. They only understand the language of rules and law without mercy and grace.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Many of these false evangelical leaders have spent a lot of time and money making sure their public image is clean. Ideal marriages, wonderful children, kind and loving people who are financially affluent and pay their taxes. Christ reminded his followers to be careful of such a well-crafted persona. Behind the curtain there are many filled with hypocrisy and wickedness.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, "If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets." So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

Many of these current evangelical leaders love to quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message of love and forgiveness. Many would like to forget that most conservative Christian leaders rejected Dr. King's message while he was alive, and some believed he was a communist. It is no mystery to me why there is no picture of the great Rev. Billy Graham marching with Dr. King. These false evangelical leaders expose themselves again as they reject the Rev. William J. Barber II's message about honoring and uplifting the poor, which is far more clearly based in Christian doctrine than anything they preach. These false evangelical Christian leaders never understood Dr. King's message to follow Jesus into those places in America where poor people struggle and suffer and too often die, and they never will.

---

Nathaniel Manderson was educated at a conservative seminary, trained as a minister, ordained through the American Baptist Churches USA and guided by liberal ideals. Throughout his career he has been a pastor, a career counselor, an academic adviser, a high school teacher and an advocate for first-generation and low-income students, along with being a paper delivery man, a construction worker, a FedEx package handler and whatever else he could do to try to take care of his family.


Original Sin or Original Blessing? How Does One Approach the Cross of Christ?




Original Sin or Original Blessing?
How Does One Approach the Cross of Christ?


Original Sin is much discussed in a literal bible reading of the Adam & Eve story but what do we do with the subject within an Evolutionary story of Process Creation? This was something I attempted some years ago when finally leaving it to the role of freewill + consciousness. But it didn't address the larger issue of free agency beauty and orientation of the Cross of Christ as blessing rather than as condemnation to all who refused Jesus' sacrifice.

"Here’s the thing: people know they sin. What they don’t know is what to do about it. I don’t think the best answer is admitting you are irrevocably bad. I think it’s realizing your home has been in God all along, and it’s time you head that direction, because abundant life is waiting.
"Original sin hinders us from seeing the world as created for connection—to God, to each other, to all created things. It forces us instead to begin with the notion that humans are separate from God. It forces us to be at odds with our bodies and desires and gives no solvable way to integrate them. And it can make our view of salvation small: mostly self-focused, and mostly about the afterlife. So Jesus becomes the solution to a sin problem, not the life of the world. I think it’s an incredibly limiting perspective, at odds with the cosmic scope of the gospel." - Jonathan Merrit

I think Jonathan is on to something here as well as the author he's reviewing, Danielle Shroyer. Every since I started in the direction of open and relational process theology I've been looking for a different way to approach original sin and to express humanity and salvation in a more positive way.



This is a great beginning. It doesn't say there is "no sin" but that the Christian understanding of "sin has overtaken the larger theme" of God's gracious salvation in the mystery of cosmic connection to Himself and to one another.

And when we remove the literalism of the Genesis story it leaves us with the question of how to work in the factual story of evolution and how sin enter therein. For myself, I see evolution as part of the process picture of God's creation: God being the first process of all succeeding or subtending processes. Processes which, like the Father-Creator-Redeemer, are birthed from God's essence of relatability (all things are relational) and free agency (all things are entrusted with goodness and grace, wellbeing and novelty).

Having started with Arminianism and removing all portions of Calvinism from my evangelic faith I've come from the bible side upwards to these positions. And if Whiteheadian Process Philosophy and Theology are added from the metaphysical / ontological side, well, we have a a fairly complete contemporary picture of divine creation which comports very well with a non-literal reading of the bible substituting Hebraic legends for non-mystical science, theology, and philosophy.

So I think Danielle Shroyer's proposition of recontextualizing salvation away from original sin and towards original blessing comes from a healthy view of God's grace and love and the connected universe we live in.

Read these thoughts below and you tell me what you think. I should always like to go with the idea that "Whatever the Lord does is always purposely driven... valuatively driven." Not as mistake, but in congruency with God's beauty and light, love and grace, which He imparted essentially and deeply into His creation.

R.S. Slater
March 30, 2021
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Author: Jesus didn’t believe in ‘original sin’ and neither should we

https://religionnews.com/2017/01/13/author-jesus-didnt-believe-in-original-sin-and-neither-should-we/?fbclid=IwAR0XQf8aaFC-z970O_xAr6T_lP7vX1cRtPlvnRfMcIYzHXeUWm1ggPrnt88

One theologian says that Jesus didn't believe this doctrine, and we shouldn't either.

Image by Simson Petrol via unsplash