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

Sunday, October 10, 2021

We Worship a God of Love, Not a God of Wrath - Part 1




We Worship a God of Love,
Not a God of Wrath - Part 1

by R.E. Slater

GOD

We worship a God of love, not a God of love and wrath.

God is one in His being and essence, not two.

His love instructs His responses.

His attributes.

His actions.

God is not a dipolarity. Not two psychic polar ends of the the same God.

God is love through and through and through and through.

Western Christianity requires a binary system good and bad, love and wrath, hope and despair.

But Christianity is a singularity through and through and through and through.

God is not dipolar. God is One.


THE BIBLE

If one reads a literal bible with a God of love and wrath this is classic theism.

If one reads the bible as a collection of narratives of people asserting who God is based upon their experiences than you're reading a bible full of conjectures where some are more right than others.

A non-literal bible is neither spiritualized, symbolized, or iconized in its reading. It's the common sense reading of ancient beliefs about God and God's action in the world. 

In this sense, we read the bible as redactors attempting to find the common thread of a complicated idea through the moral and mortal eyes of collected beliefs of ancient societies.

It is too easy to discount the bible as ancient Hebrew myths and legends. The bible is a collection of literary beliefs about God no more nor less than the religious collections of beliefs about God today.

Beliefs require redacting.

Beliefs are only true if we make them so. But many beliefs are untrue, harming, and inaccurate.

Theology is the art of deciphering beliefs - whether true or not; whether pointing to the right way or not.

Theology is not a literal reading of the bible but a redactive reading of the bible.


DIVINE INSPIRATION

Inspiration is God speaking to all kinds of people in all kinds of ways.

God didn't speak only to the premetal and metal ages (bronze, iron, steel) of the BC/BCE eras.

God has been speaking to all of creation... including mankind, throughout the entirety of it's existence.

Discerning the bible is no different from discerning the inspiration of preachers, podcasters, commentators, or public figures today.

They all claim to speak for God just as prophets, priests, kings, and biblical narratives did in the days of the bible.

But we are non-literal readers of people. We hear what they say but test their words and actions to know if what they say and do is honest and integral to who they are, what their intentions are, and how they wish to form the tomorrows of our societies.

The question must then be asked, "Who speaks for God?"

"How are they speaking for God?"

"What is the outcome of their words in actions and policies because of the God they speak of?"

God's speech today is no less than God's speech eons ago.

We call it revelatory, but I call it normal.

God is communicating everyday in everyway possible because humanity comes in a polyplural package of varieties with a variety of needs, wants, personal and social environments, experiences, and histories.

The Art of the Commonplace aptly describes the Inspiration of God to mankind today.

It is no less, nor no more, in the bible even as it is today.

They are the same.

But even more so! Today's Godly inspiration is magnified because of our lived experiences of religious beliefs.

God's inspiration today may therefore be the more clearer with better theology today.


THEOLOGY

God is One.

God is Love.

God is speaking today as God did in yesteryear.

Where the bible people saw God as a God of wrath based upon their cultural upbring, religions, and beliefs, Jesus comes along and shows us a God of Love, Hope, regeneration, and beauty.

When Jesus speaks, He may speak to the people's beliefs. But when He speaks and acts, Jesus always shows us a God of love, love, love, love.

Process Theology rejects Western Christianity's classic theistic portrayals of a dipolar God.

Process Theology tells of a God of love alone without wrath.

A God who speaks into a world of agency where wrath and evil result from the misuse, abuse, and inaction of freewill.

The wrath and evil this world's experiences are not of God but of sin.

Process Theology therefore speaks of a panentheistic world where God is Savior, Redeemer, Reclaimer, Restorer, Lover, Hope, Beauty, and Joy.

A Process Christian rests in these truths:

That God is a God of Love.

God is not sin, evil, corruptible, contemptible, or horrible.

God is not wrath, hell, or judgment.

God is LOVE.

I worship therefore a God of LOVE.


R.E. Slater
October 10, 2021