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

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Process Sovereignty vs Church Sovereignty






Amazon Link

Applying an ever more radical hermeneutics (including Husserlian and Heideggerian phenomenology, Derridian deconstruction, and feminism), John D. Caputo breaks down the name of God in this irrepressible book. Instead of looking at God as merely a name, Caputo views it as an event, or what the name conjures or promises in the future. For Caputo, the event exposes God as weak, unstable, and barely functional. While this view of God flies in the face of most religions and philosophies, it also puts up a serious challenge to fundamental tenets of theology and ontology. Along the way, Caputo's readings of the New Testament, especially of Paul's view of the Kingdom of God, help to support the "weak force" theory. This penetrating work cuts to the core of issues and questions―What is the nature of God? What is the nature of being? What is the relationship between God and being? What is the meaning of forgiveness, faith, piety, or transcendence?―that define the terrain of contemporary philosophy of religion.




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A God of Process Sovereignty

Our view of God's Sovereignty must change from one of power to one of weakness. God is the opposite of being nihilistic or militaristic... God is exactly what Jesus showed us He is. No spears, clubs, nor high-minded threats of ending governments and innocent lives in the name of Christ. Nay. God is gentle, meek, merciful and loving.

Conversely, we would expect man's God to be a vigorous, red-meat eating bloody military general, wouldn't we? But of the God we see in Jesus this is not so.... Our longing for unrighteous power and ill-gained safehaven in the shadows of the rich and powerful can find no substitute for God's loving strength and holy guidance in this life nor the next.

Process theology says God is embedded in all things, meaning, God's power is unlimited. It is as large as the universe. But that this power is meant for wellbeing, creational care, nourishment, and healing of body, mind, soul and spirit. A militaristic God styled after King David of the OT gets you nowhere. Just the satisfaction that your worldly God is something the true God really isn't. A proper definition of God's Sovereignty must be a loving God full of mercy and forgiveness. One who lived life caring and healing others. And in death, did the same.

What about the God of the apocalyptic revelation coming to destroy the world? Again, not true. We might destroy ourselves as we are continually predicting but God will not, and cannot, because of who God is as loving and good. But aren't all eschatological stories based on stories of holy vengeance and justice? You know, the Wyatt-Earp-kinds-of-justice staged at the OK-Corrals-of-the-world where the bad guys get what's coming to them? Sure, those shoot-em-up-endings portray their muscular, powerful stories of protecting the innocent from the cruel, the ideal from the wayward. Yet God doesn't work this way. God isn't loving one moment and vengeful the next. Sure, God is grieved and harmed by our actions towards one another but God is Spirit and we are God's fleshly hands and feet to conduct a loving, caring, restorative justice. Not a justice of harm and cruelty. We are therefore to conduct ourselves in ministrations of care... not continue the donkey wheel of injustice, harm, and hate.

Let's just say then that the book of Revelation is man's metaphorical image of God and not the picture of the true Jesus-God. Naturally it is a yearning of the Christian Church that hell be swallowed up by the cross of Jesus along with all antichrists and wicked prophets of the world. But if God's Sovereignty is epitomized in Jesus then we should suspect one of us is wrong. Either our idolatry of God is wrong as pictured by the church's idolatry of God's sovereignty always described in terms of bloody return. Or, the eschatological hope we carry for vengeful justice is wrong. Perhaps Revelation was written as a warning to the church to reign-in our lusts and megalomaniac dreams of domineering world power under religious rule. To content ourselves rather in love's healing ministries and restorative justice. Without this character in our spirits our metaphorical gods will rise up and eat us alive in hatred and cruelty where no one can stand and there can be no atonement left save for death.

R.E. Slater
May 29, 2021

 

 The Power of God's Love

Held in the loving power of Jesus
        is the God of the universe...
  His divine power supercedes all others,
              His divine love undergirds
                                the foundations of the world...
                         upon which we who walk this earth
               seek a home not of our own...
                             but of loving nourishment,
          wellbeing, soul healing,
and nurturing care...                                                          

R.E. Slater
May 29, 2021





Bible Verses about Power Through God

Acts 3:12
But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;

2 Corinthians 12:9
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Ephesians 1:19-20
and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 3:20
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
 
Colossians 1:29
For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

2 Corinthians 6:7
in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left,

Daniel 2:23
“To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

Daniel 2:37
You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory;

1 John 4:4
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

2 Corinthians 13:3
since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.

Luke 9:1
And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.

John 14:12
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

Acts 4:33
And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.

1 Corinthians 15:43
it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

2 Corinthians 10:4
for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

Colossians 1:11
strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously

2 Thessalonians 1:11
To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power,

2 Timothy 1:8
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God...